Category Archives: soup

Warming Chilli, Chickpea and Lentil Soup – 5:2 Diet

Although the weather here hasn’t been all that cold compared to all the snow we had last year, it has been rather damp and extremely windy, the rain doesn’t show any signs of letting up either.  This Warming Chilli, Chickpea and Lentil soup using the  homemade vegetable stock* I made yesterday is wonderfully filling and at around 250 calories per portion is ideal for a supper dish on fast days on the 5:2 Diet which I am doing again just for January then it’s 6:1 to maintain.  I’m also attempting the A.Vogel Fourteen Day Detox starting tomorrow, my first detox!

vegstock

 

Both Chickpeas and Red Lentils are high in protein with the Lentils being able to absorb a variety of flavours from other foods too and the chilli kick  will definitely warm you up!  Add more or less chilli to your taste of course,  ½ tsp is just right for us.

 

Chilli, Chickpea and Lentil Soup

chilli chickpea lentil

 

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 large red onion, finely chopped
 900ml vegetable stock*
150g red lentils
400g chopped tinned tomatoes
400g tin chickpeas
 ½ tsp crushed chilli’s
Ground Black pepper to taste
½ tsp Turmeric (optional**)
1tsp golden & brown flaxseeds

Method

Using a tablespoon or less of olive oil, fry the red onion for a couple of minutes to soften then add a couple of tablespoons of hot water to the pan to steam fry the onions for around 5 minutes on a gentle heat.  Add the crushed chilli once the water has absorbed a little and fry with the onions.  Add the vegetable stock, lentils and tomatoes to the pan and bring to the boil (stirring continuously to avoid the lentils sticking to the bottom of the pan), then simmer for around 20 minutes until the lentils are soft.

Cool the soup a little then blend roughly in a food processor, place back into the pan, add the chickpeas and place back on a low heat until the chickpeas are warmed through.  Season to taste with black pepper and if adding the turmeric, add now.

Garnish with a generous dollop of 0% fat Greek Yoghurt and a sprinkling of flaxseeds.

Bon Appetit!

Those who are not on the 5:2 diet can add a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese before serving with freshly warmed crusty bread

Quick Nutritional Info:

Red Lentils – Health benefits of lentils see this article from Mind Body Green
Chickpeas – Iron, Protein,  Fibre, Magnesium and B6.
Turmeric**  I like add to soups wherever possible for the anti-inflammatory benefits, Turmeric is such a potent spice that even a small amount will have huge benefits to health.

 Linking up with Feel Good Food with  A Kick at the Pantry Door  for ‘Tasty and Inexpensive’

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Link up your recipe of the week

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

  and  No Croutons Required blogging challenge which this month is being hosted by Lisa over at Lisa’a Kitchen.

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Butternut Squash Ginger Soup & the 5:2 diet

Soups deliver such concentrated nutrition, even the little girl is amenable to soup even if it is a few mouthfuls, I can be assured that my homemade soup is full of natural goodness.

Butternut Squash is one of my (many) favourite vegetables, with its dense, orange flesh, it is delicious and sweet with a nutty flavour.  I have wrestled with many a Butternut Squash and have now found the perfect peeler for the tough outer skin thanks to a visit to Lakeland, so now its less challenging and faster to prepare too!

Carrots can be used instead of the Butternut Squash or a mix of both is good too, soup has so many variations and each has their own place within each season.  Although this year the seasons have gone a little awry with snow in April here!

Butternut Squash Ginger Soup is satisfying and filling on my 5:2 fast diet days.  And just in case you haven’t heard about this yet, the 5:2 Fast Diet was brought to us by Dr Michael Moseley when he was researching the health and longevity claims for the BBC2 Horizon programme Eat Fast and Live Longer – for 2 days a week you aim for 500 calories for women and 600 for men.  I have got this down to a fine art now & can easily get around the 500 calorie mark with soups on the menu, I’ve gone a little soup loopy but they are just so easy and delicious, plus you can use up any lingering vegetables from the fridge so less waste!

