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Simple soup ideas: toppings & fillers

Simple soup ideas: toppings & fillers

There is nothing better than a hearty bowl of soup to warm the cockles. Although I admit to enjoying the occasional simple can of tomato soup, there really is nothing better than a bowl of something homemade.

Just about every food culture has its own variety of soup, which makes it probably the most versatile food on the planet. You can literally go anywhere in the world with it, from indulgent French onion (or English onion, in Jamie’s case) to a fragrant Indian-inspired dahl.

At the end of the week, when my veggies are on the turn or when I need to get inventive with my leftovers, I make soup – enough for a meal with leftovers to freeze. It’s so satisfying taking a pot of something hearty from the freezer on a hectic weeknight and warming it through in minutes. In these situations when you’re serving soup as a main, however, there are a few easy tricks for making it a seriously satisfying meal.

Bulking out soups

Bulking out soup with basic ingredients from your dry store, like rice, pasta, noodles and grains, is a trick every chef should have up their sleave. Bean, lentils and pulses are also a great bet, as they’re nutritious and filling sources of protein. If you’re making a broth, pulses are delicious left whole, but you can also blend them through soups to thicken. Potatoes can be used in the same way- either chopped into cubes or blended, give sweet potatoes a go as they’re better for you and really delicious in soups.

As long as your choice of filler is wholegrain, it’ll be a healthy, as well as delicious, addition to a good soup. Just add them straight into your soup to cook through. They will suck up moisture so don’t add too much – about 20g per person should be perfect.

In Italy stale bread is used to thicken hearty broths and soups- papa al pomodoro – a soup made simply from garlic, canned plum tomatoes, basil, stock, stale bread and olive oil – is one of my favourites. It’s so easy and almost literally tastes of sunshine.

Terrific soup toppings

You can also top with your soup with a host of delicious tastes and textures. A little grated cheese is one of the best and easiest. You could also try making a pangrattato (blitzed breadcrumbs, garlic and herbs of your choice). This will give the most fantastic crispy topping packed full of flavour. Crunchy seeds or roasted chickpeas are also tasty and healthy options.

My top tip for making the most out of your soup is to make sure the filler or topper reflects the initial ingredients of the dish. For example, a Morroccan-inspired spiced tomato soup will be delicious with harissa-roasted chickpea on top, but not so great with noodles running through it.

Read Jennifer’s guide to great soup fillers for inspiration, and get creative – we’d love to hear your winning soup combinations!

18 Best Broth-Based Soups for Weight Loss

Lucas Weaver wasn't exactly the kind of guy you'd want to trade lives with. Working as a dishwasher was hard enough, but standing in front of a sink supporting 289 pounds on his 6-foot-2 frame made Weaver's daily life all the more miserable. After an accident resulted in needing knee replacement surgery, Weaver felt like he'd hit rock bottom. "I was a huge guy," he told CNN.

But "was" is the operative word. Washing dishes at a Chula Vista, California restaurant called Souplantation, Weaver decided to try incorporating the soups on the menu into his daily meals and supplementing them with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In just a year, Weaver dropped 100 pounds and has maintained his newly found 189-pound body by staying committed to his diet and by biking, hiking, and running on the beach. "I feel like a 100% new person," he claimed.

We can't promise your entire life will turn around just by eating more soup. But the right kind of soup—broth-based concoctions loaded with vegetables and fiber—can play a big role in a healthy diet, especially as the cold weather starts to kick in. The editors of Eat This, Not That! have collected some of their favorite soup recipes here, so stop stewing about your weight—and get ready for a souped-up new body! And then get even more brilliant tips and tricks for melting the pounds with ways to lose 5 inches of belly fat!

64 quick and easy canapes recipes and ideas

Jessica Dady March 8, 2021 12:15 pm

Quick and easy canapes to pass round at a party, including savoury and sweet nibbles from mini Parma ham tarts and pea and prawn crostini to caramel Nutella lollies.

We’ve got lots of quick and easy canapés recipes for you to make at home including salmon blinis, apple toasts and many more simple ideas. Quick and easy canapés to pass round at a party, including savoury and sweet nibbles that everyone will love. These simple recipes look so impressive that your guests will never know how easy they are to make.

