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Winter is the perfect season for soups. These hearty dishes can be a great starter or a meal in themselves. You can make a soup out of practically any ingredients. In fact, they can be great ways to make use of leftovers. Below are just a few examples of delicious soups that you may want to try this winter. 

Pumpkin soup

Planning to do some pumpkin carving this halloween? Instead of throwing away all that leftover pumpkin, why not use it in a tasty soup? 

There are lots of ways to make pumpkin soup. For a full-flavored soup, consider adding onion, garlic, peppers and milk/cream. You can also add chicken stock for a meaty element. Squash can also be used alongside pumpkin to help thicken it out (if you want a thicker soup).

Seafood bisque

This seafood soup is always a hit. It can be a great way to use up any leftover fish or shrimp – or you can go all out and buy some lobster and king prawns for the occasion. 

Some of the ingredients you’ll need include white wine, lemon juice, fish stock, tomato paste, onion, celery and paprika – and of course whatever fish or shellfish you desire to cook with. You can use rice or fish paste to thicken out the soup. 

Serve this up with some bread. Crusty bread tends to be a great option for contrasting the creaminess of the soup.

Coconut noodle soup

Khao soi coconut noodle soup originates from the cooler northern quarters of Thailand. It’s a great winter soup for when you’re fancying something spicy and oriental. 

This soup can be made using chicken, shrimp or tofu. Key ingredients to shop for include shallots, lemongrass, garlic, turmeric, cardamom, coconut milk and kefir lime leaves. You’ll also need some noodles and pickled mustard greens to garnish the soup. You can make your own egg noodles if you desire. Alternatively, buy store-bought noodles to save time (you can also use red curry paste to cut down on ingredients). 

Italian Meatball soup

Meatballs can work surprisingly well in a soup. For a Mediterranean burst of flavors, why not try Italian meatball soup?

You can buy pre-made meatballs or you can make your own. For the latter option, choose a ground meat of your choice (it could be beef, chicken or turkey) and roll this into a ball, while infusing some parmesan, parsley and dried oregano. Next, you’ll need to consider the soup itself. A tomato broth can be a great option – add some peeled tomatoes, sauteed onions, carrots, celery and garlic for a tasty mixture. Bake or fry the meatballs a little first and then let them boil in the tomato broth. 

Use an Italian bread for dipping in this soup. You can also use garlic bread. 

French onion soup

French onion soup is a classic, served in classy restaurants around the world for years. It’s also a surprisingly easy soup to.prepare

French onion soup is typically made from caramelized onions and beef stock (you can use vegetable stock if you want to keep it vegetarian). It’s worth also adding in some garlic and white wine for some extra french flavoring. Drizzle this with cheese and croutons and then, voila, you have a tasty french onion soup! 

You can serve this up with a french baguette or some garlic bread. Bon appetit!

Taco soup

Taco soup involves incorporating all of the ingredients you’d put into a taco into a soup. This can make for a wholesome spicy Mexican soup. 

Taco soup typically consists of ground beef, tomatoes, chillies, onion, corn and beans (plus any packet of taco seasoning you may have). Obviously, if you’re vegetarian, you can swap out the beef for a plant-based protein option such as black beans or sweet potato. Taco soup could be a great way to use up leftovers from a Mexican night. 

Consider serving this up with some corn chips – these can be great for dipping into the soup. 

Christmas soup

Many of us have food leftover from xmas day. A great way to use up some of these leftovers is to blend them into a festive soup.

You can create a stock using gravy and leftover meat and stuffing. After this, blend up any leftover vegetables you have (such as roast potatoes, roast parsnips, brussel sprouts and carrots) and add them to the mix. You can use cream to thicken it up if you wish.