Healthy Soups for the New Year:
It’s the 1st of January; I had a lovely Christmas with family and friends and brought in the New Year with some style (luckily not captured on camera!). Like many of us I suspect, I’m now dreading stepping on the scales and facing the damage!
One way that I always manage to shift some weight is to get my act together and make soup; I make enough to be able to freeze it in individual portions (the pour and store freezable bags are brilliant for this), so that I don’t get bored of having the same soup each day. I can then take it into work and heat it there for a delicious and guilt free lunch.
So when I was challenged to create a healthy soup I was keen to get cracking. I was given a soup maker, and decided to make a couple of my favourites in it. I have to say that I was sceptical about the soup maker, thinking it would turn out to be yet another gadget to be used once and then stuck in a cupboard to gather dust; but I absolutely love it – it’s make the whole thing incredibly easy with less mess and washing up!
The first soup I made was a healthy minestrone. I think it came out pretty well for my first attempt using the ‘chunky’ option on the soup maker.
Half a packet of lardons
1 400g tin Borlotti Beans (I pulled 2 from the cupboard originally, but only used 1 in the end)
2 sticks celery
2 tablespoons tomato puree
3 large fresh tomatoes
1000ml vegetable or chicken stock
Couple of handfuls small pasta shapes
Seasoning to taste
I fried the lardons first, then added the vegetables, puree and stock, and set the soup maker to ‘chunky’. After 20 minutes I wizzed it a bit until the pieces were smaller but still visible. I then added the beans and pasta and cooked for a further 8 minutes. Seasoned, and ate!
This is the sort of soup that keeps you full and able to resist the desire to snack.
The second one I made was simpler still; a pepper and tomato soup. If you belong to a certain slimming group this would have a zero points value.
(I used more than is shown in the photo)
3 red/yellow or orange peppers
1 red chilli (optional)
1000ml vegetable stock
Seasoning to taste
I put all the ingredients into the soup maker and set it to the ‘smooth’ setting. As I like a bit of heat, I added a couple of dashes of chipotle Tabasco sauce at the end to give it a smoky kick.
A less healthy version of this would be to add a little crumbled feta or goats cheese to the piping hot soup.
For a fuller flavour you can roast the tomatoes and peppers first.
Here’s to a healthy and slimmer 2015!