Tag Archives: soup

Roasted Beetroot and Butterbean Soup

Following on from my previous post of the wonders of the superfood Beetroot, I’ve started with Roasted Beetroot and Butterbean Soup.

Honestly, I’ve never taken to Beetroots, I don’t mind them cooked with a salad or raw grated in a sandwich or salad.  But they aren’t on top of my list of vegetables I really savour and enjoy.

So, in an effort to broaden my taste buds and nutrient levels I decided to attempt my first Beetroot based soup.  I’ve added Potato to thicken it and Butterbeans for protein, along with the Pistachio garnish.

beetroot soup

 

Butter beans are a very good low-fat source of protein  as well as a good source of iron, zinc and magnesium.

Roasted Beetroot and Butterbean Soup

This recipe serves 3-4 depending on bowl size.

Preparation time is around 1½ hours.

Ingredients

400g raw beetroot
150g potato, cubed
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
750 ml vegetable stock
1 x 400g tin Butterbeans
1 lemon, juiced
1 orange, juiced plus zest
Black Pepper (to taste)
4-6 tablespoons coconut milk (to taste)

To garnish:  Total Greek Yogurt and chopped Pistachios

Method

Place the beetroot and potato in separate oven trays and roast for around an hour at 180C, the potatoes were ready after about 40 minutes.

Place onion and garlic into a pan and steam fry for around 3-4 minutes until softened.
Add the stock to the pan with the Butterbeans and cook for around 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Take the cooled Beetroots and peel the skin off, chop and place in a blender with the potatoes, Butterbean stock mix, lemon juice, orange juice plus zest, coconut milk, salt (I don’t use as the stock has salt in) and black pepper to taste.

Blend until smooth.

At this point you can either place in a saucepan and heat through again and serve immediately with a yogurt garnish sprinkled with roughly chopped Pistachio nuts for texture and bread of your choice, we enjoy toasted Sunflower Rye bread spread with coconut oil.

Or place in the fridge to consume within the next couple of days.  This recipe will also freeze well for up to 2 months.

beetroot soup 2

Nutritious and delicious!

For Beetroot nutritional info, see Superfood Beetroot

 

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Superfood Beetroot

Beetroot has always been around but in the past it was more usual to find it in a jar soaking in vinegar.   Now more and more people are using it raw, cooking or juicing it for extreme health benefits.

beetroot

Beetroot is a powerful detoxifier and blood purifier.  A great cleanser especially for the liver, kidneys, intestines and gall bladder.  Beetroot’s lush ruby red colour comes from beta-cyanin which has anti-viral and anti-oxidant properties which protect the cells against free radical damage.

Beetroot  is a rich source of natural sugars and contains a high amount of fibre that improves digestion, aiding the absorption of food but also slowing down the absorption of digestible carbohydrates into the blood, supplying a steady stream of energy.   It also stimulates the circulatory system, speeding up metabolism.

Beetroot is high in assimilable iron, contains manganese and silica which is vital for healthy skin, hair, nails and bones.  Other nutrients include vitamins B3, B5, C, Folic Acid, Beta-carotene, calcium, copper, iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

It certainly deserves the title of Superfood!

So now to find more ways of including Beetroot in our diet apart from the usual pickled or raw grated into salads.  I’ll be starting with soup, Roasted Beetroot and Butterbean, but I really want to experiment with different ways to cook it, it does have an earthy taste which has not really appealed to me but with all the massive health benefits I want to include it more regularly on our menu.

Beetroots are in season here in the UK, now is the best time to give them a try!

Here are some fun facts from Love Beetroot.

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Gazpacho Soup

With the end of summer approaching, and the (mostly) warm summer days still gracing us with their presence, we enjoyed this antioxidant rich Gazpacho soup for lunch over the weekend.  Quick and easy to pull together and so refreshing.  No cooking required!

tomatoes pepper

There are a few variations of the Gazpacho recipe, I prefer mine with a little texture to it, but you can pass it through a sieve if you prefer a much smoother soup.

Gazpacho Soup

Ingredients

1 kg of ripe, large vine ripened tomatoes
1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
½ large cucumber
small red onion
clove of garlic, crushed
1 tblspn cider vinegar (or vinegar of your choice)
1 tblspn extra virgin olive oil
Seasoning to taste

Method:

Score the tomatoes at both ends and place in boiling water to remove skins, cut into quarters and then remove seeds and core.  Put all the juicy insides from the tomatoes into a sieve over a bowl to catch all the liquid and use the liquid in the soup.

