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Soupercharged Soups

Making your own vegetable soup is the quick, easy and tasty way to healthier eating, and warming too. These cheap, colourful and nourishing recipes are perfect in a flask or microwaved for lunch. Every one is packed with vitamins and minerals, so go on get soupercharged!

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Carrot Soup

carrot soupCarrots offer the highest amount of beta-carotene (the pigment that gives them their colour, and is also found in squash, cantaloupe melon, apricots, sweet potato and other yellow red and orange fruit) is an antioxidant which is turned into vitamin A in the body and protects against heart disease, strokes, cancer and wrinkles, so it’s anti-ageing. It’s also essential to healthy growth and cell development, vision and our immune system. Adults need 0.7 milligrams a day, which you can get from one medium carrot, so one bowl of this delicious soup does the job. Carrots are also an excellent source of fibre, vitamin K and biotin and rich in vitamins B6 and C, potassium and thiamine. Extensive studies have shown that eating at least one carrot a day (or one bowl of this carrot soup) could cut the rate of lung cancer by half.

Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter, margarine or vegetable oil
500g carrots, sliced
2 small onions, finely chopped
900ml water
1 vegetable stock cube
300ml milk
Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the butter, margarine or vegetable oil in a large pan and add the onions and carrots
  2. Cook for about 10 minutes until soft, and then add the water and milk and crumble in the stock cube
  3. Simmer for 15 minutes then allow to cool slightly before whizzing in the blender
  4. Reheat and season with salt and pepper to taste
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Celery Soup

celery soupCelery is an excellent source of vitamin C and fibre and also a good source of folic acid, potassium, vitamins B1, B2 and B6 as well as calcium. Celery contains phytochemical compounds known as ‘coumerins’. These are effective in prevention of some cancers, enhancing the activities of certain white blood cells, lowering blood pressure as well as cholesterol and reducing the effects of migraines. It is also suggested that celery is effective in the treatment of arthritic and muscular aches and pains. Old or young, this creamy celery soup is a winter wonder.

Cooking time: 35 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of butter, margarine or vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 head of celery, finely chopped
900ml water
1 vegetable stock cube
150ml milk
Salt and pepper

Instructions

1. Heat the butter, margarine or vegetable oil in a large pan and add the onion and celery. Cook for about 10 minutes until soft, then add the water and milk and crumble in the stock cube
2. Simmer for 25 minutes then allow to cool slightly before whizzing in the blender
3. Reheat and season with salt and pepper to taste

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Tomato Soup

tomato soup Tomatoes offer a high content of lycopene which is proven to help fight against breast, lung, colon, prostate and skin cancers. Packed with nutrition, tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins C and K, carotenes and biotin. They are also a good source of Vitamin B6, niacin, folic acid and fibre. Tomatoes are also low in calories but high in taste so make a great option for those watching the scales. Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants, particularly when cooked, so a bowl of this soup is souper skin-friendly comfort food.

Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter, margarine or vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large potato, peeled and roughly cubed
1kg fresh tomatoes, preferably over-ripe, finely chopped
250ml pint of milk
1 chicken stock cube
125ml pint of single cream
Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the butter, margarine or vegetable oil in a large pan and add the onion and potato, and lightly fry until the onion is soft
  2. Add the tomatoes and add them to the potato and onion and fry for 5 minutes
  3. Add all other ingredients apart from the cream. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes. If the mixture is looking too thick add a little water
  4. Allow to cool slightly before whizzing in the blender
  5. Stir in the cream
  6. Reheat and season with salt and pepper to taste
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Pea Soup

pea soupThis fab soup is bursting with nutrients. They provide substantial amounts of 8 vitamins, 7 minerals, dietary fibre and protein. Besides loads of vitamin C, peas are a great source of vitamin K1, essential to healthy bones and the body's healthy blood clotting ability. The humble pea is also a very good source of folic acid and vitamin B6 which contribute to cardiovascular (heart) health. Green peas are also a good source of iron, a mineral necessary for normal blood cell formation and function, so this soup helps combat anemia, fatigue, decreased immune function and learning problems.

Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter, margarine or vegetable oil
1 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
300g frozen peas
750ml water
1 vegetable stock cube
3 tablespoons crème fraîche

Instructions

  1. Heat the butter, margarine or vegetable oil in a large pan and fry the spring onions for 1 minute until slightly softened
  2. Add the peas, water and stock cube, then bring to the boil
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes, then allow to cool slightly before whizzing in the blender
  4. Stir in the crème fraîche
  5. Reheat and season with salt and pepper to taste
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Potato Soup

potato soupSpuds aren’t just packed with vitamins. They also contain absolutely no cholesterol. In fact, the fibre in potatoes actually reduces existing cholesterol levels and so helps reduce the risk of heart disease. Potatoes are an easily digestible source of carbohydrate - the body’s main fuel - which your muscles need constantly. This potato soup is a fantastic source of carbohydrates but is low fat – spuds contain 13 times less fat than rice and 5 times less fat then pasta.

Cooking time: 45 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter, margarine or vegetable oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
3 large potatoes, peeled and roughly cubed
500ml water
1 vegetable stock cube
Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Gently heat the butter, margarine or vegetable oil in a large pan and add the onions and fry gently for about 10 minutes
  2. Add the potatoes to the pan and pour over about 100ml of the measured water and simmer until the potatoes are tender, adding a little water if it gets low
  3. When the potatoes are tender to the point of falling apart, add the remaining water and heat through, then allow to cool slightly before whizzing in the blender
  4. Reheat and season with salt and pepper to taste
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Beetroot Soup

beetroot soupNot just a pretty soup! Beetroots are a rich source of carbohydrates, a good source of protein, and have high levels of important vitamins, minerals and micronutrients like potassium and magnesium. They are an excellent source of folic acid and are therefore recommended to women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Betalins are found in beetroot in large quantities. They are antioxidants and prevent the oxidative processes that are thought to be the cause of many diseases. Beetroots contain soluble fibre, which can help reduce blood cholesterol and ‘carotenoids’ and ‘flavonoids’ which help prevent LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol from being oxidised and deposited in the arteries. Cooked beetroot, so that means this soup, is a great source of folate that can protect you against high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s and dementia. It is also crucial to the development of a baby’s spinal cord during the first three months of pregnancy, so a good intake of folate is important to prevent spinal cord defects such as spina bifida.

Cooking time: 60 mins

Serves 4

Ingredients

450g beetroot
2 tablespoons butter, margarine or vegetable oil
110g onion, finely chopped
1 litre water
1 vegetable stock cube
Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash the beetroot carefully under the cold tap. Don't damage the skin or cut the ends. Put the beetroot into a large pan, cover with water, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on, for anything from 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on their size and age
  2. The beetroot are cooked when the skins rub off easily. When cool enough to handle, rub off the skins and chop the beetroot
  3. Heat the butter, margarine or vegetable oil in a large pan and add the onion and fry gently for 10 minutes
  4. Add the beetroot, water and stock cube to the onion, then allow to cool slightly before whizzing in the blender
  5. Reheat and season with salt and pepper to taste



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