Low Calorie Carrot and Celeriac Soup with Coriander:
I’ve been something of an irregular follower of the 5:2 diet over the last year. The result is that my weight has gradually crept up and I now feel a need to lose a few kilos again. Around 8kg would be perfect. For 2017, I’ve decided on a revised approach to the 5:2 diet – which is, of course, meant to be for more than just weight loss. My aim this year is to cook and share some healthy recipes both for fast days and feast days. Recipes that are easy to make and that are designed to make a meal for one or two. There are plenty of blogs which cover family food. It’s not my own personal experience – instead I’m sharing the way I live with you, gentle reader. That said, most of the recipes I will be sharing can easily be scaled up to serve four or more. But, soup is the exception – I make a batch of soup and either freeze some of it or just eat it through the week.
Despite living alone for most of my life, I’ve always enjoyed cooking from scratch. Perhaps it’s my Scottish blood, a feverish reaction to anything that might cost more. Perhaps it’s a preference for knowing exactly what I’m eating. More probably it is that I like the creativity of the kitchen. When I started doing the 5:2 diet, I cooked pretty well everything I ate on a fast day from scratch. And, I found that process cathartic.
Over the last couple of years or so, I’ve learnt a lot about how to cook food with a lower calorie content. And, more significantly, how to cook food that keeps me feeling full on a fast day without pushing over the 500 calorie limit. I’ve made a lot of home-made soups. I’ve cooked a lot with white fish and I’ve developed recipes where the ratio of meat or fish to vegetables is significantly lower than my own personal norm. It has changed my own cooking habits for the better I think.
This year, my aim is to work on that way of eating, for a lifestyle where I lose weight and achieve my target again but where on non-fast days I keep eating healthy food and, once I hit my target where I don’t allow my weight to creep up again.
Soup is probably the mainstay of a 5:2 fast day for me. I generally don’t have any more for breakfast than a cup of tea. But, by lunchtime, I am getting hungry and I need to eat something if I am going to work in the afternoon. Making a batch of healthy soup at the start of the week means I have an easy option for lunch or for supper if I don’t want to cook. The main thing about a soup which will be part of a fast day diet is that I try to limit the amount of oil or fat used and avoid more than a tiny amount of potato. I use low-fat creme fraiche if I want to add a creamy texture. And, I try to use include ingredients like celeriac, which still adds a creamy texture but is a lot lower in calories than potato. I’m not vegetarian, so I will often use a skimmed chicken bone stock as the base for my soups, which does add calories but which also adds protein, minerals and vitamins.
This soup, carrot and celeriac with coriander, is fresh and creamy, with the coriander adding a lovely tang. You can make it with just a stock cube if you are vegetarian or if you want to keep the calorie count down as possible. Or, use a homemade chicken stock with the fat skimmed off the top and allow for around 50 calories extra per bowlful.
I like my soups to have some texture, but if you prefer a silky smooth soup, just blitz for a little longer.
You can find all my 5:2 diet recipes here
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