Meatless Monday: Slow Cooker Seasonal Vegetable Soup W/ White Beans & Sausages

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 6
Prep: 40 mins (*Dependent upon skill and/or kitchen helpers!)
Cooking Time: 4-8 hrs (*Dependent on S.C. setting)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and per serving* is low in added sugar, salt and saturated fats. (*Dependent upon the type and/or quantity of stock and/or vegan sausages used). 

Happy New year everyone! We would like to take a moment again to thank everyone that has supported us during the last fourteen months; you have truly made it a very productive and rewarding time indeed! It’s been a pleasure sharing, interacting and seeing our posts receive visits from over 80 countries! Thanks everyone, we really appreciate the support and hope that we have helped make your culinary journey and healthy lifestyle easier, tastier and well informed! 🙂

Today we would like to share another great (mostly!) seasonal recipe that’s plant-based and easy to execute! A tasty and seasonal stew that will not only warm your heart and soul, but will help to kick off the year on a fantastic note! #5Aday

It’s a delicious soup that has a lovely natural sweetness from the carrot, swede and fennel and is wholly satisfying! We have suggested the use of plant-based ‘sausages’, but these are completely optional. The soup is tasty and satisfying without them, but those embarking on Veganuary might be keen to sample some processed/ plant-based goodies to help ease their transition. It’s important to note that these types of faux meats are not the gold standard to plant-based eating and/or healthy eating in general; a lot of these products can contain a lot of oil and/or high levels of salt. However, they can be quite tasty and useful in moderation, but we would always recommend trying to make these plant-based goodies yourself.

Here’s to a healthy and happy 2016 and happy cooking everyone! 😀

Quick Foodie Facts:

  • Per serving this soup contains about 5 servings of vegetables towards your 5-A-Day! Now that is truly #eating2health!
  • Butter beans are a great source of nutrients including: Vitamins A, B1, B3, B6, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc (just to name a few!), are naturally low in fat and count towards your 5-A-Day!

 

Tip: If preferred, use a mixture of  ½ volume water, ½ volume stock with some additional fresh or dried herbs instead of using loads of stock!

 

Ingredients

+++++++++12g           Garlic Clove (2 fat ones!)
+++++++++140g        Brown Onion
+++++++++200g       Yellow Bell Pepper
+++++++++400g       Fennel Bulb
+++++++++360g       Carrot
+++++++++1kg           Swede
+++++++++10g          Fresh Rosemary
+++++++++440g       Cooked Butter Beans (approx. 2 tins or 220g dried/cooked variety)
+++++++++1 tbsp      Rapeseed Oil
+++++++++                Salt & Ground Black pepper
+++++++++187ml      White Wine
+++++++++1               Bay Leaf
+++++++++1.4L          Vegetable Stock (low-salt/GF if required)
+++++++++240g       Frozen Green beans, defrosted
+++++++++6-9          Vegan Sausages (*optional)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

 

Directions

Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then finely chop the bell pepper. Wash the fennel, trim the ends, slice it (horizontally) into two halves and then finely chop. Wash, peel, trim the bottom and then chop the swede into cubes. Drain and wash the beans (if applicable). Wash the rosemary, remove the leaves from its stem and then finely chop them. Tip: Check out a previous recipe for some help on preparing your fennel. 

 

 

Wash, peel, trim the ends and then quarter the carrot(s).

 

 

  • Heat 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil in a large, non-stick a frying pan or pot. Tip: Looking for a lower-fat option? Swap the oil for some low-fat cooking oil instead.
  • Add the garlic and onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened.
  • Add the bell pepper, fennel and carrot. Stir together. Gently fry for 3-4 mins or until slightly softened.
  • Add the swede.
  • Cover with a lid and gently fry/steam-fry for a final 3-4 mins. Season it with some salt and black pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.
  • Transfer the vegetable mixture into a slow cooker.

 

Add the rosemary, butter beans, wine, bay leaf and stock (and/or water). Stir together. Season it with some black pepper to taste. Cover with a lid. Cook on a low heat setting for 7-8 hrs or on a high setting for 3-4 hrs instead.

 

In the meantime…

Snap the beans into halves and defrost them. Add them to the slow cooker during the last 30mins of cooking. Alternatively, steam and then add them to the slow cooker just before serving.

 

Cook the sausages according to the packet instructions. Allow them to cool and ‘set’. Add them into your soup just before serving (if applicable). Tip: Due to the ingredients in these types of sausages, they will quickly dissolve into your soup’s broth if you add them whilst the soup is still cooking!

