Eat less calories. Feel fuller. It sounds like a sales trick, but it’s as simple as… soup.
Research shows that a low-calorie soup before lunch leads to dieters craving less, and more importantly, eating up to 20% fewer calories overall. We all know that trying to lose weight can often lead to an increase in appetite; so filling up with a healthy soup makes sense. Dr Barbara Rolls of Penn State University explains that soup is a prime high-volume / low-calorie food, and “the right food choices will help you control hunger and eat fewer calories, so you can lose weight, keep it off, and stay healthy.”
Packed with veggies and delicious flavours, soups can be ‘souper’ nutritional - from helping maintain energy levels to getting in those all-important vitamins and minerals.
We’ve put together three delicious vegetable soup recipes, loaded with fiber to help stave off unwanted cravings. So, rustle up a batch and reheat throughout the week for effortless, tasty lunches that will help you on your weight loss journey.
SOUP HACK: Add a sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper to a bowl of soup to truly warm the bones on chilly days.
Tomato & Chilli Soup
According to Health Line, tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. This tasty dish is quick to make and loaded with tomatoey goodness!
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, celery, chili and garlic. Cook over medium heat until softened. Add the tomatoes, water and stock. Bring to the boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Liquidize the soup in a blender or use a hand blender. Serve.
Did you know that broccoli is a source of Folate? It’s necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells in the body (Healthy Eating) and this recipe is sure to get plenty into your system.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 8 cups chopped broccoli (stems and florets)
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, “no-chicken” broth (see Note) or vegetable broth
- ½ cup half-and-half (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or parsley
- Heat butter and oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until the butter melts. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and thyme (or parsley); cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds.
- Stir in broccoli. Add water and broth; bring to a lively simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook until very tender, about 8 minutes.
- Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Stir in half-and-half (if using), salt and pepper.
According to BBC Good Food, beetroot is rich in fiber, bringing favourable effects on bowel function, which may assist in preventing constipation and help to lower cholesterol levels, too.
- (1/2 lb) beetroot, grated coarsely
- 250 g (1/2 lb) tomatoes, halved (or tinned tomatoes)
- 1 clove garlic, chopped roughly
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive or sunflower oil
- 250 ml (8 fl oz) stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place the halved tomatoes in an ovenproof dish.
- Throw over the garlic and drizzle over half the olive oil. Roast them for 25-30 minutes at 190°C/375°F/Gas mark 5 until soft and pulpy.
- Rub through a sieve to remove the skin and pips. Heat the remaining oil in a pan and sweat the onion for a few minutes until soft. Add the beetroot and the stock and bring to the boil.
- Season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Simmer gently for 7-10 minutes until the beetroot is tender.
- Stir in the tomato purée, transfer the soup to a blender and process until completely smooth.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Reheat the soup until thoroughly hot but not boiling. Divide between warm bowls and crumble over a little feta into each bowl.