7 hearty soup recipes

Emma Brown | 07 Jan, 2019

This January, Nutracheck nutritionist Emma is going to give you some top tips that show you can eat fewer calories but still feel full and satisfied. It's all about choosing the right foods. This week – we're talking about the many benefits of a good hearty soup.

Super soup

At this time of year, you can't beat a bowl of warming soup for lunch to keep you going until your dinner. Soup is not only tasty and versatile, it's also quick and convenient (make it in bulk and freeze). Best of all, it's proven to be filling too!

The science

Soups tend to fill us up quickly because of the sheer volume of liquid consumed. However, depending on the type of soup, some can leave you feeling hungry again soon after. For the most satiating soup, ensure it is blended rather than a broth type.

Research has shown that blended soups can take over 40 minutes longer to pass through the stomach than separated varieties. It's believed this is due to the liquid and food being emptied from the stomach at different rates – with liquids leaving faster. Imagine pouring chicken broth soup through a sieve – the water will pass straight through leaving the solid pieces of chicken in the sieve. When ingredients are blended with stock or water, the homogenised mix can't be easily separated. Imagine pouring this into a sieve, it would take some time for it to pass through – which is exactly what happens to blended soup in the stomach.

Tips for getting the most from your soup

  1. Use the opportunity to pack in lots of veggies – more of your 5-a-day and the fibre from the veg makes them extra filling.
  2. Include low fat protein sources to improve satiety – chicken, pulses, low fat cheese are all great choices.
  3. For lasting fullness, blend your soups rather than keeping them chunky. Pulses, chicken and cheese don't always blend so nicely, so you could do a veggie base that's blended and then add a protein food after.

Don't miss nutritionist Emma's series 'Eat Smarter Not Less'.

Week 1 Protein Power. Get 7 protein-packed meal ideas.

Week 2 Filling Fibre. 7 wholesome meals to satisfy.

Week 3 Hearty Soups. 7 filling soups.

More to come...

Meat free Mondays

Sweet potato and avocado soup

Sweet potato and avocado soup

Serves 4 - 391 kcals per serving

Kcals Fat Sat fat Carbs Sugar Protein Salt
391 23.9g 5.1g 43.6g 17.0g 6.4g 2.90g

Ingredients

  • 1.5 litres of reduced salt vegetable stock
  • 500g sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 ripe avocados, peeled, stoned and diced
  • 2 tsp of hot paprika
  • Black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat the stock in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
  2. Add the sweet potato, carrot, onion, 1 tsp of paprika and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
  3. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Add two avocados into the cooled sweet potato mixture and blend the soup using a hand blender or food processor, until smooth.
  5. Reheat before serving. Pour into shallow bowls, garnish with remaining paprika and slices of avocado.

Tasty Tuesdays

Creamy pea and mint soup

Creamy pea and mint soup

Serves 4 - 329 kcals per serving

Kcals Fat Sat fat Carbs Sugar Protein Salt
329 18.7g 8.0g 17.9g 11.7g 16.4g 0.67g

Ingredients

  • 2 litres of water
  • 2 handfuls of mint leaves
  • 800g frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 200ml half-fat crème fraîche

Method

  1. Pre-heat the grill to medium. Cook 4 bacon medallions for 4-5 minutes until crisp, turning half way through. Set aside to cool. Once cool, chop into small pieces.
  2. Bring the water to the boil in a large saucepan and add a pinch of salt.
  3. Add the mint leaves and return to the boil. Then add the peas and cook for 2-3 minutes until tender.
  4. Strain the mint and peas and set aside the liquid.
  5. Add the peas and mint back into the pan with just enough of the liquid to cover them. Blend with a hand blender or food processor until smooth.
  6. Mix in the olive oil, most of the crème fraîche and season well. Blend until smooth.
  7. Reheat if needed and serve topped with a spoonful of crème fraîche and crispy bacon pieces.

Wellness Wednesdays

Ginger chicken and noodle soup

Ginger chicken and noodle soup

Serves 4 - 470 kcals per serving

Kcals Fat Sat fat Carbs Sugar Protein Salt
470 7.7g 1.5g 64.1g 11.5g 40.6g 2.70g

Ingredients

  • 100g dried noodles (preferably wholewheat)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1.2 litres reduced salt chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce
  • 500g skinless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 10g fresh coriander to garnish
  • 4 slices crusty bread (preferably wholemeal)

Method

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the noodles and cook according to pack instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the sesame oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until starting to soften.
  3. Add the ginger and carrot and cook for a further minute. Then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds – don't let it start to brown.
  4. Add the stock and soy sauce and mix well. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes until the carrot has softened. Set aside and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium heat, spray with Frylight and cook the chicken pieces for 5 minutes, turning regularly until cooked through.
  6. Once the stock has cooled, blend the mixture together using a hand blender or food processor.
  7. Add the chicken pieces and noodles to the broth and return to the heat to warm through.
  8. Season well with black pepper and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve with a slice of crusty bread.

