Toppings and Dippers for Lunchtime Soups! Make lunch better by adding toppings and dippers to your bowl of soup, and for January, why not make use of those Christmas Leftovers you may have still kicking around, and add them to that bowl of warm and comforting soup to really make lunch better and a little bit special.
Let’s Do Lunch Better…..
I cannot believe how time has flown since the Christmas and New Year! We are already into the second week of January, and even though it was well over 2 weeks ago now, I don’t know about you, but I still have lots of festive ingredients kicking around in the fridge, as well as in my store cupboard. It’s when I was perusing the odds and ends that were left over, such as opened packets of crackers and half empty jars of sauces, as well as some cooking ingredients in the fridge, I had a brainwave……why not utilise them to perk up my (almost) daily bowl of soup that I have for lunch, and make lunch better? I do make my own soup, quite often, as regular readers know, but since I have just moved, not just house but country, a few weeks ago, only five weeks to be exact, I always have a stash of high quality ready-made soups at hand in the fridge (and freezer) to help on really busy days, and my favourites ready-made soups are by New Coven Garden Soup Co………..
……..soup lends itself to a myriad ways of serving it, and with lots of festive leftovers and a selection of delicious ready-made soups in the fridge for busy days, I set about adding extra texture, flavour and taste to my lunchtime soup, and all in UNDER five minutes too! We all love these three flavours of soup at Chez Lavender and Lovage, Colcannon & Ham, Maris Piper Potato & Leek and, Lentil & Smoked Bacon, and with my assembled leftovers, I was able to create a fabulous “smorgasbord” of toppings and dippers for our lunch! Here’s what I found lurking, and malingering in the back of the fridge and cupboards, and that I used to add some extra crunch and flavour to our bowls of lunchtime soup:
Crackers and Biscuits for Cheese
Cranberry Sauce and Dried Cranberries
Streaky Bacon, that I’d used for Pigs in Blankets
And here’s my ideas for toppings and dippers for these two soups, which we all enjoyed the other day, Maris Piper Potato & Leek , and Lentil & Smoked Bacon…….
Toppings and Dippers:
Maris Piper Potato & Leek
A well-loved classic soup recipe. The finest, fluffy potatoes combined with softened leeks and onion, a knob of butter and milk then seasoned with white pepper, finished with a dash of chives and a splash of cream to create a simple but great tasting soup.
For the toppings for this creamy leek and potato soup, I added 25g of crumbled Stilton cheese to each bowl with a handful of chopped walnut halves, for a lovely cheesy taste and crunch. In place of bread, I dipped some crackers and cheese biscuits into the soup, a sort of savoury version of dunking a rich tea biscuit in a cuppa! You can also, as I discovered after watching my husband, crumble them into soup too, by way of an easy “crouton”, and as we still had a good variety of crackers and cheese biscuits left, it was an enjoyable way to dip and dunk! You can of course use toasted fingers of bread for dippers, or croutons for a topping, but this way I was able to use up some of my festive fare to make lunch better.
Lentil & Smoked Bacon
This Lentil & Smoked Bacon soup is packed full of plump red and green lentils which absorb flavours of smoked bacon, vegetables, oak-smoked garlic, thyme and ground bay leaf resulting in a chunky great tasting soup.
This is my favourite soup in the current range, I love lentils and bacon, especially smoked bacon, so it’s an easy choice for me to reach for this soup when I want a hearty and comforting lunch. And, I was quite adventurous with my toppings and dippers too…….for the toppings, whilst the soup was heating up, I grilled some smoke streaky bacon rashers that I had left over in the fridge; they took about 2 minutes in each side to crisp up under a hot grill and once they were cooked, I crumbled a rasher into the soup, along with some dried cranberries and a dollop of cranberry sauce! The saltiness of the bacon and the sweetness of the cranberries and the sauce was a revelation, and it was the perfect match for this chunky and hearty soup. I then decided, as I am a bacon lover, that some of the grilled rashers would make the ideal dippers for the soup too…..and it also worked perfectly! Other members of the family used crackers to dunk and dip, and we all LOVED the addition of the cranberry sauce, who knew it would work so well?!
So, I hope I have inspired you all to have a delve into your fridges and cupboards to see what is there left over from Christmas, that needs using up…..all of these ideas to make lunch better are easy and affordable, as you already have the ingredients the hand! There is NOTHING wrong with a simple bowl of soup in its own, but with the chill winds and cold winter temperatures outside, why but perk up that bowl of soup, whilst being thrifty at the same time! And, it only takes a few minutes to assemble, chop and grill the bits and bobs to accompany the soup, ALL whilst it is cooking……SIMPLES! Have a great day, and do keep popping back throughout January and February to see what I am up top next in my Toppings and Dippers series with New Covent Garden Soup Co. Karen
*Collaborative Paid Post*