 

Ladle the soup into large serving bowls. Add the cooked sausages (if desired); serve with bread if preferred (a friendly warning: this soup is super filling without!). Garnish with some fresh rosemary, parsley or chives if preferred.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Refrigerate any leftover soup in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively freeze in one or several containers; defrost, reheat and consume within 2 months.

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‘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! 😀

Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple & Walnut Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves 6-8
Prep, Cooking & Assembly: 80-120 mins ( *Dependant on skill or kitchen helpers!)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, 2*baking trays, silicone mat(s) (or kitchen foil), veggie peeler, mixing bowl, blender, resealable container (*optional)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, omega-3+6, calcium, iron, potassium and per serving (based on six servings) is low in salt, free sugars and saturated fats. 

It’s now officially Autumn, so we should all be making the most of this season (and our local markets!) by sourcing some of nature’s delicious squashes and root vegetables (just to name a few!); all of which can be enjoyed in some hearty, healthful and flavourful soups, stews, warm salads or casseroles!

This soup has some beautifully roasted butternut squash, apple and banana shallots, giving it a delicious and satisfying natural sweetness. A dash of chutney, nutmeg and walnut oil really help to round things off, providing a tasty, wholemeal and seasonal feel. Enjoy it on its own or with some warmed wholemeal pitta bread! 

We used some swede (as we had some to spare!), but it became a tasty ‘background note’ to this soup. Butternut squash is always a winner in our book, but if preferred, substitute it for some pumpkin, acorn squash or sweet potato instead. Please check out some of our other soup recipes here for more tasty, seasonal and satisfying recipes!

Happy Cooking everyone! 😀

 

NB: We did not end up using the maple syrup and we used one more apple than shown here!

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++++++200g       Banana Shallots
+++++++++++++++++++++8g            Garlic clove (about 2)
+++++++++++++++++++++                Low-Fat Oil Spray
+++++++++++++++++++++580g       Swede
+++++++++++++++++++++640g       Braeburn Apples
+++++++++++++++++++++30g         Plum & Apple Chutney (GF if required)
+++++++++++++++++++++1.8kg       Butternut Squash
+++++++++++++++++++++3g            Dried Sage
+++++++++++++++++++++2 tbsp     Extra Virgin Olive Oil
+++++++++++++++++++++500ml    Vegetable stock (low-salt/DF; GF if required)
+++++++++++++++++++++1.5L         Water
+++++++++++++++++++++1-2g        Ground Nutmeg
+++++++++++++++++++++3 tsp       Walnut Oil
+++++++++++++++++++++                Walnut pieces, chopped and/or toasted (*optional)

 

Directions

Trim the ends off the shallots and discard. Place the shallots and garlic onto a lined baking tray. Spray and coat with a little low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

Wash, peel and then chop the swede into cubes. Wash, peel, remove the core/seeds and chop the apple into rough pieces.

Normally we wouldn’t peel our apples, but the skins can give an unwanted bitterness to the soup!

 

 

Place the swede into a large mixing bowl. Add about ¼ of the quantity of chutney. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Mix to coat.

 

 

Place the swede and apple onto the same baking tray as the shallots and garlic.

 

Heat the oven to 190C/375F. Line another baking tray with some parchment paper.

 

In the meantime, peel, trim the ends, deseed and then chop the squash into 1 inch cubes.

 

 

Place the squash into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining chutney, 3g dried sage and 2 tbsp of olive oil (alternatively use some low-fat cooking oil). Mix to thoroughly coat.

 

 

Transfer the squash onto the lined baking tray, spreading it as evenly as possible.

 

 

  • Place the baking tray with the swede and apple mixture onto the lower oven shelf. Roast for about 30-35 mins or until tender and slightly crisp around the edges; turning the mixture and rotating the tray in the oven at least once.
  • Place the baking tray with the squash onto the middle oven shelf. Roast for about 35-40 mins or until tender and slightly crispy around the edges; turning and flipping the squash at least once.

Our roasted veggies! Remove and allow to cool for at least 5-10 mins.

 

 

Once cooled, peel the skin off of the shallots and garlic. Transfer the vegetables and apple (in batches) into a blender along with a little of the vegetable stock and/or water. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Alternatively, transfer the mixture (and liquids) into a large non-stick pot and blend with a stick blender until smooth.

