‘Souper Duper’ Green Soup w/ Grains [Vegan]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8-10
Prep & Cooking Time: 60-70 mins (*Dependent upon skill, desired portion size and/or the number of handy kitchen helpers present!)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, K & E, protein, fibre, omega 3, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc and per serving is low in added salt, sugar and saturated fats!

A few weeks ago a moment of hunger and convenience had us purchasing and trialling a new flavour of ‘Covent Garden’ soup; the taste was fantastic but the colour (and price) was left to be desired for! So with that in mind, we decided to have a go and make our own twist on their green soup. How many of you have tried doing this? Do you find it enjoyable and really satisfying too? 🙂

We were happy with our result! A soup with a creamy and sweet ‘under note’ (from the puréed swede and baking potatoes) with an all round satisfying and delicious taste of chunky little veggies and grains.

We cooked this soup in bulk and it created five tasty lunches! So adjust your ingredients accordingly. We have also used a variety of grains (it was time to use up some of our tiddley, cupboard leftovers!), but feel free to use just one grain and/or your favourite(s)! If you need a completely GF option, swap the bulgar wheat and pearl barley for millet, buckwheat, brown rice and/or even lentils instead!

Also don’t be shy when it comes to using frozen vegetables, they can be just as tasty and nutritious, sometimes even more so! We used some of our delicious frozen spinach that we had previously purchased at Tesco. Thanks to the Orchard at Tesco, we had a coupon that allowed us to receive a discount! The price is extremely favourable, £1.40 for 900g, which works out much cheaper than fresh; so there’s no spoilage and you can have spinach whenever you fancy it! If you shop at Tesco, you should also look into becoming an Orchard member too!

 

Quick Foodie Facts and Tips:

  • Per serving (based on 10 servings) there is about 3.5 servings of vegetables towards your 5-A-Day! That’s one and half more than the Covent Garden version! 😀
  • As we’ve previously mentioned, a swede is also known as a rutabaga (in America!) or ‘neeps’  (in Scotland!) and is similar to a turnip. It is also in season until early next year!
  • Fancy another swede orientated soup, check out last year’s recipe here!

Happy cooking and have a great weekend everyone!

 

The potatoes and grains are not shown here!

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++50g       Dried Quinoa
+++++++++++++++++++50g       Dried Bulgar Wheat
+++++++++++++++++++100g     Dried Pearl Barley
+++++++++++++++++++1.3kg      Swede
+++++++++++++++++++400g     Baking Potato
+++++++++++++++++++500g     Carrot
+++++++++++++++++++200g     Celery
+++++++++++++++++++200g     Yellow Bell Pepper
+++++++++++++++++++230g      White onion
+++++++++++++++++++2             Garlic clove
+++++++++++++++++++2 tbsp    Dried Thyme
+++++++++++++++++++               Ground Black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++3L           Vegetable Stock (low-salt/GF if required)
+++++++++++++++++++220g      Frozen Peas
+++++++++++++++++++160g      Tesco Frozen Spinach
+++++++++++++++++++3 tbsp    Ground flaxseed
+++++++++++++++++++               Salt

 

Directions:

Cook your grain(s) according to the packet instructions.

Our cooked grains! NB: We used all of the pearl barley shown here and 2/3 of the quinoa/bulgar wheat…but don’t worry, we have adjusted the ingredient list accordingly!

 

In the meantime…

1. Wash and halve the swede and potato.
2. Peel the swede and potato.
3. Cube the swede and potato.
4. Place them into a large pot and fill it with cold water. Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook for 10-12 mins or until tender.
5. Drain.

 

 

Whilst the swede and potato are cooking…

1. Place another large pot full of 3 litres water over a medium heat (this will be for the soup). Bring to a boil.
2. Prepare the other veggies. Tip:Chop them as small or as large as desired! Wash, peel, trim the ends and chop the carrot into small cubes. Wash, trim the ends and finely cube the celery. Wash, remove the stem and core and then finely chop the bell pepper. Peel and dice the onion and garlic.
3. Once boiling, place the stock into the pot of water. Whisk to dissolve. Add the carrot, celery, bell pepper, onion, garlic, peas, thyme and some black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Cover with a lid. Simmer and cook for 5-7 mins or until tender.
4. Meanwhile, dice the frozen spinach.
5. Add the spinach during the last 2 mins of cooking.
6. Remove the pot of soup from the heat. Allow to cool slightly.

