Earthy, nutty Puy lentils and a generous quantity of garlic give this simple soup a hearty and satisfying depth of flavour.

Earthy, nutty Puy lentils and a generous quantity of garlic give this simple soup a hearty and satisfying depth of flavour.

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Sweet parsnips and fiery ginger are a winning and warming winter combination.

Sweet parsnips and fiery ginger are a winning and warming winter combination.

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This soup is easy, cheap, filling and very, very tasty. You'll definitely want a second helping.You can finish the soup in various ways: a few more snippets of bacon, fried until crisp, make a lovely sprinkle, as do some simple fried bread croûtons.

This soup is easy, cheap, filling and very, very tasty. You'll definitely want a second helping.You can finish the soup in various ways: a few more snippets of bacon, fried until crisp, make a lovely sprinkle, as do some simple fried bread croûtons.

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River Cottage summer garden soup: You may not have access to the same range of just-picked veg, but gather some good, fresh stuff from a farm shop, market or greengrocers and you will get a similar result. Vary the veg according to what is available. Just chop it all into small, similarsized pieces, and ‘build’ the soup, cooking the harder, denser veg for slightly longer, and you’ll end up with a vibrant, fresh-tasting bowlful.

River Cottage summer garden soup: You may not have access to the same range of just-picked veg, but gather some good, fresh stuff from a farm shop, market or greengrocers and you will get a similar result. Vary the veg according to what is available. Just chop it all into small, similarsized pieces, and ‘build’ the soup, cooking the harder, denser veg for slightly longer, and you’ll end up with a vibrant, fresh-tasting bowlful.

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Mexican tomato & bean soup: this fresh, piquant summer soup combines many of the ingredients you might find in a feisty salsa, but in this case they re all ‘souped up. Add more chillies if you like it hot, and a handful of fresh sweetcorn kernels, sliced straight from the cob, is a good addition if you have them. A scattering of diced avocado can replace the soured cream, if you prefer.

Mexican tomato & bean soup: this fresh, piquant summer soup combines many of the ingredients you might find in a feisty salsa, but in this case they re all ‘souped up. Add more chillies if you like it hot, and a handful of fresh sweetcorn kernels, sliced straight from the cob, is a good addition if you have them. A scattering of diced avocado can replace the soured cream, if you prefer.

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This is a super-simple soup with Italian overtones. Make it in the summer or autumn with good, ripe, flavourful tomatoes.

This is a super-simple soup with Italian overtones. Make it in the summer or autumn with good, ripe, flavourful tomatoes.

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Creamy roasted tomato soup: The creaminess in this soup comes from a couple of handfuls of cashew nuts, thrown into the roasting tin with the tomatoes. Once puréed, the result is rich and sumptuous. The riper your tomatoes the better – but roasting will sweeten and intensify even less than perfect specimens.

Creamy roasted tomato soup: The creaminess in this soup comes from a couple of handfuls of cashew nuts, thrown into the roasting tin with the tomatoes. Once puréed, the result is rich and sumptuous. The riper your tomatoes the better – but roasting will sweeten and intensify even less than perfect specimens.

A wonderfully hearty soup, this is also very straightforward. It relies on some good puréed tomatoes for the base flavour. We prepare our own, but you could use a good-quality ready-made passata instead. In this case, you might want to add some bay, thyme and a whole garlic clove to the simmering soup to boost the flavour.

A wonderfully hearty soup, this is also very straightforward. It relies on some good puréed tomatoes for the base flavour. We prepare our own, but you could use a good-quality ready-made passata instead. In this case, you might want to add some bay, thyme and a whole garlic clove to the simmering soup to boost the flavour.

Celeriac soup: take advantage of the lovely taste of celeriac and a range of seasonal vegetables with this hearty warming soup.

Celeriac soup: take advantage of the lovely taste of celeriac and a range of seasonal vegetables with this hearty warming soup.

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