 

 

Transfer the puréed vegetable mixture into a large and resealable container or a large, non-stick pot (if applicable). Repeat until all of the vegetables have been puréed. Add any remaining water, 1-2g nutmeg and 3-4 tsp walnut oil. Stir to combine. Taste and season as necessary. Reheat the soup over a low heat until warm (if applicable).

NB: If a thinner soup is preferred, add more water than we have previously advised! Ours went into this plastic tub; the joys of meal prepping!

 

 

Serve warm. Ladle the soup into a bowl. Garnish with a drizzle of walnut oil and/or some walnut pieces and fresh chives (if desired) and for the extra hungry, serve with a piece of warmed wholemeal pitta bread!

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable and air tight container; reheat and consume within 4 days. Alternatively portion and freeze the soup in several resealable and air tight containers (do not overfill); defrost and reheat within 1-2 months.

Recipe updated:19/02/16

Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Soup w/ Pearl Barley

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8-10
Prep: 30-60 mins (*Dependant on skill and desired serving size.)
Cooking time: 4-7 hrs (*Dependent on SC setting.)
Type: Main meal
Tools: Colander, chopping board, sharp knife, slow cooker

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, magnesium, potassium, zinc and (per serving) is low in sugar, salt and saturated fats!

This is a great autumnal or winter vegetable-based soup. It’s easy to execute and adapted not only to the season but your taste buds! Our variation contains a great blend of herbs and some delicious (chunky) veggies! 

The peas and pearl barley provide a great source of protein, but feel free to swap them for your favourite type of legume, pulse and/or grain; smoked seitan or tofu would also make a tasty addition! Diet permitting, you could add a little lean beef or chicken (we think that this could also work quite well!). 

We cooked the pearl barley separately and would recommend doing so, unless this is only going to be served as ‘one meal’. We have found in the past that the pearl barley keeps absorbing liquid… so your next day leftovers will be more barley than broth! :/

You’ll find that we initially kept the liquid to a minimum; we were waiting to see how much water was given off in the first 3 hours before adding any more! However, we have advised for everyone to add all of the liquid at start of the cooking process. 

Quick Food Fact: Per serving (based on 10 servings!), this soup provides you with about 3.3 servings of vegetables towards your 5-A-Day!

Happy cooking everyone! 😀

 

We used 1/2 the swede and 1/4 of the cabbage shown here; fresh thyme and rosemary not shown here.

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print version? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

Wash and then chop the potato into chunks. Wash, trim the ends and quarter the parsnip. Transfer the potato and parsnip into a slow cooker.

 

 

Wash, peel and chop the swede into chunks. Wash, trim the ends and slice the carrot; transfer the vegetables into the slow cooker.

The only root vegetable we peeled was the swede; it’s time saving, but it also adds some extra nutrients to the soup (just remember to give your veggies a good scrub first)!

 

 

Peel and dice the onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then roughly chop the bell pepper. Peel and dice the garlic; transfer the vegetables into the slow cooker.

 

 

 

Wash and roughly slice (or shred) the cabbage leaves. Wash the parsley; remove the leaves from its stem and roughly chop them. Remove the rosemary sprigs from its stem and roughly chop them. Remove the thyme leaves from its stem.

 

 

Add the cabbage, parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage, bay leaf, black pepper and 1/2 tsp of salt  into the slow cooker. Add the pearl barley (if applicable*).

*See above notes.

 

 

Prepare the stock. Pour in the hot stock and some (just boiled) water. Cover with a lid. Cook on a high heating setting for about 3.5 hrs or on a low heat setting for 7-8hrs instead.

 

 

When there is about 40 minutes of cooking time left, defrost the peas. Add the corn flour to a small dish with equal parts water; stir into a paste to form a ‘slurry’. Add the peas into slow cooker. Whilst stirring, pour in the slurry. Stir until dissolved and combined. Cover with the lid. Cook for a further 40 mins.

 

 

In the meantime, cook the pearl barley according to the packet instructions.

Ours took 30 mins to cook. NB: We lightly oiled and seasoned the leftover pearl barley to prevent it becoming one, big flavourless blob!

 

 

Stir and season the soup to taste before serving.

 

 

Serve warm. Place some pearl barley into a large serving bowl (if applicable). Ladle the soup over the barley. Stir together. Garnish with some parsley (if preferred).

We served ours with some tasty spirulina-based bread! 🙂

 

 

Enjoy!