 

 

Feel free to complete this step with a hand-held stick blender instead!

1. Once the swede and potato have cooled, transfer them into a blender. Tip: You might have to add a little water to help purée it.
2. Purée until smooth and creamy. NB: You will have to complete this step in batches.
3. Transfer the soup into a container or pot (as appropriate).
4. Add a little of the soup into one of your batches (to help give the soup a vibrant green colour!). Blend until smooth and creamy.
5. Add the remaining puréed soup into the large plastic container or pot.

 

 

1. Add the remaining soup into the container or pot. Stir together.
2. Add the cooked grains. Stir through and thoroughly combine.
3. Add the ground flax seed. Stir through and thoroughly combine.
4. Taste and season the soup with some salt and ground black pepper as necessary.
Tip: This is important as the puréed swede and potato will slightly ‘neutralise’ the soup’s flavour. Reheat over a medium-low heat (if required).

 

 

Ladle the soup into a serving bowl. Garnish with some croutons, a drizzle of olive oil and/or fresh or dried parsley (if desired).

This shows one serving (based on ten servings) of reheated soup!

Enjoy! 😀

Pea & Watercress Soup

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C & K, protein, fibre, potassium, manganese, iron, calcium no added sugars and is low in fats!

This is another great soup recipe to try as this cold weather continues! It’s quick, simple, versatile, nutritious and has volumes of flavour! 

 

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++180g       White onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++60g          Watercress
+++++++++++++++++++++++++500g        Frozen peas
+++++++++++++++++++++++++                 1Kcal Fry Spray (low-fat cooking oil)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++800ml     Vegetable stock
+++++++++++++++++++++++++600ml     Water
+++++++++++++++++++++++++                  Salt & Ground black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++200ml     Soya milk (unsweetened & fortified)

 

 

Directions:

Peel and chop the onion. Wash the watercress.

 

 

Heat a non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray some low-fat cooking oil.

NB: Alternatively, skip this step and start heating the stock and water. Add the onion to the saucepan when you add the peas.

 

 

Add the onion. Gently fry 1-2 minutes or until softened.

 

 

Add the stock and water. Bring to the boil.

 

 

Add the peas. Cover with a lid. Bring back to the boil.

 

 

Add the watercress. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the peas are just tender.

NB: Alternatively, do not boil the watercress (preserve more nutrients)! Add it to the soup once the peas have cooked.

 

 

Remove from the heat. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Allow it to cool slightly.

 

 

Transfer the soup into a blender.

NB: You might have to complete this step in batches.

 

 

Blend until smooth.

 

 

Return the soup to the saucepan or a resealable container. Taste and season as necessary.

Lunch prep!

 

 

Add the DF milk. Stir together.

 

 

Place the saucepan back over a medium-low heat (if applicable) and reheat gently.

 

 

Ladle into a serving bowl. Garnish with some fresh or dry herbs (try mint or chives), soya yoghurt, seeds, chopped nuts, croutons or some spare watercress if desired.

We garnished ours with some mixed seeds and served it with  a ‘toastie’ sandwich! 😀

 

 

Enjoy!

NB: Here’s a version we made last year! We used more watercress and on this occasion, but we didn’t blend all of the soup. (It’ was also topped with soya yoghurt and fresh chives-delicious!) 🙂

 

 

If preferred…

  • For a thicker soup, thicken it with a slurry of potato starch or add a (peeled/chopped) potato to the soup when cooking.
  • Try using rocket, spinach or kale instead of watercress…and consider using a larger quantity (if desired of course)!
  • Try adding some cooked green lentils, quinoa or pearl barley (if gluten isn’t a concern) to the soup.

Vegan ‘Shepherd’s Pie’ With Lentils

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep & Cooking time: 80-90 minutes

 

Recipe adapted from: Coeliac UK

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C & K, protein, fibre, iron, potassium, some magnesium, zinc, calcium and is low in fats!

This recipe may not be as traditional or authentic as some British folk would prefer, but let’s face it- it’s a recipe that’s been adapted several times over the last 100 years or so! I think it’s a great recipe for those cold winter nights that are upon us, or for anyone implementing healthy lifestyle changes, and it’s definitely a meal the whole family can enjoy. The bottom line is, it tastes great, it’s easy to prepare and the ingredients are very interchangeable and inexpensive!  

