Category Archives: Soups

My 4 ingredient Quick & Easy Creamy Pumpkin Soup

As much as I love to cook, and cook from scratch, I do appreciate a good tasty recipe with not too many ingredients and no fussing about!  A recipe where for only a few minutes of chopping and blending a good amount of delicious food is produced.  This pumpkin soup is a staple recipe of mine that I make often as it fits in this category – it is soooo incredibly quick and easy and it is very yummy.

Pumpkins are one of my favorite vegetables when cooking as they go in virtually anything, sweet or savoury – muffins, cupcakes, casseroles, curries….and who doesn’t like pumpkin soup!  I love butternut pumpkin as the flesh is not too hard so it is easy to cut and most of the time you don’t need to take the skin off which saves time and adds extra fibre (doesn’t a dietitian love that!).  Pumpkins are in season right now which is why the price has come right down.  My butternut pumpkin (weighing nearly 2kg) cost only a little over $1 which makes for a very cheap soup 🙂

This would be a great snack for kids after school at this time of year as not only will it help to warm them up, it is a great way of getting extra vegetable serves into them!  Of course a larger serve makes a great lunch with some wholegrain or sourdough toast topped with a lean protein like chicken, tuna, salmon or low fat cheese.  This is what we had for lunch today and it was delicious.  Enjoy 🙂

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

Makes 10 snack sized servings (320g per serve = 1 1/3 cups approx)

  • 1.75kg butternut pumpkin (= 1.6kg pumpkin after discarding seeds etc)
  • 2 medium sized brown onions
  • 1.2 litres stock or water + 1 heaped Tablespoon Massel stock powder (vegetable or chicken)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk – the light and creamy one

Cut pumpkin in half just above the bottom bulb shaped bit

Cut off the hard top bit that was attached to the plant, then without taking the skin off, roughly chop this section of the pumpkin.  The smaller you cut it will cut down on the cooking time.

Cut the very bottom off the bottom bit that has the seeds in it, then chop it in half lengthways, then in half again (so it is now in quarters).  Using a spoon you can now easily scoop the seeds out.  Again without skinning it, chop all four sections roughly.  Add all of the pumpkin to a reasonable sized pot = one that can easily hold approx 3 1/2 litres of soup.

Chop top and bottom off onions and cut into quarters.  This is the easiest way to peel them.  Place peeled onions in pot.

Add stock or water and stock powder to the pot, place lid on pot and over a high heat bring to the boil.  Once at boil, turn heat down to a simmer and with the lid still on, continue to cook for 15-30 minutes depending on size of pumpkin (larger sized pumpkin pieces will require longer cooking)

Blend either in food processor or with hand blender.  When smooth, add evaporated milk and stir thorough.  Taste and add a little salt or pepper according to your requirements.  Some fresh chopped herbs like parsley or coriander can also be sprinkled on top.

   Per serving  –  103 Calories    6g Protein   

1g Fat   0.8g Saturated Fat    16g Carbohydrate   3g Fibre   

120mg Calcium (that’s more than 10% of the daily requirements for most of us!)

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Zucchini Corn & Basil Soup

Just back from a few days away for Easter, I had some zucchinis in the fridge looking a little tired, just begging to be rescued.  With little else available, not much time on my hands and as I hate throwing food away, soup seemed like the easiest and best option for them. 

Green vegetables are an important part of any healthy eating plan and are of course best eaten soon after buying them to make sure they retain all of their wonderful nutrients.  Zucchinis typically are an excellent source of manganese (an important trace mineral) and vitamin C (antioxidant, immune system) and a very good source of magnesium (nerve & muscle function),  beta-carotene (precursor for Vitamin A – eyes & immune system), fibre (healthy bowel function), potassium (blood pressure), folate (red blood cell production & cardiovascular health), copper (trace mineral that works along with iron), riboflavin (vitamin B2 – important role in energy production) and phosphorus (mineral required for good bone and cell health). Wow!

I always have frozen corn on hand as it is so handy, although I will admit fresh corn does always taste better.  Corn, a  low GI starchy vegetable is a good source of many nutrients including thiamin (vitamin B1 – nerve, muscle & heart function), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5 – lots of roles including energy production), folate, dietary fibre, vitamin C, phosphorus and manganese.

Fresh herbs are a great addition to any dish adding a wonderful fresh flavour as well as extra nutrients.  Basil is one of my favourite herbs as it is so versatile (goes well with Asian, Italian or Greek food) and very easy to grow here in Sydney. Adding milk to the soup gives it a little creaminess but also adds calcium (for bone strength) which most of us don’t get enough of every day.

This is a really quick and yummy soup which makes a very healthy snack.  A larger serve could also be a great lunch along with some crusty sourdough bread topped with a lean protein source (turkey, tuna or even a little cheese for extra calcium!).

I think this is one of those staples you will make again and again….Enjoy 🙂

 

Zucchini Corn and Basil Soup

Makes 4 serves

  • 2 large zucchinis
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons Massel vegetable stock powder
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, shredded (or you could use chives, parsley, coriander…)
  • pepper

Place zucchini, corn and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer over gentle heat for 10 minutes or until zucchini is soft. Remove from heat and puree in a blender or with a hand held blender until smooth. Stir through stock powder, milk and basil. Add pepper to taste.

