Winter-soups

Easy Pumpkin Soup Recipe

This easy pumpkin soup recipe is low in fat and calories but full of flavour, which makes it the perfect winter warmer when you want to lose weight.

Ingredients
2 butternut pumpkins
1/2 brown onion, diced
1-2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg

Optional toppings
1/4 apple, unpeeled, finely diced
Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche
Handful chives or coriander leaves
Toasted pumpkin seeds or chopped toasted almonds

Method
1. Preheat oven to 160C. Slice pumpkins lengthways, scoop out seeds and place pumpkins cut-side down on a baking tray. Roast for about 30 minutes or until a knife pierces through the flesh easily. Remove and allow to cool slightly, then scoop out the flesh into a blender or large bowl.

2. While the pumpkin is cooking, saute the onion and garlic in a small pan in some olive oil over low-medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes until softened but not browned.

3. Add the softened onion and garlic to the pumpkin, add the stock and blend or use a hand blender to puree until velvety smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add nutmeg, blend again and taste.

4. Serve immediately, topped with any or all of the optional toppings.

What’s your best pumpkin soup recipe?

July 28, 2013

Quick And Easy Winter Vegetable Soup

This low-calorie, vitamin-rich vegetable soup makes a delicious and filling lunch or dinner. Use the best canned tomatoes you can find, and top with a dollop of pesto for great flavour.

Ingredients
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 leeks, halved and thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced
1 can of whole tomatoes
2 bay leaves
Handful spinach or kale leaves
6 cups water
Leftover parmesan rinds
2 Tablespoons pesto

Method
1. Heat a little olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, leeks and fennel and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the can of tomato, bay leaves and spinach or kale leaves, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the water and the parmesan rinds and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.

2. Discard the rinds and bay leaves. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, add a dollop of pesto and serve.

Hint: Use this vegetable soup as a base to add other ingredients like cooked beans or lentils.

Collect and freeze parmesan rinds when you finish grating cheese, then add to soups and casseroles to infuse the dish with savoury flavour.

July 21, 2013