Throwing a party? Whether it’s for a special occasion, the perfect Christmas party or just a weekend away with the family, these quick and easy canapés are very easy to assemble. Think savoury bites like Parma ham tarts to pea and prawn crostini to sweet bites, like caramel Nutella lollies. Your friends and family are sure to be impressed.

While there’s no specific rule about how big or small your canapés should be, a general rule of thumb should be that they are big enough to be a satisfying bite, and small enough that they don’t cause any difficulty when trying to eat.

We’ve listed our favourite savoury canapé recipes, as well as some suggestions for those with a sweet tooth – including mini doughnuts to cheesecake pots and whoopie pies.

40 tasty sandwich fillings and recipes

Jessica Dady April 14, 2021 8:39 pm

If you’re in need of some inspiration when it comes to what to put in your sandwich, we’ve got plenty of tasty, yet simple sandwich fillings to choose from.

We’ve rounded up our best sandwich fillings. Our fillings include cranberry and cheese toasties, salmon and scrambled egg bagels and BBQ chicken baguettes.

Our selection of delicious fillers varies from baguette fillings, open sandwiches, and wraps too. Most of these sandwiches would suit being served as part of a picnic spread, as a party food idea, or simply as a healthy lunch.

Making sandwich fillings from scratch is not only a healthier option than shop-bought sandwiches but can often save you money too.

Our quick and easy recipe for hummus and tomato wraps, which you can see being made in the video above, is one of our favourite sandwich fillings. It takes just 10 minutes of your time to make this mouth-watering combo of creamy hummus and sweet tomatoes.

For more of our hearty and delicious sandwich filling ideas see below…

60 Easy Crock-Pot Soup Recipes That Will Warm You Right Up on Winter Nights

Make yourself cozy and let your slow cooker do the work.

Winter in our house means one thing: it's soup season, y'all! So it's time to break out the slow cooker recipes. One of the simplest joys that the cold weather brings is coming home to a hearty Crock Pot soup that's been cooking all day and is waiting to be devoured by you and your family (preferably alongside a loaf of fresh bread).

While slow cookers can be used for making everything from pot roast to Thanksgiving dinner, we tend to lean on them most heavily for making incredibly flavorful soups. That's because the low, slow style of cooking lets the flavors simmer together for hours, creating a much richer and more flavorful meal for you at the end of the day. Maybe you're hankering for a fall soup that encompasses the all the earthy flavors of the season, like a pumpkin soup, butternut squash soup, or sweet potato soup. On the other hand, you might be on the hunt for a winter soup to get you through a freezing day, like a hearty soup with sausage or beef and lots of cheese. Whatever your desire, these Crock-Pot soups have you covered. The best part about these recipes is that they ensure a quick, easy dinner, since there's no cooking required once you put it all in the pot. All you'll have to do when you get home is slip on your coziest pajamas, fill up your bowl, and settle by the fire with one of these delicious recipes.

To make enchiladas, we wrap tortillas around our favorite tortilla filling recipe ( it can be anything from quinoa to chicken), pile the wraps in a casserole pan, and top with mole sauce or green sauce. After that, we place them in the oven to melt on some cheese. A warm pan of enchiladas is always a welcome dinner.

Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican breakfast dish based on crisp tortillas covered in sauce. Sometimes the tortillas stay crispy, but sometimes they sit in the sauce long enough to get a little soft. It’s the perfect balance of crunchy, creamy, tangy, and hearty.

50 Panini

Build your perfect sandwich with these hot-off-the-press ideas from Food Network Magazine.

Related To:


©Marcus Nilsson -

Marcus Nilsson -

How to Cook Panini
In a panini press: Preheat the press. Add your sandwich and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions until golden and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.

On the stove: Preheat a skillet with butter or oil to medium low. Add your sandwich, then press a heavy pan on top to weigh it down. Cook until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

1. Caprese Brush the inside of a split sub roll or sliced Italian bread with olive oil. Fill with 2 slices each fresh mozzarella and tomato, and a few basil leaves season with salt and pepper. Press and cook until golden.

2. Smoked Caprese Make Caprese Panini (No. 1) with smoked mozzarella.

3. Eggplant-Mozzarella Make Caprese Panini (No. 1) with smoked or fresh mozzarella replace the tomato with grilled eggplant slices.

