Healthy, hearty soups: warming recipes for autumn and winter

When you next head off on a chilly ramble, why not take a flask of hot soup? Here is our pick of the best wholesome, delicious soup recipes – plus easy bread recipes to make too

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Hearty, wholesome soups make a perfect meal to fuel a walk – or simply provide a satisfying and healthy meal. All of these recipes can be made ahead of time – and even frozen into portions, if you like. Then you can either reheat your soup at home and pack into a food flask, or take it on your walk chilled and ready for reheating. I love to take my trusty Trangia stove when walking. It heats up soups quickly and reliably, and packs away into a neat bag.

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Soup recipes

Vegetable and bacon chowder 

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Make a vegetarian version by omitting the bacon/Credit: Jason Ingram

This soup is packed full of healthy, filling vegetables that will fuel your winter walk – but it also tastes rather luxurious thanks to a dash of cream added at the end. Keep it vegetarian by omitting the bacon lardons and perhaps adding a teaspoon of smoked paprika in their place.

Greek butterbean and tomato soup

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Based on Greek bean dish, this Greek butterbean and tomato soup hits the spot/Credit: Jason Ingram

Based on a Greek bean dish called Gigantes Plaki, this soup is really hearty and filling but still manages to taste a bit summery – always welcome on a wintery walk. The feta and olive ‘sprinkles’ are optional but they are really easy to knock up and lift the whole thing to another level.

Bessara 

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Rustle up this simple, Middle Eastern inspired soup/Credit: Jason Ingram

Bessara is a very simple Middle Eastern soup, fragrant with cumin and garlic and just a touch of chilli. It is traditionally made from dried fava beans which are becoming easier to find – try online or large supermarkets – but you could use spilt peas instead. Both are easy to cook as they need no soaking and they are full of the sustaining goodness you would expect from pulses.

Parsnip and apple soup with cream and crispy sage

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Though parsnips are best harvested around November, they can be pulled as early as September ©Getty

This easy, autumnal soup offers a hearty lunch for a blustery day. Parsnips make lovely smooth creamy textured soups and their sweet flavour is classic when teamed with the sharp Bramley apples.The dish freezes brilliantly, so is great for batch cooking and freezing in individual portions, minus the garnish.

French onion soup

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Use up an onion glut with this tasty, heaty soup/Credit: Getty

Onions are high in fibre and packed with minerals and vitamins. They are thought to reduce anxiety and depression, and can help you sleep – make the most of this abundant vegetable with this delicious autumn soup recipe

Bread recipes

Soda bread roll

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Serve your soup with this wholesome homemade bread/Credit: Jason Ingram

Soda bread is such an easy and satisfying bread to make – no vigorous kneading, no leaving it to prove and just a few minutes to mix it together. I’ve used khorasan flour in this recipe, an old variety of wheat that is becoming more readily available in the supermarkets. I like it because it’s full of fibre and protein but has a much lighter feel than wholemeal flour. Substitute with regular plain wholemeal flour if you prefer.

Sourdough bread 

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Learn to make your own sourdough bread with this easy recipe/Image credit: Vanessa Kimbell and Abby Cohen
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Writer and baker Vanessa Kimbell shares her delicious sourdough loaf recipe with us. Get your Great British Bake Off on and try baking your own with this easy step-by-step bread making guide.