Each serve (just over 1 cup/250ml) has 81 calories, 4g protein, 1 g total fat, 0.3g saturated fat, 3g of fibre (approx 10% of daily fibre requirements) and 67mg calcium (roughly 7% of your daily calcium requirement)

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Caramelised Onion & Cauliflower Soup

We have been rather busy lately and one thing I like to have on hand when so busy is homemade soup.  It does well as a quick lunch, dinner or an easy snack.  It keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge, or you can portion into containers and freeze it well ahead when you know you have a crazy-busy week coming up.

I like to be guided with what type of soup to make by what is in season.  Cauliflowers have been so lovely of late and as cheap as $1 each – now that makes for a very cheap snack (or meal!) at around 25 cents a serve.  Caramelising the onions for the soup helps to add extra flavour so this is how I like to start most of my soups.

Eating on the run is not ideal, however when doing so you also don’t want to end up with indigestion, so something as easy to eat as soup is ideal.  When busy it can also be difficult to eat well so a snack based on vegetables is a great idea.  Enjoy 🙂

Caramelised Onion & Cauliflower Soup

Serves 6 as a snack

2 largeish brown onions, sliced

1 largeish cauliflower, chopped roughly

2 teaspoons olive oil

5 teaspoons Massel vegetable stock powder

4 or so cups of water

Pepper, to taste

Method

Place onions in a large non-stick pot, cover with water and cook over medium heat until water evaporates.  When all the water is gone, add the oil and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes while they start to brown.  If they start to stick add a little more water and keep cooking until they turn a delicious golden brown.

Add cauliflower and water and cook over medium high heat with a lid on for 15-20 minutes until cauliflower is very soft. 

When cooked the water should still just cover the cauliflower, if not add a little extra.  Using a stick blender, process until smooth.  If too thick add more water, if too thin cook with lid off for moisture to evaporate until you reach the desired consistency.  Add vegetable stock powder and pepper to taste.

Makes 6 large snack serves at 63 calories each and 3g of fibre. 

If aiming for 150 calorie snacks, add a slice of wholegrain toast 🙂

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Vegetable Soup

Need to increase your vegetable intake?  This is a terrific way to do so.

There are many ‘diets’ or ‘detoxes’ that promote the use of soups like this one, however this is all you get to eat while following them.  Those diets and detoxes are a load of rubbish, but this type of soup actually makes a good snack 🙂

It is full of delicious, nutritious vegetables and it is very low in calories.  However it is also very low in carbohydrates and protein so it won’t keep you full for very long.  To make a longer lasting snack, team it with slice of fresh or toasted sourdough rye or wholegrain bread (wholegrain = wholemeal base with a mixture of grains added).  Both of these breads are excellent low GI choices. Or you could add a can of any type of bean (kidney, butter, cannelini) or chickpeas.

If you are not watching your weight, I recommend you sprinkle some good quality parmessan cheese on either the soup, or the bread/toast, or why not both!….yum 🙂

Chunky Vegetable Soup

Makes around 2.5 litres or 8 decent-sized snacks

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced
  • 1 cup of diced pumpkin (approx 150g)
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped/shredded cabbage
  • 1 x 400g can of crushed tomatoes (rinse out tin with water and add this too)
  • 1 litre of liquid stock (beef, chicken or vegetable)
  • Pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh herbs if available (parsley, basil, chives)

Method

Add onion and garlic to a large non-stick pot.  Sautee for about 4-5 minutes adding water as needed to stop it from burning or sticking (that’s right, no oil needed!)

Add carrots, celery, pumpkin, zucchini and tomatoes.  Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. 

(Sometimes, if short on time, I don’t sautee the onion and garlic first and just throw everything into the pot and start cooking.  Sauteeing first does develop the flavour though.)

Add cabbage and simmer a further 5 minutes.  Add pepper and herbs before serving.

(If you prefer your soups thinner, add a little extra water or stock)

Per serve of soup = 48 calories and 3g of fibre

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Green Pea Soup

Ever have those days when you feel like you’re not getting enough greens?

Then I have the perfect solution for you…green pea soup!

You can’t get much greener than this soup and it also tastes delicious 🙂

Given that the weather has changed and it is getting colder, I am opting for more ‘warming’ snacks and soups are one of my favourites.  Any time I can get more vegetables in is a good thing as they are so nutritious and hardly contain any calories –truly nature’s wonder-foods.

I prefer this soup with chicken stock, but for those vegies amongst us, vegetable stock is also good. 

It is amazingly quick and simple to make – and a great tummy filler/warmer…

Green Pea Soup

Serves 4 as a snack

  • 1 tspn olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 380g frozen peas
  • 500ml vegetable or chicken stock

Sautee onion in olive oil until lightly browned. If the onion starts to stick, add a little water.

Add peas and stock and bring to boil.

Cook for 6-8 minutes. Puree until smooth.

Each tummy and soul warming serve has exactly 100 calories and 6g of fibre!! Fabulous!

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