Place the tomatoes and all the extra liquid, red pepper, cucumber, onion, garlic, olive oil and vinegar into a food processor and process to the texture of your choice.

Put the blended soup into the fridge and chill for a couple of hours, once chilled add seasoning to your own taste.  Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and extra diced cucumber and tomato.

Serve with crusty French bread.

 

Gazpacho Soup

Nutritional Info:

Tomato – Vitamins A, B3, B5, B6, C, E, K, Beta-carotene, Biotin, Folic Acid, Lycopene, Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Fibre.

Red Pepper – Vitamins B3, B6, C, E, K, Beta-carotene, Biotin, Folic Acid, Lycopene, Calcium, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Fibre.

Cucumber – Vitamins A, B3, B5, C, K, Beta-carotene, Biotin, Folic Acid, Calcium, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Phosphorus, Potassium, Silica, Sulphur, Zinc, Fibre.

Onion – Vitamins B2, B6, C, Folic Acid, Chromium, Copper, Manganese, Molybdenum, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Sulphur Compounds, Quercitin, Flavonoids, Fibre.

Garlic – Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, C, Biotin, Folic Acid, Calcium, Copper, Germanium, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Sulphur, Zinc, Amino acids, Fibre.

Olive oil – Vitamins E, K, iron, Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids.

 

Gazpacho Soup

Carrot, Ginger, Orange Soup

All change with the weather again, the sun got his hat on again last week and we were all enjoying the benefits of lighter eating, being out doors and not having the heating on!

With the exception of the sand blown over from the Sahara this week (my car and windscreen were covered in it and my eyes have been feeling gritty too), the warmer weather, even if temporary, is so welcome.  

carrots

I’m still eating a lot of soups, mostly for a quick, light lunch, this soup literally only takes chopping the onion, carrots, ginger and juicing the orange to prepare, then can be left to bubble away until all the flavours have infused.

carrots ginger orange

Soups are also brilliant for using up produce or even just making use of food already in the cupboard and fridge.  The basic soup recipe is good for all the family and as you know I like a little heat  so I do add a touch of cayenne pepper to mine once served.

My oils of choice are Coconut and Olive, when choosing an oil to cook with you want an oil that will not be damaged by high cooking temperatures and Coconut oil can be used at higher temperatures without heat-induced damage to the oil.

carrot ginger orange soup

Carrot, Ginger, Orange Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: around 1 hour
Serves 4

Ingredients

I medium red onion, finely chopped
450g  carrots, sliced fairly thinly
750ml vegetable stock 
1″ fresh ginger, chopped
pinch or two of cinnamon 
1 medium orange, juiced

To garnish:
seeds of your choice 

Method

Gently steam fry the onions in a large saucepan until softened.

Add the sliced carrots and cook for 10-15 minutes on a medium heat, stirring frequently.

Add the vegetable stock, bring to a rolling boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for around 25 minutes or until the carrots are soft.

Add the chopped ginger and cinnamon and simmer for a further 5 minutes to infuse the flavours.

Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly before blending to a smooth consistency.  Whilst blending add the orange juice.

Serve garnished with a selection of seeds – I like Neals Yard Omega Sprinkle, a mix of pumpkin, sunflower, golden linseeds, brown linseeds and sesame seeds.

carrot ginger orange soup

 Quick Nutritional Info:

Carrots contain valuable amounts of the phyto-nutrient antioxidant beta-carotene which gives carrots their bright orange colour.  Beta-carotene is absorbed in the intestine and converted into vitamin A during digestion.  They are an excellent source of vitamin A plus vitamin C, E, K, folic acid, calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc and some iron.   

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Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is said to have magical properties when you are have a cold, I rarely get them but the Little One attends nursery or Pre-School Academy as it is now known and it is a breeding ground for bugs and sniffles.  She has a streaming cold, but it is not bothering her in the least, but to get it out of the way fast I thought I’d make a Chicken Soup which is very easy to throw together and a welcome supper especially as the weather has gotten colder this week.

chicken soup

Chicken Soup 

Prep & Cook TIme: around 1 hour
Serves 4

Ingredients

2 litres of chicken stock (I used Maggi Stock Pot)
3-4 medium-sized chicken thighs (I used skin and bone on)
1 red onion, chopped
2 Bay leaves
Thyme, good sprinkling
I used: 2 large carrots, 2 large celery sticks, butternut squash, 1 small
sweet potato, all chopped and 1 medium courgette, sliced
125g pearl barley
50g short grain brown rice

Method

Bring the stock to the boil, then add the chicken thighs, onion, bay leaves and thyme.  Simmer covered for around 20 minutes.

