Skip to content

Basic Adaptable Soup

Claire Wright

In season now


Stock: Cubes, bouillon powder, or liquid - just follow packet instructions to make it up. If you don't have any, just use water and add a little more seasoning.

Vegetables: Use up leftovers (cooked or uncooked), frozen veggies, plain uneaten veggies from dinner, anything on offer in the shops, or veggies that are just on the turn.

Taste: Add a little flavour with basic dried herbs (1-2 tsp will do), curry powder, or just salt & pepper. You could add creaminess with milk, coconut milk or cream at the end of cooking, too.

Bulk: Bulk out the soup with root veg, beans and pulses, which are cheap, filling and nutritious. And feel free to throw in any leftover cooked meats from dinner at the end of the soup-making process.



  1. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan and chuck in a few handfuls of veg per person (raw or cooked, fresh or frozen or tinned). If using cooked/leftovers or tinned veg, fry for a couple of mins to heat through. If using raw or frozen veg, fry until soft (5-15 mins depending on the veg).
  2. Add the other ingredients, starting with about 500ml of stock (or water/coconut milk/chopped tomatoes), some salt & pepper to taste, and some optional dried herbs (like basil, oregano or thyme) or spices (curry powder, paprika, cumin or coriander all work well) to add flavour (these are totally optional, but if you have some on hand it can add an extra flavour boost).

  3. Bring to the boil and simmer until veg is very soft. Blitz with a hand-held blender until smooth (or leave a little chunky if you prefer it that way) or transfer to a food processor (carefully!) for blending when cooled slightly. Add more stock or water if it’s too thick – it should be no thicker than a milkshake. Taste and add more seasonings/herbs/spices if needed.

  4. Serve warm. If you are using cooked meat, add after blitzing the soup rather than before for best results. Pulses like chickpeas and beans can be nice to hold back to add texture, too. Similarly, if you are using cream or milk to add creaminess to a soup, add it at the end to avoid it cooking and curdling.

If you want to have a go at coming up with your own soup flavour combinations but aren’t sure where to start, here are some ideas:

Carrots and lentils, sweet potato and greens, tomato and red peppers, broccoli and blue cheese, squash and apple, parsnip and curry powder (with coconut milk), sweetcorn and chicken or bacon, cauliflower and chickpeas, celery and cream, leeks with white fish and a little milk or cream (leave chunky for a chowder-like soup), beetroot and coconut milk

…and so many more. Have fun finding your family’s favourites!

Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

The eventual aim, if possible, is to get kids in the kitchen. Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to mean they are with you from start-to-end creating mess and rising stress levels! It can be as simple as giving them one small job (stirring, measuring, pouring, grating, chopping…) ideally involving veg. They can come in to do their little bit, and have fun with you for a few minutes. Getting them involved, making it playful and praising them plenty for their involvement, perhaps even serving it as dinner they “made”, makes it much more likely they will eat the food offered, not to mention teaching them important life skills. Find ideas, safety tips, videos and even a free chart in our Kids in the Kitchen section here.

Master these skills:

Washing hands,  Cleaning vegetables,  Tasting,  Mixing


While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.



Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.



The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.

Claire Wright

Editor: After leaving Exeter University with a degree in English Literature, Claire worked in various fields ranging from youth work and charities to publishing, before starting up a food-focused website when her first child was born. After being asked to project manage the publication of Veg Power's Crowdfunder book, Claire came on board as a fully-fledged team member in 2018 to take on the role of Communications Manager, then Editor, looking after Veg Power's website, content, recipes and social media platforms.

Similar recipes

There are currently no similar recipes, keep an eye out for future recipes here