I make up a pot which will last for the couple of days fasting and is extremely low in fat and calories.  The addition of Ginger gives the soup an interesting zing and warmth.  On non-5:2 days I add crème fraîche, chilli flakes and black pepper which lifts the flavours even more!

For my pot of soup, some of which can be frozen too, popped in ice cube trays for easy access to soup for kiddie meals, I used around 600g of butternut squash, I did weigh it for the benefit of this blog post but usually I just use a medium Butternut Squash.

 

Prep time:  15 mins

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Ingredients

half a tsp butter – I use unsalted
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
about an inch of root Ginger
600g Butternut Squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into small cubes
1 litre of homemade vegetable stock
black pepper, optional

Method

Gently fry the Onion, Garlic and Ginger for a couple of minutes in the butter then add a few tablespoons of water to steam fry for another 2-3 minutes. 

Add the Butternut Squash and steam fry for a further 5 minutes.

Add the Vegetable Stock, I make my own which increases the nutritional value of the soup too, see my blog post on Stock.

Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the Butternut Squash is soft and tender.

Cool, then blend in a liquidiser. 

Nutritious and delicious.

Quick Nutritional Info

Butternut Squash – Vitamin A, C, E, B-complex – folic acid, vitamins, B1, B2, B3 and B6. Iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.

Ginger – anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, carminative, anti-microbial properties.  Potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium.

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Flavour Packed Vegetable Stock

I’ve been making my own vegetable stock forever especially in the colder months and this year being colder for longer I’ve made a small batch this weekend. It’s so simple to do and it’s a great way to use up excess vegetables.  Carrots, celery and onion make up the base of my stock and from there I add different vegetables depending on what’s usually in the fridge, parsnips, leeks and sometimes cabbage, swede and mushrooms have made their way into the pot.

I use parsley, bay and black peppercorns but also have used thyme, garlic and other herbs, there really is no set menu for making your own recipe vegetable stock.  The stock I’m making here is perfect for tiny tastebuds too, mine doesn’t like garlic very much yet so will leave it out of this batch.

Today’s pot of goodness includes:

2 organic carrots, chopped – I don’t peel, just give a good scrub
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 medium onion, cut into quarters
1 parsnip, peel and cut lengthways
1 small swede, chopped
1 leek including the green part, trim the end off and cut lengthways
3 cabbage leaves, the very outer greener ones
small handful of parsley including stalks
a few black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Put all the vegetables into a pan, I’m using my trusty old (and it is very old but still so good) Le Creuset pan and add 2 litres of water.   Depending on the size of your pan you can add more or less water, more will, of course, produce a more lighter flavoured stock and with less the stock will have a more concentrated infusion.  2 litres fills my pot nicely and produces a delicious, well-flavoured stock.


Simmer for 1-2 hours, I know this seems a bit vague but an hour is fine but if I have the time I do like to give it a bit more simmering time.  Stir occasionally to further blend the flavours.

For extra depth of flavour you can also fry the vegetables gently first in a little oil before adding the water.  For soups though I prefer a simple, fresh and light stock.

Take off the heat and strain through a sieve and leave to cool.  The stock liquid can now be used as the base for soups or to make rissoto, quinoa, etc. 

Once cooled the stock can be frozen, mine is used up pretty quickly as I make a lot of soups which are fabulous for the 5:2 diet which I am still doing every week, it has become a habit now, part of my week and having low-calorie, highly nutritious soups to keep my appetite satiated has been amazingly helpful. 

The cooked vegetables can also be blended down and included in many recipes.  The vegetables will still contain plenty of fibre and a huge shame to waste.  I use them in soups for the tiddler, blended down or added to casseroles.  We also make veggie burgers, mixing the mashed vegetables with breadcrumbs and egg, seasonings and sometimes cheese.  So many uses for extra veg!

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