Take the chicken out of the stock and put aside.

Add the vegetables into the stock with the pearl barley and rice, bring to the boil, then simmer again for 30 minutes.

Pull the chicken off the bones and shred.  Add the chicken to the soup, season to taste and simmer for a further 10 minutes.  Remove the bay leaves before serving.

This makes a wonderfully filling chunky healthy soup and a well balanced meal, the pearl barley and rice will absorb all the flavours and add fibre.  Pearl barley is a very good source of molybdenum, manganese and selenium plus a good source of copper, vitamins B1, B3, chromium, phosphorus & magnesium.

Linking up with:

Anyonita Nibbles 

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

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Halloween Superfood

Halloween is more widely celebrated over here now, but the poor old Pumpkin gets a scary face and a tea light inside and what happens to all that nutritious Halloween superfood!  My own child is far too young to understand the history of  Halloween and much too young to knock on the door of complete strangers for sweets/candy!

So while a Pumpkin looks very cute all lit up, it is a superfood packed with beta-carotene which is the phyto-nutrient that gives Pumpkins their gorgeous orange colour along with an amazingly high Vitamin A content which can help to keep the  immune system strong and a powerful natural anti-oxidant which  is required by the body for maintaining eyes and skin and keeping mucus membranes healthy.   Pumpkins are  good source of vitamins B,  C and E  plus they have a good mineral content.  All in all a fabulously healthy food!

Pumpkin Collage

Pumpkin seeds are also a fabulous source of concentrated nutrition, high in fibre and heart healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids with a high protein value along with vitamin B3, iron and zinc.  These nutty tasting seeds are a great snack or ground up in a coffee grinder (I keep one especially for grinding seeds, oats, etc) and sprinkled on breakfast.  I am saving the seeds from these Pumpkins and must google how to best separate them from their outer husks.

Pumpkin seeds

 This soup makes a hearty supper, full of protein from the Butter beans, dunked with  loads of fresh, crusty baguette (still warm when I bought it this afternoon!) and (optional) butter.  This soup will be great for Miss ND for lunch too, it is a little thicker in texture and with the Butter beans to munch on too.  I like a little chilli with mine (I like chilli flakes with most things!) but can add after, too much for little tastebuds!

Pumpkin soup Collage

Roasted Pumpkin and Butterbean Soup – Serves 4

Ingredients

For this recipe I roasted a Pumpkin which I cut into chunks (with the skin on) at 200C for around 40 minutes in a couple of roasting pans in an inch of water then covered with foil.  Once soft, the pumpkin can easily be cut from the skin.

1.2 kg Roasted Pumpkin (weight with skin removed)
2 medium red onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp ground Cumin
½ tsp ground Ginger
sea salt 
black pepper
500 ml hot vegetable stock
1 x 400g tin Butter beans
Italian mixed herbs
To serve: crème fraîche/Greek Yoghurt/Coconut milk/double cream

 Method

– Add the onions and garlic to a large saucepan and fry gently in olive oil for 10 minutes, add the roasted Pumpkin and fry gently for around 5 minutes until lightly caramelised.  

– Add the Turmeric, Paprika, ground Cumin and ground Ginger to the pan, stir in and cook for a couple of minutes to allow the spices to blend into the Pumpkin.  

– Pour in enough vegetable stock to cover the Pumpkin, season with salt and black pepper to taste and cook for around 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little before placing in a blender and pureeing until smooth and creamy.  I have invested in a Vitamix, it is a pretty amazing piece of  equipment.  I’m looking forward to putting it to great use soon!

– Place the pureed Pumpkin back into the pan and add the Butter beans and herbs and simmer until the beans are nice and hot.  Adjust seasoning to taste.  

Serve in pre-heated soup bowls and add either a dollop of creme fraiche (me), Greek Yoghurt (me), Coconut milk (me again) or double cream (Mr ND) to the soup.   

 Pumpkin soup 1

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