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January 10, 2019

While a crisp, sunny morning is not without its attractions, the biting cold can be a drag. Soup is the solution.

Warming and comforting, it is kindness in a bowl.

Obviously, the best soup is made by your gran. And failing that, your mum's usually runs a close second.

If neither of those options are available, then restaurant soup is not to be sniffed at. It is no surprise that soup of the day features prominently in many of the restaurant menus currently on offer as part of 5pm's January Dining sale.

Or you could seize the bull by the horns and make your own. One of the many beautiful characteristics of soup is that it is dead simple to make.

And if you make a big batch, it is quick and easy to reheat.

Scotty Brand - who just happen to sell both ready-made soup and packs of soup mix containing pre-chopped veg and pulses - have commissioned a survey of Scotland's soup-based habits.

It turns out that we are creatures of habit.

Familiar favourites

Results from a pan-Scotland survey revealed that the top winter warmer was lentil soup (30%), closely followed by Scotch broth at 18% with cream of tomato taking 15% of the vote. Some 75% of the nation choose soup as their meal of choice at least once a week.

The soup survey also revealed that Scots are very particular about how they eat their soup with 81% always choosing a bowl as opposed to a mug or on-the-go flask.

And when it comes to making soup, 60% of the nation opted for convenience and a little helping hand in the kitchen choosing ready-made soups or soup mixes.

The survey also revealed a geographical spread in soup taste buds:

75% of Aberdeen residents opted for lentil or Scotch broth soup with a staggering 93% eating soup at least once a week. In Motherwell, 50% of locals chose lentil soup as their winter warmer with 99% opting for the ready-made version.

In Edinburgh, lentil still came out on top at 33% but cream of tomato (18%) and Scotch broth (13%) also vied for attention. 67% of people surveyed consumed soup at least once a week.

73% of Glasgow residents reckoned they ate soup at least once a week (57% of which opted for ready-made soups) whilst in the Highlands and Islands the percentage of soup-lovers shot up with 89% opting for soup at least once a week.

Soul bowls

Michael Jarvis, head of marketing for Scotty Brand said: 'In the winter months it’s all about food for the soul that has many of us gravitating towards wholesome, more traditional dishes such as a comforting, hearty soup.

'We offer a range of tasty fresh soups - including lentil, scotch Broth, cream of tomato, vegetable, pea and ham, chicken and rice plus carrot and coriander. We were intrigued to find out what people really wanted in their bowl. Results have shown there’s a return to classic flavours for nostalgic soul bowls.'

Right, we're off to sup up.

Scotty Brand Scotch Broth: keep the cold at bay.

Scotty Brand Scotch Broth: keep the cold at bay.