5 steps to great soup! Plus, recipes of the week

A few years ago I supported a healthy programme in disadvantaged areas delivering cooking classes to adults, most of whom were referred by their doctor because of heart or blood pressure problems or were young mums learning to cook from scratch. I could understand how important these classes were as I myself didn’t really have the skills or knowledge to avoid tins and packets until my twenties! There was always surprise from attendees of the classes at how easy it was to make soup. It was always my favourite session as everyone enjoys a homemade warming bowl of soup.

So many people consume processed versions in tins and packets packed with salt, sugar and additives not supportive to our health, therefore, an easy healthy change can be made. Plus, soup is extremely healthy, filling, inexpensive to make and can be adapted to use leftovers, a variety of spices etc.

I am a huge fan of coming up with your own recipes and making any recipe completely adaptable and so you just do not need to look at a formal method anymore. Here is a 5 step soup formula that you can use to come up with your own delicious concoctions, and you will also find the recipe I made up following this formula this week below.

Tip: Have everything ready to add before you turn on the heat

  1. Firstly, chop onions and garlic – fry them off a little in a pan on a low heat (add a little water if they start to stick)
  2. Add chosen spices or herbs e.g. cumin, chilli, chipotle, coriander – mix well *optional add a tbsp of cider vinegar – adds a healthy alkaline touch and a good flavour balance
  3. Add the protein source e.g. beans, lentils
  4. Add chosen vegetables – roast veggies first for extra flavour (peppers are lovely roasted)
  5. Lastly add stock, either homemade or Kallo have a lovely yeast free vegetable stock (just mix with water

 

Smokey apple, squash and bean soup

serves 4
ingredients

  • 2 red onions – diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic – diced
  • quarter of a dried chipotle or generous pinch of chipotle flakes
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tin of butter beans – drain
  • half a butter nut squash – roasted prior
  • 1 small apple – cored and chopped (with skin on)
  • 1 green pepper – chopped
  • 1 kallo veg stock cube with 1 litre of boiling water

Method

  1. fry off onions and garlic for a few seconds then add a tablespoon of cider vinegar
  2. add chipotle, mix then add butterbeans, mix well
  3. add roasted squash, apple and pepper with stock
  4. bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes and then blend until smooth and serve

 

Quick dash biccies

This week I was held back at school with no snack prepared! Shock horror! Luckily I had access to a few ingredients and this was the result, yummy and healthy biscuits.

makes 2ingredients

  • 2 dessertspoons of blended oats
  • a tsp of olive oil
  • half a mashed ripe banana
  • tsp sunflower seeds
  • tsp of pumpkin seeds
  • tsp dried fruit (it had been pre-soaked)

method

1. mix and shape into 2 round biscuits
2. place onto a baking tray and bake for 5-8 minutes in a preheated oven (200 degrees Celsius)

 

Miso super stir fry

This was tonight’s made up quick dinner. I had a conversation at the weekend with some lovely ladies who were convinced that healthy could not be quick and that meat needs to be added to every meal. This stir fry is approximately 100 calories per portion and is packed with nutrients and fibre to fill you. This is why plant based eating can help you with a healthy weight. I made baked sweet potato to go with this, and the pumpkin seeds add the extra protein and magnesium to help you feel calm and energised at the same time! Stir fries can be adapted a ridiculous amount of times with a range of flavours. Tonight I used miso to begin and then Tamari, both of which are fermented and so natural probiotics, perfect to feed your micro biome which will not only boost your immunity but also your mood.

Ingredients

  • 1 large red onion diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 medium carrots – chopped
  • Broccoli florets
  • 1 thumb size of Miso paste
  • a few tbsp Tamari
  • roasted pumpkin or squash seeds

method

  1. fry off onions, garlic and veggies with the Miso for a few minutes (add a little water if sticking)
  2. add the Tamari and the seeds and cook for a little longer – enjoy x

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