4. Anchovy Caprese Make Caprese Panini (No. 1), adding 1/2 chopped anchovy fillet and a sprinkle of capers to the sandwich.

5. Prosciutto Caprese Make Caprese Panini (No. 1), adding 3 thin slices prosciutto and some shaved Parmesan to the sandwich.

6. Pesto Turkey Make Caprese Panini (No. 1) brush the inside of the roll with pesto instead of olive oil and add 3 or 4 slices roasted turkey breast to the sandwich.


©Marcus Nilsson -

Marcus Nilsson -

7. Chicken Saltimbocca Brush the inside of a split ciabatta roll with pesto. Fill with sliced grilled chicken, fontina and prosciutto, and chopped fresh sage. Press and cook until golden.

8. Apple-Manchego Brush the inside of a split soft roll with olive oil and quince paste or fig jam. Fill with sliced apple and manchego cheese season with salt. Press and cook until golden.


©Marcus Nilsson -

Marcus Nilsson -

9. Chorizo-Pear Make Apple-Manchego Panini (No. 8) with sliced pear instead of apple add sliced Spanish chorizo to the sandwich.


©Marcus Nilsson -

Marcus Nilsson -

10. Roast Beef–Onion Spread Dijon mustard on 2 thick slices of sourdough bread. Layer shredded Gruyere, sliced roast beef, caramelized onions and more Gruyere between the bread. Press and cook until golden.

11. Three-Meat Brush the inside of a split Italian roll with olive oil. Fill with sliced soppressata, capicola, salami, fontina and roasted red peppers. Press and cook until golden.

12. Bacon-Date Brush the inside of a split French roll with olive oil and spread with soft goat cheese. Fill with chopped dates and crisp bacon. Press and cook until golden.

13. Grilled Veggie Brush the inside of a split ciabatta roll with pesto. Fill with slices of grilled eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and roasted red peppers. Add 2 slices fresh mozzarella and a few basil leaves. Press and cook until golden.

14. Serrano-Fig Brush the inside of a split piece of baguette with olive oil and fig jam. Fill with thinly sliced serrano ham and manchego cheese. Press and cook until golden.

15. Three-Cheese Brush the inside of a split ciabatta roll with pesto. Fill with a few slices each of mozzarella, fontina and asiago. Add a few basil leaves. Press and cook until golden.

16. Sun-Dried Tomato Make Three-Cheese Panini (No. 15) with sun-dried tomato pesto. Add baby spinach instead of basil.

17. Mortadella-Ricotta Mix 2 tablespoons ricotta with some salt, pepper, and chopped thyme and parsley. Brush the insides of 2 slices crusty Italian bread with olive oil. Fill with the ricotta and sliced mortadella press and cook until golden.

18. Mortadella-Artichoke Make Mortadella-Ricotta Panini (No. 17), adding grilled marinated artichoke hearts.

19. Mushroom-Taleggio Brush the inside of a split crusty Italian roll with olive oil season with salt and pepper. Fill with sauteed mixed mushrooms and sliced onion. Add sliced taleggio cheese. Press and cook until golden.


©Marcus Nilsson -

Marcus Nilsson -

20. BBQ Fill a soft sesame roll with pulled pork, shredded cheddar and charred red onion. Press and cook until golden.

21. Sausage-Feta Cut a pocketless pita round in half and brush both halves with olive tapenade. Sandwich with sliced, cooked spicy sausage, roasted red peppers and crumbled feta. Press and cook until golden.

22. Spicy Steak Lightly spread mayonnaise on the inside of a split onion roll. Fill with thinly sliced cooked steak and season with salt top with shredded pepper jack cheese. Press and cook until golden.

23. Apple-Brie Spread Dijon mustard on the inside of a split piece of baguette. Fill with sliced Brie and thinly sliced green apple. Press and cook until golden.

24. Reuben Spread Thousand Island dressing on 2 slices rye bread. Layer sliced Swiss cheese, corned beef, sauerkraut and more cheese between the bread. Press and cook until golden.

25. Tofu Reuben Thinly slice baked tofu and sear in a skillet with olive oil until golden. Make Reuben Panini (No. 24) using tofu instead of corned beef.