 

NB: Based on four servings, this recipe provides approximately: 400kcal, 2.3g fat, 0.45g s/sat per serving. (*A standard supermarket version with lamb could provide 10g-20g of fat from the meat, butter, cream or full-fat milks they use in their recipes.)
*Based on a cursory look at some of the main supermarket brands.

 

NB: I used two peppers as I had some to spare!

 

Ingredients:

++++++++++++++150g      Brown lentils
++++++++++++++2L           Vegetable broth (low-sodium/DF/GF)
++++++++++++++1000g    Rudolph Potatoes
++++++++++++++4g           Garlic cloves
++++++++++++++170g      White onion
++++++++++++++160g      Carrots
++++++++++++++180g      Red bell pepper (I used 2 because I loads to spare!)
++++++++++++++100g      White mushrooms
++++++++++++++100g       Garden peas
++++++++++++++ 8g           Corn starch
+++++++++++++                  ‘1 kcal’ Fry spray (low-fat cooking oil)
++++++++++++++3g           Seasoning mix (Sweet paprika, Cayenne pepper & Dried Basil)
++++++++++++++30ml       Unsweetened Soya milk
++++++++++++++7g            Vegan (reduced fat) soya margarine
++++++++++++++                 Salt
++++++++++++++                 Pepper
++++++++++++++40G         Tomato Puree
++++++++++++++1g            Dried Thyme

NB: If using frozen vegetables, defrost them before use. 

 

Directions:

Wash and drain the lentils; remove any stones. Prepare the broth.

 

Place the broth into a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Add the lentils. Cook according to the packet instructions and then drain.

  Reserve 600ml of the cooking liquid before draining.

 

In the meantime, wash, peel and chop the potatoes into quarters. Place them into a separate, large saucepan full of cold water over a medium heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and leave to dry.

 

Meanwhile, peel and finely grate the garlic. Peel and chop the onions. Wash, trim the ends, peel and dice the carrots. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and dice the bell pepper. Wash, dry and slice the mushrooms. Wash and drain the peas. Place the corn starch into a small dish. Add some cold water and stir/whisk until dissolved; creating a slurry.

Meanwhile, ladle out some cooking liquid and transfer it into a large measuring jug.

 

Heat another large non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray with a little low-fat cooking oil. NB: Add a little of the reserved cooking liquid to help ‘steam-fry’ the vegetables. Add the garlic, onion, paprika, cayenne pepper and basil. Stir to coat. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

NB: I used 1g of each herb/spice to make the seasoning mix.

 

 

Add the carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms and a little more cooking liquid. Stir together. Cover and allow to steam-fry for a further 10 minutes; stirring occasionally. Add the peas 5 minutes before the end of cooking. Stir together.

 

Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Get out a large, heat-proof casserole dish.

 

 

In the meantime, prepare the mashed potato topping. Transfer the potatoes into a large mixing bowl (or use the same pot they were cooked in). Add the milk and margarine. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Mash until smooth and creamy.

NB: I didn’t want to scratch my pot so I used this plastic bowl; one more cooking utensil to wash at this point wasn’t going to make a difference!

 

 

 

Add the lentils, puree and the remaining cooking liquid into the saucepan. Stir together. Add the cornstarch mixture. Stir to combine. Stir and allow the mixture to thicken slightly; approximately 2-4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

NB: You might have to gently whisk the corn starch mixture again before adding it into the saucepan.

 

 

Transfer the mixture into the casserole dish.

 

 

Top with the potatoes.

NB: I gathered some with my hands, made ‘patties’ and gently placed them on top of the mixture. It really doesn’t take as long as it sounds!

 

 

Smooth with a silicone spatula, sprinkle over the thyme and roughen the surface with a fork.

 

 

Place into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until boiling and slightly brown on top.

NB: Mine just started to bubble over but I caught it just in time ( I was attending to the queue of dishes)!

 

 

Serve warm in a lipped serving plate.

NB: This represents one serving. *Based on this meal serving four people.

 

 

Next day leftovers!

NB: Enjoy hot or cold with additional vegetables if desired. This portion was unheated and enjoyed straight from the fridge!

 

If preferred…

  • Use seasonal vegetables or any others you desire to create your favourite vegetable medley!
  • Substitute the lentils for prepared dehydrated soya mince or some beans.
  • Try using different herb and spice blends; use fresh if available and/or convenient.
  • If your not vegan, try adding a small portion of low-fat cheddar cheese into the mashed potatoes before baking.