A hearty and delicious vegetable soup ideal for lunch, at home or on the go! A good source of protein, vitamin A and fibre, and contributes to one of your 5 a day.
It's still a bit chilly at the moment, despite some signs of spring peaking through. If you are strapped for time and have a busy week ahead but want to cook something packed with nutrition, to keep you warm and delicious, soups are great.
This carrot and bean soup is vegetarian, very simple in terms of preparation and ingredients; so if you are keen to experiement, feel free to add in meat for extra protein, iron and taste. Try opt for lean meats to keep the saturated fat levels down.
Soup is a great way to pack in tonnes of vegetables, increasing nutrient density of the meal. If you are not a fan of chunky vegetables in meals, all you have to do is blend blend blend.
Soups are great for those busy days/nights when you feel you don't have the energy or time to cook from scratch. Pick a day you have time and cook a big batch of soup, portion it out and freeze ready for those days you don't want to cook. You'll have a ready made nutritious soup waiting in the fridge!
Health note: Often shop bought soups tend to be high n salt, so making your own home made soup gives you full control of how much seasoning you add and ingredient choices. High salt consumption is associated to increased blood pressure, so it's best to check food labels if buying shop bought soups, but if you can, try to make your own versatile soups.
Carrot and Bean Soup
These crunchy, naturally sweet vegetables can be nutritious additions to most meals.
Rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and dietary fibre.
Excellent source of beta-carotene, a natural anti-oxidant that helps protect the body cells from injury whilst also helping maintaining good eye health, growth and development.
They contain healthy levels of minerals like calcium, potassium and phosphorus. Potassium is important in helping to control heart rate and blood pressure; and offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.
Kidney beans are low in saturated fat and are a good source of fibre, iron, folate and other health benefiting micronutrients, like most other beans.
They are a great source of quality protein important for growth, maintenance, repair and satiety.
They help to prevent a rapid rise in blood sugar levels after a meal which is great for people with conditions that require careful management of this such as diabetes.
They make a great addition to most meals and are a great, more affordable, protein providing alternative to meat; so great for those #meatfreemonday meals.
Preparation & Cooking Time: 25 mins
½ stalk celery
1 garlic clove
1tablespoon olive/sunflower oil
½ tin black beans
½ tsp dried coriander/1 tbsp. fresh
¼ tsp mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
250 ml vegetable stock (1/2 a stock cube)
Natural yogurt for serving
Peel and dice onion, chop celery and the garlic
Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan. Add onion, celery and mixed herbs and fry until onions are soft and golden.
Add chopped garlic and fry for 1 minute
Wash, peel (if fresh carrot) and chop carrots or drain and chop if tinned then add to the pan.
Drain the liquid from the beans and rinse them, then add them to the saucepan and cook for 2minutes. Add 250ml of vegetable stock and bring to the boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 15minutes.
Once cooked, serve the soup as it is with the vegetables chunky or you can choose to blend half the soup to thicken it or blend all to make a smooth soup.
Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt
Serve with a piece of bread (e.g. soda bread or crusty bread)
Any leftover vegetables you have can be used to make this soup
You could puree the soup after cooking using a hand blender to give a smooth consistency or chop the vegetables into large chunks to give a chunkier soup
Use kidney beans or a variety of other bean instead of black beans
Lentils or chickpeas could be added to thicken the soup, to add extra flavour and boost the nutrients
Any other type of vegetables could be used as alternatives to celery, onion or carrots and these can be frozen, tinned or fresh. They all contribute to vegetable intake.