Souped Up: soup recipes for a healthy lunch.

Honestly, it tastes better than it looks.

This morning I went to the gym after a lengthy Easter hiatus and was, frankly, irritated when the Boditrax machine confirmed what my waistbands have been hinting at for some weeks.

I have been on a very half-hearted and sporadic diet for much of my adult life. I love a fad and have tried many from Body Coach to Slimming World to the 5:2. In every case, my love for chocolate digestives has vanquished my desire to rid myself of a muffin top, so all each has generally achieved has been to enhance my recipe book collection and allow me to spend vast amounts on faddy ingredients (or Muller Lights – thank you, SW). The only exception has been the 5:2 which was v effective after Bambino II arrived, but I found it rather hardgoing (choc digestives being discouraged on fast days) and it’s rare I’m suitably committed.

Over Easter I have enjoyed rather a lot of festive comestibles and in the interests of being able to fasten my jeans again at some point in the future, and with a French séjour on the horizon, I’m in the market to trim off a little of the Cadbury insulation I’ve acquired.

The best way I have found to cut down on cals without wanting to gnaw on one of my children is through the marvellous medium of soup, for as many meals a week as I can bear. Apparently, when water is blended with food, the body treats it like food and is tricked into feeling fuller. Obvs, any tinned/cartoned soup works in absolutely the same way, but if I’m mid-fad I generally like to go the whole hog and so here are a couple of my fave recipes. I am also mad for the spicy red pepper soup I shared in a previous post. The pea soup, I have to warn you, doesn’t look the most enticing, (though cooking the peas for less time will leave them less muddy in colour) but it does taste good. It’s my husband’s favourite.

My friend – and favourite fellow fad follower – has a Morphy Richards soup maker  and loves it, and I am rather covetous of it, though when my husband suggested I might like one as a birthday present we had a frank and enlightening conversation about the selection of suitable gifts for one’s spouse. I just use my hand blender at the moment – it’s pretty good and has an attachment that makes good mashed potato, that I find very handy.

I haven’t counted the calories in these – you could use My Fitness Pal, no doubt, if you really wanted to know – but I will just say that there are more than likely fewer than there would be in a pizza.

Each of these recipes should make 4 generous portions. I have a selection of Sistema Soup Mugs which I fill up and keep in the fridge or freezer for lunch on work days. Sometimes I even remember to take one in.


Pea and bacon soup


I presume you know about frozen, chopped onion? Available in every supermarket – even Aldi! – and something you absolutely MUST have in your freezer. I resent real onions now I know this exists.  Frozen soffrito from Waitrose is also extremely useful for Bolognese, chilli and, of course, soup.


Ingredients

  • 1 onion, finely chopped (or half bag of frozen chopped onions/half bag of soffrito)
  • Packet of lardons/pancetta, or 4-6 rashers of bacon
  • Bag of frozen peas
  • Chilli flakes – 1 tsp (or to taste)
  • 2 stock cubes – vegetable/chicken
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce

  1. Put the bacon into a large saucepan and fry until crisp. Remove and fry the onions/soffrito in the bacon fat. Add a little olive oil if needed.
  2. Once softened, add the bacon back in, tip in the peas and cover with boiling water.
  3. Dissolve the stock cubes in a little of the hot water and stir into the soup, along with the chilli.
  4. Cook for about 15 mins or so, and then blitz with a stick blender until smooth. Obvs add more water/stock if it’s too thick.
  5. Season as necessary with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

To make this vegetarian, you could leave out the bacon and liven it up with a couple of spoons of pesto.

I like to match my good, where poss.

Spicy sweetcorn soup


  • 1 onion, finely chopped (or half bag of frozen chopped onions/half bag of soffrito)
  • 100g chorizo, sliced into coins and then cut in half into semi-circles
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Bag of frozen sweetcorn
  • Chopped jalapenos/Chilli flakes – 1 tsp (or to taste)
  • 2 stock cubes – vegetable/chicken
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce

  1. Put the chorizo into a large saucepan and fry until crisp. Remove and fry the onions/soffrito in the bacon fat. Add a little olive oil if needed.
  2. Once softened, add the chorizo back in, add the sweet potato and cover with boiling water.
  3. Dissolve the stock cubes in a little of the hot water and stir into the soup. Bring to the boil and cook for about 10 mins, before adding in the sweetcorn and the chilli.
  4. Cook for a further 10 mins or so and then blitz with a stick blender until smooth, adding more water/stock if necessary to thin it.
  5. Season as necessary with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

This will still be nice without the chorizo if you want to make it vegetarian. If you want more veggies in it, throw in some carrots when you add the sweet potato. If you like your soup chunky, you can remove half, blend the remainder and add the unblended back in.

raisingbadgers.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.uk

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Rach says:

    I make veggie pea soup – so so easy and the non veggie farmers son loves it –
    1 onion sweat
    Add bag of frozen peas
    Veg stock
    Boil
    Blend
    Mix in Philadelphia
    Done xx

    Like

    1. Ooooh, I had never thought of putting Philadelphia in! I’m going to try it! X

      Like

  2. A great fan of soup, it’s fab comfort food! I too love a milk chocolate digestive… or mainly the whole pack dunked in a cup of tea. After trying many varieties I much prefer the Aldi digestives. Although they aren’t allowed on Keto 😦 Good luck getting back on track!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s