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Carrot and Cumin Soup – Frugal 5-2 Diet Fast Day Recipe:
At this time of year when the weather is cold and winter seems to have gone on for ever, warming soups are a real mainstay for me, especially when I am on a 5-2 diet fast day. Luckily, seasonal root vegetables like carrots and celeriac make great soups which can also be ‘made-to-measure’ by adding more or less of things that quickly add calories.
This particular soup is a really good example. You can make a luxurious and rich carrot soup with a whole can of coconut milk. But, since a can of full fat coconut milk has 812 calories, and even the half fat sort has 270 calories, it isn’t really a great way to eat on a 5-2 diet day. And, one thing I’ve discovered is that if you add the coconut milk at the very end, you get an intense flavour and a creamier finish with just a tiny amount.
- 250 g Carrots Peeled, top and tailed and cut into small chunks
- 2 Medium Onions Peeled and chopped
- 500 ml Water
- 40 ml Coconut milk
- 4 shots 1-cal oil
- 1-2 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- Fresh parsley or coriander to serve
- 1 teaspoon Marigold Bouillon or a stock cube of your choice
- Spray a heavy saucepan with 1cal oil and add the onion and cumin seeds. Cook over a gentle heat for about 8 minutes till the onion has softened
- Add the carrot and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring constantly
- Top up with the water and bring to a gentle boil, adding in the stock or bouillon.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes until soft, then blitz with a hand blender or in a liquidiser
- Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as required
- Serve with a small amount of coconut milk stirred through and garnished with parsley or coriander
So this recipe for 5-2 diet carrrot and cumin soup just uses a teaspoon or two of coconut milk stirred through each bowlful of soup. On that basis, the calorie count for this soup is 71 (with two teaspoons of coconut milk per bowl).
Of course if you are not on the 5-2 diet and you want a richer and more luxurious soup, you can just reduce the amount of water and add more coconut milk, up to the full can!
I’m still enjoying following the 5-2 diet and unbelievably I am still losing weight (despite all the meals out). I’m increasingly aware not only of calories but also of portion size. I’ve worked out that for me, I need ingredients that are low calorie with high bulk, like celery or carrots. And portion size is key to success. If you are planning on including pasta, rice, potatoes or even things like oil or coconut milk, it’s very important to check the weight of your ingredients. 100g of potato is only one small potato! And when you are using something like rice or pasta you also need to check whether the calorie count you are using is for the dried or cooked weight!
I’ve used Cumin as the seasoning in this soup. You can easily vary it by using ground coriander, ginger or even curry powder depending on your personal taste. And, if you are really trying to keep the calories down, leave out the coconut milk for a soup that is just 50 calories for a bowl! Perfect 5-2 diet fast day food!