Saturday, 21 January 2012

Soups!

Here are some of the recipe's for the soups I've been enjoying over the past week. Firstly, I have found these recipes on BBC good food and adapted them slightly to make them as healthy as possible. Secondly, it's worth investing in one of these hand blenders if you don't already have one, I picked one up in my local grocery store for roughly £29 and there were other versions cheaper, too.



You can simply mash your soups down but we prefer ours smooth with no lumps. Basically, with any vegetable soup you make, you start off by taking a stock pot (we have been using a very large saucepan that my Mum gave me when we got our own place and it's been working just fine) and putting a small amount of oil in the bottom. A lot of the recipes I found tell you to use butter but of course there are healthier options. The options that I would suggest would be; Fry Light (oil in a spray can that really limits the amount of oil used), Flora Cuisine (a healthier option to oil - this is found next to the butter and spreads in supermarkets) or rapeseed oil (a healthier alternative to olive oil). It's entirely upto you which one you choose, they're all better for you than butter or olive oil so it's down to preference or whichever one you can get your hands on easiest. So here are the basic steps for making soup:

1. Put a dash of oil in the bottom of a stock pot
2. Peel and chop whatever vegetables you're using and throw them in the pot
3. Cook the vegetables until they start softening up on a high heat on the stove
4. Pour vegetable stock into the pot on top of the vegetables (until the stock covers the veggies) and cook on a high heat until it reduces slightly and until the vegetables are cooked through. If unsure test it out by taking one out and seeing if it's soft enough to mash.
5. Once all the vegetables are cooked, take off the heat and blend using your hand blender until you have the consistency you like.
6. Place over the heat for a few minutes while stirring then pour into bowls.


Sweet Potato & Chili


1 onion, chopped
1 red chili finely chopped
2 crushed garlic cloves
750g sweet potatoes peeled and chopped (they're very hard so chop them quite small otherwise they will take ages to cook)
500ml vegetable stock (we used a little more as the soup was quite thick)
A few sprinkles of Coriander (add just after the stock)


Leek & Potato


1 onion, chopped
225g white potatoes, chopped into cubes
2 medium leeks, sliced
1.2 litres vegetable stock
*75ml double cream (original recipe asks for 150ml but we halved it to keep it healthier)

* Add the cream after you've blended your soup then put back on the heat until warmed through.


These recipes are healthy enough to have for lunch, although we have been having them for dinner with some bread rolls to make it into a substantial meal. I have been having one or two small granary rolls with mine while Chris has been having his with bigger, white cheesy rolls to make more of a "man serving" and to keep him from getting hungry later in the evening.

What I love about making my own soup is I know that it's really healthy - after all, it's only vegetables, it's really easy to make and you can add whatever vegetable combinations you like, there's hardly anything to wash up, it's an incredibly cheap meal and it's easy to make ahead of time and store in the fridge until you want to warm it up.

One last thing I will say is regarding some of the tips I've found, including using rapeseed oil instead of olive oil, it has been down to Gizzi Erskine (a TV chef, does Cook Yourself Thin) on twitter. She very often tweets tips on how to make your food more healthy, so if you're on Twitter it's worth following her @gizzierskine.

Hope those of you who were interested in my soups finds this post helpful and if you decide to make some yourself please let me know so we can compare recipe ideas!

3 comments:

  1. Wow, that was quick :) Thanks! They both sound great - I'm very interested in the sweet potato and chili one in particular. All I need is a red chili and I'm good to go - I'll let you know how it turned out in a few days. The hand blender is definitely the best for soups, I use it quite often for a butternut squash soup I make.

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  2. In Norway they don't have tinned soups, only crappy powdered soups in a bag, so I make my own with my personal favourites being Cream of Chicken Soup and Mulligatawny Soup. So these will be great to add to the recipe book :)

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  3. don't have tinned soup?? bloomin heck! now that chris has seen how easy it is to make our own he isnt allowing me to buy any processed food :P

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