Soups

Souper Foods

You just can't go wrong with a hearty bowl of soup on a freezing winter's day. Comforting, satisfying, tasty and convenient - soups are a great way to look after yourself over the long cold months...

As we face the coldest months of the year but try to maintain our weekly mileage, humble soup is a great comfort food, will warm you up and can make the ideal recovery meal when you get back from a cold, wet, wintry session. Soups can also be cooked in bulk and frozen into portions so that you always have them to hand, should you fancy an easy meal. They make good lunches too if you take them to work in a flask and are an ideal starter to a main family meal.

There is even a study that showed if you eat a meal in soup form, your stomach stays fuller for longer than if you eat its parts in solid form. Great news for those of us who tend to carry a little extra weight over the winter months!

Dietician Nathalie Jones has come up with three great soups to aid your winter training...

Squash

Cashew Nuts

The 'Post Long Run' Butternut Squash & Cashew Nut Soup

What's in it: (4 portions)

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 squash peeled, deseeded and coarsely chopped (about 1kg)
  • 1 teaspoon of medium curry powder
  • 200ml milk
  • 125g cashew nuts chopped

How to make it:

  1. Heat the oil and over a medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 mins until softened.
  2. Add the chopped butternut squash and curry powder. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the milk and 500ml water then boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the cashews then cool briefly.
  5. Blend until smooth.

What's good about it:

The carbohydrate (squash) and protein (nuts) mix makes this soup an ideal recovery meal or snack. The protein helps your muscles restore their glycogen better than if you only had carbohydrate alone and the fact that it is a high fluid meal, contributes to your fluid intake, post run.

The olive oil and the monounsaturated fat in the nuts are good for your heart health and cholesterol and the nuts themselves contain iron for healthy red blood cells and B vitamins to metabolise our food into energy. This soup is really filling, due to the protein and the low glycaemic index carbohydrate in the butternut squash, and it's very very tasty!

 

Chopped Onions

Courgettes

Carrots

The 'Helping to Shed the Pounds' Vegetable Soup

What's in it: (6 portions)

  • 2 carrots
  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes

How to make it:

  1. Cut up all the vegetables and put in a large pan.
  2. Make up enough stock to cover the vegetables and add to the pan.
  3. Boil until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Blend using a hand blender and pour into freezer pots.
  5. Allow to cool before putting them in the freezer.

What's good about it:

This is great as it fills you up, counts towards your 5 a day and is virtually calorie free. Great for a snack mid-afternoon or even before you go out for a meal, to prevent you from overeating later on. You can also try using other vegetables such as leeks or adding herbs such as thyme or coriander for variety.

Carrots

Chopped Onions

The 'Great for the Whole Family' Carrot & Ginger Soup

What's in it: (4 portions)

  • 600g carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon medium curry powder
  • 1.5 litres stock (chicken or vegetable)

For the lemon herb cream for serving:

  • 1 x 200g crème fraiche
  • Finely grated rind of a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chives

How to make it:

  1. Heat the olive oil and add the onions and carrots. Cook for a few minutes but do not allow to brown.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and cook for a minute. Add the stock to the pan, half cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes until the carrots are tender.
  3. Cool slightly then blend until smooth.
  4. Reheat to serve.
  5. For the lemon herb cream: Mix all the ingredients together and serve a spoonful on top of each portion of soup.

What's good about it:

Because of the carrots, this soup has a lovely sweet taste so kids (as well as adults!) love it. It tastes much more calorific than it really is and is also a very filling soup that is great on its own with crusty bread for a meal or snack. Each portion contains one of your 5 fruit and vegetable portions for the day too.