Savoy Cabbage & Swede Soup

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6-8
Prep & Cooking Time: 75 mins (*Dependant upon skill & the number of kitchen helpers!)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, no added sugars  (per serving) is low in add salt and and fats! 

This soup is perfect for those that love autumnal/winter veggies; it’s also oh so creamy and absolutely delicious! Vary the vegetables, herbs and legumes if desired, put try not to miss out on some naturally sweet and tasty swede!

Quick Foodie Facts:

  • A portion of vegetables is 80 grams, so depending on how many servings you decide to have, be prepared to get approximately 2-3 of your 5-A-Day!
  •  A swede is also known as a rutabaga or ‘neeps’ and is similar to a turnip.
  • Haricot beans are also referred to as ‘navy’ beans!

 

 

Per serving (based on 8 servings), this soup provides approx:

125Kcal, 5.1g Protein, 0.56g Fat, 0.11g S/fat, 6.4g Fibre, 0.82g Salt, 1.3mg Iron /Serving

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++400g     Savoy cabbage
+++++++++++++++++++++++++900g     Swede
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2L          Vegetable stock (low-sodium/DF/GF)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++500ml  Water
+++++++++++++++++++++++++180g      Carrots
+++++++++++++++++++++++++240g      Baking potato
+++++++++++++++++++++++++160g      White onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g          Garlic clove
+++++++++++++++++++++++++5g          Fresh thyme
+++++++++++++++++++++++++10g        Fresh parsley
+++++++++++++++++++++++++200g     Tinned haricot beans (in unsalted water)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1             Bay leaf
+++++++++++++++++++++++++              Ground black pepper

 

Directions:

Chop the cabbage into half, remove the stem and then chop it into fine slices. Place it into a large bowl. Fill with cold water and allow it to soak. Drain in a colander.

NB: Alternatively just rinse it in a large colander; we find this method easier!

 

Wash, trim the ends, peel and dice the swede.

 

Meanwhile, place a large, non-stick saucepan or ‘stock pot’ over a medium-high heat. Add the stock and water. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil.

 

In the meantime, finish preparing the veggies. Wash, trim the ends, peel and then chop the carrot into halves. Wash and dice the potato. Peel and dice the onion. Peel and crush the garlic. Wash, dry and roughly chop the thyme and parsley. Drain and rinse the beans.

 

NB: Fresh herbs such as thyme and rosemary are more ‘robust’ so they can be added at the being of the recipe…. while herbs such as parsley, coriander and basil should be added towards the end. Alternatively, if you want the herbs to remain fresh and bright, add them at the end.

  • Place the cabbage, swede, carrot, potato, onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf into the saucepan of boiling stock. Season it with some black pepper to taste. Stir together. Bring back to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid. Allow it to cook for 20 mins or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Remove from the heat. Add the parsley. Season it with black pepper to taste. Stir through. Allow it to cool slightly. Tip: Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf and discard!

 

Notes: We had to purée our soup in three batches. NB: All of our soup went into this plastic tub for more nutritious lunches this week! 🙂

  •  Transfer the soup into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Tip: Alternatively you can use a hand-held stick blender in the saucepan and purée the soup.
  •  Add the beans into another large saucepan or resealable container (if applicable) or into your pot of puréed soup (if using a hand-held stick blender) .
  • Transfer the puréed soup into the saucepan or resealable container (if applicable). Mix together. Repeat until all of the soup is puréed. Place the saucepan back over a medium-low heat (if applicable) and reheat.

 

 

Serve warm. Ladle the soup into a serving bowl. Garnish with some herbs, croutons or seeds if desired.

We used dried chives, sweet paprika, pumpkin seeds and served it with a slice of multi-grain toast. 🙂

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container and consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, freeze portions in small/resealable containers. Defrost and reheat; best consumed within 1-2 months.

 

 

If preferred… 

  • Add some unsweetened & fortified almond or soya milk for additional nutrients and an even ‘creamier’ taste.
  • Additionally, swap some of the stock for DF milk or plain water to reduce the salt content  and/or add more herbs/spices or ground black pepper instead.
  • Use fresh or frozen herbs and/or vegetables and dried beans instead of tinned.
  • Use spices rather than herbs.
  • A bit of nutritional yeast for a ‘nutty/cheesy’ element and a GF bread roll or some multi-grain toast would also not go a miss.If your diet permits, serve with some low-fat grated cheese.
  • Serve with a dollop of plain soya yoghurt.