Build Your Own Soup

Soup is such great option for lunch (or dinner!) during the winter months, soup can be particularly beneficial to those who are trying to lose weight. The reason for this is that the water in the soup takes up more volume in your stomach, meaning you feel fuller after less calories. Of course this is only true for a stock or tomato based soup as opposed to a cream based soup! You can use the same 'trickery' by just making sure you drink water with your meals.

Blended soups (as opposed to chunky/minestrone style) are fantastic for digestion. Your gut LOVES soups and smoothies as you've already done some of the hard work for it. By bleding it, you've broken down a lot of the fibres/cell membranes of the ingredients. By doing this, you make it easier to access the vitamins, minerals and the macro- nutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrate). This means we can absorb more from our food, as well as keeping our gut happy.

Also - did you know that our ability to taste food gets better wth temperature? Having a hot meal can be much more satisfying than a cold meal. Soup for me this winter please!

It couldn't be simpler, chose your fat (olive oil or butter), choose your base, chose your protein, chose your vegetables and herbs and spices (optional). 1. In a large saucepan, sauté your veg with your fat (1-2tbsp) or just water. 2. Add your base, protein and your herbs and spices. 3. Allow to simmer for 1-2 hours on a medium/low heat, season to taste. Soups freeze well so you can batch make for lazy days!

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Good combinations? (chicken stock, peas, bacon, onion, spinach, broccoli and basil) or (vegetable stock, lentils, butternut squash, parsnip, carrot, onion, cumin and fresh chilli and coriander). Remember you can make any combination you fancy! I like to add a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds on the top, or parsnip crisps with a drizzle of olive oil. If you are watching your weight try to not choose milk or cream as the base, and avoid using too much oil when cooking. You can serve your soup with a big salad if you like. If you're not watching your weight, have a good bit of warm bread on the side!

Joanna Hollington