Especially when it’s only 97 cals. With the respite from the heatwave (who ever thought we’d say that) it’s a wonderful time to make the most of the summer harvest with this delicious garden soup recipe.
Man shall not live by bread alone. Nor shall he (or she) live by salad alone.
This year’s long hot summer has been glorious but it doesn’t mean every meal has to involve lettuce. A light summer soup is a delight that’s easily bypassed – and it’s high time we put it back on our menus.
I do tend to keep the thicker, more comforting soups for autumn and winter months but a light, flavourful broth, packed with summer harvest vegetables, such as peas, asparagus and courgettes brings flavour and nothing too heavy to the warm weather lunch table.
Use whatever veg looks good (or needs using up) and fling in some tinned or soaked beans for protein and tummy-filling goodness. And at only 97 calories a portion, you won’t be bursting out of your shorts either.
Fresh garden soup
This recipe makes eight portions and can be frozen.
Serves 8 • Ready in 1 hour
1 tsp olive oil (27 cals)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped (72 cals)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced (6 cals)
2 leeks, trimmed and cut into fine rings (52 cals)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks (58 cals)
1 small swede (rutabaga), peeled and chopped into large chunks (44 cals)
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into large chunks (124 cals)
1 × 400g (14oz) can chopped tomatoes (72 cals)
1 tbsp tomato purée (paste) (30 cals)
2 bay leaves
1 handful of fresh coriander (cilantro) stalks, roughly chopped (optional)
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube (35 cals)
80g (3¼oz) frozen peas (53 cals)
1 x 400g (14oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (210 cals)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized lidded saucepan, add the onion and garlic and fry very gently for 5 minutes. Add the leek, carrots, swede (rutabaga) and sweet potato and stir well.
• Add the canned tomatoes, tomato purée (paste), bay leaves and coriander (cilantro) stalks to the pan, then crumble in the stock cube. Top up with about 1 litre (4 cups) water. Bring the mixture to the boil, cover with a lid, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently on the lowest heat for 45 minutes. Add the peas and cannellini beans and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the peas are cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
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