26. Italian Melt Drizzle the inside top half of a split sub roll with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Layer sliced provolone, salami, ham, turkey, pepperoncini and more provolone on the roll. Press and cook until golden.

27. Fajita Melt Brush the inside of a split sub roll with olive oil. Fill with sliced grilled chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, and shredded pepper jack cheese. Press and cook until golden.

28. Mexican Melt Make Fajita Melt (No. 27) with sliced roast beef instead of chicken. Press and cook until golden.

29. Steak-Gruyère Mix equal parts mayonnaise and horseradish. Stir in some chopped parsley. Spread on the inside of a split piece of baguette. Fill with thinly sliced cooked steak and sliced Gruyère. Press and cook until golden.

30. Jerk Swordfish Sprinkle 4 ounces swordfish with jerk seasoning grill. Spread mango chutney and mayonnaise on the inside of a split soft egg roll. Fill with the fish, sliced jalapenos and shredded pepper jack cheese. Press and cook until golden.

17 jacket potato fillings and toppings

Jessica Dady April 6, 2021 8:13 pm

From minced beef and Cheddar to bacon and spicy baked beans, our collection of easy jacket potato fillings and toppings are sure to inspire.

Wondering what to eat with your jacket potato? We’ve rounded up the best baked potato fillings and toppings including chicken, tuna, bacon, and vegetarian options too.

Jacket potatoes are pretty healthy, packed full of fibre and vitamin B6, which both help to aid digestion. They’re also a filling and versatile option when it comes to dieting particularly the 5:2 diet or the less commonly known potato diet.

Once you know how to cook a baked potato, it’s all about choosing the right fillings. One of our favourite jacket potato fillings is our pizza jacket potatoes, which you can see being made in the video above.

This recipe transforms simple baked potatoes into a mouthwatering meal topped with peppers, black olives, mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes. The pepperoni and pesto infuse the potatoes with plenty of flavour too.

Meal Prep with Leftover Soup

This soup is incredible for placing in single serve containers and storing in the fridge. Meal prep for quick on the go lunches for when you need something quick. I think the flavor just blends even more as it sits in the fridge.

In terms of freezing, you will find you can freeze this soup. The vegetables will change a bit in texture as they thaw, but the flavor of this soup is still amazing and tasty. Pasta, as well, can become a bit mushy, so if you know you are going to freeze, cook to al dente.

Though the recipe for these is not listed below, here are some more pizza topping ideas that we love. I will be working my way through them and adding photos and recipes over the coming months!

Hot n’ spicy (spicy salami, capsicum, sliced jalapenos, onions, hot sauce)

Aussie pizza (bacon, red onion, a whole egg cracked on)

Caramelised onion, feta, beef mince

Spring pizza (zucchini, artichoke, asparagus, spinach, and pesto dolloped on just before serving)

Seafood pizza (precooked squid, mussels, clams, prawns etc)

BBQ chicken (BBQ sauce, shredded chicken, red onion, smoked paprika)

50 Stuffed Potatoes

How to make stuffed potatoes: Bake 4 russet or sweet potatoes, 10 fingerlings or 12 new potatoes at 400 degrees F until tender — 1 hour for russets, 50 minutes for sweet potatoes and 30 minutes for fingerlings and new potatoes. Split open, fluff contents with a fork and stuff as desired.

1. Caramelized Onion Cook 1 large thinly sliced onion in a skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt until caramelized, 30 minutes. Spoon onto baked potatoes. Top with sour cream.

2. Mushroom-Onion Prepare Caramelized Onion Stuffed Potatoes (No. 1). Saute 2 cups sliced mushrooms in olive oil until soft add chopped dill and salt. Spoon onto the potatoes top with the onion, sour cream and more dill.

3. French Onion Cook 1 onion as for Caramelized Onion Stuffed Potatoes (No. 1). Scoop the flesh out of 4 baked potatoes and mash with the onion, 1/4 cup beef broth and 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère. Stuff into the skins, top with more cheese and broil to melt.

4. Cheddar-Chive Scoop the flesh out of 4 baked potatoes mash with 1/4 cup each butter, sour cream and chopped chives, and 2/3 cup grated cheddar. Stuff into the skins top with more cheese and broil to melt.