Thrifty Thursdays

Roasted garlic, beetroot and tomato soup

Roasted garlic, beetroot and tomato soup
(£1.16 per serving)

Serves 4 - 304 kcals per serving

Kcals Fat Sat fat Carbs Sugar Protein Salt
304 11.3g 3.2g 40.3g 18.8g 11.6g 2.10g

Ingredients

  • 600g raw beetroot, chopped into large chunks
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 6 tomatoes, quartered
  • 400g potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 reduced salt vegetable stock cubes
  • 1.2 litres boiling water
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 120g reduced fat feta cheese, cubed
  • Few sprigs of fresh thyme

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas mark 6.
  2. Scatter all the vegetables on a baking tray and drizzle over the oil and roast in the oven for 45-50 minutes until cooked through.
  3. Put the vegetables in a large saucepan, crumble over the stock cubes, season with black pepper and add the boiling water.
  4. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Then set aside and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Blend with a hand blender or food processor until smooth – add extra water if you'd like it thinner.
  6. Reheat and serve topped with feta cheese and fresh thyme.

Fish Fridays

Pea soup with cod and chorizo

Pea soup with cod and chorizo

Serves 2 - 518 kcals per serving

Kcals Fat Sat fat Carbs Sugar Protein Salt
518 11.5g 3.3g 60.7g 14.3g 45.5g 2.70g

Ingredients

  • 2x 140g skinless and boneless cod loins
  • 30g chorizo sausage, finely chopped
  • 2 onions
  • Frylight
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 300g potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1 reduced salt vegetable stock cube
  • 700ml boiling water
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 400g frozen peas

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas mark 6.
  2. Place the cod fillets on pieces of tin foil and wrap up into little parcels. Peel and finely slice ½ an onion then scatter on a baking tray along with the chorizo pieces and cod parcels.
  3. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and flaky.
  4. Meanwhile, place a large saucepan over a medium heat and heat the Frylight. Peel and dice the remaining onion and cook with the garlic for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften.
  5. Add the potatoes, stock cube and water to the pan and season with black pepper. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Add the peas to the pan and simmer for a further 3 minutes.
  7. Set aside and allow to cool for 5 minutes, before blending together using a hand blender or food processor.
  8. Reheat on the hob, then serve in warm bowls topped with the cod loin, roasted onion and chorizo pieces.

Spicy Saturdays

Sweet potato, chilli and lentil soup

Sweet potato, chilli and lentil soup

Serves 4 - 328 kcals per serving

Kcals Fat Sat fat Carbs Sugar Protein Salt
328 3.0g 0.7g 69.1g 19.6g 13.4g 2.60g

Ingredients

  • Frylight
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 800g sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 100g red lentils
  • 300ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1.2 litres reduced salt vegetable stock
  • Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 tsp medium curry powder
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes

Method

  1. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and heat the Frylight. Cook the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften.
  2. Add the chopped chilli and grated ginger and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add the sweet potato, lentils, milk, stock, coriander, curry powder and season with black pepper.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils and potato are cooked through.
  5. Set aside and allow to cool for 5 minutes, before blending together using a hand blender or food processor.
  6. Reheat if necessary. Serve in warm bowls, garnished with dried chilli flakes.

Sumptuous Sundays

Mixed bean, tomato and chocolate soup

Mixed bean, tomato and chocolate soup

Serves 2 - 348 kcals per serving

Kcals Fat Sat fat Carbs Sugar Protein Salt
348 7.3g 2.4g 54.4g 32.7g 14.0g 3.70g

Ingredients

  • Frylight
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 30ml red wine
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 20g dark chocolate
  • 700ml reduced salt vegetable stock
  • 400g tin mixed beans in water

Method

  1. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and heat the Frylight. Cook the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften.
  2. Add the chilli flakes, paprika and cumin to the pan, with a splash of water and stir well.
  3. Add the carrot, red wine, tomatoes, dark chocolate and stock to the pan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Set aside and allow to cool for 5 minutes, before blending together using a hand blender or food processor.
  5. Add the mixed beans to the pan, return to the heat and warm through for 5 minutes.

Nutritionist Emma Brown, MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.