25 November 2011

Lunchtime Soup

You know those days when you're contemplating what to have for lunch and just don't fancy anything that you've got in the fridge?

Well, on one of those days, "Lunchtime Soup" was born.

I could easily have had a sandwich, but as bread is such a no-no with regard to being inflammatory, (one slice of Oat bran bread registering -33) I was feverishly trying to think of something to have that wouldn't upset the apple cart and leave me in pain for the afternoon.

I knew I had a few crumbs of Turkey left from the meat I'd defrosted for use in the Turkey Curry, but I didn't much fancy having Ramen noodles which would have used them up perfectly.  I did, however, feel like having something warm that came out of a bowl.  Something that you knew you'd eaten by the end of it.  Soup!

Now, this was an enticing proposition because I knew I'd be eating it alone - so I could make it just how I wanted.  Hubby isn't a great lover of home-made soups and anyway he already had plans for lunch.

I had a rummage in the vegetable drawer and pulled out the following :

a shallot (which registered +20)
two sticks of Fenland celery (+10)
a parsnip (-12)
a block of swede (-4)
three florets of cauliflower (+18)
one clove of garlic (+107)
a small bunch of parsley (+50)
a handful of leftover roast turkey meat (-17)

plus :

olive oil (to cook the shallot & garlic in - +71)
chicken stock - I used 2 Knorr Chicken Stockpots (-43)
and enough water to cover.

All of which, once you've done the maths, amounts to a total of +200 - which is just wonderful.

So I was able to have - over two days - lunch that not only was good for me, but was low fat, tasted fabulous and soothed my yearning for comfort food!  It would have been even better for me if I'd have had a couple of carrots in the house, but regrettably we'd used them all up.  What makes this even better, is that the soup ingredients were all leftovers - all except the cauliflower, which I'd bought to make a Skinny Cauliflower Cheese with.

I reckon I've hit dieting Nirvana.  Food that is not only good for you (in whatever way you want it to be good for you), but comes as an added bonus on top of your normal planned menus.  Can't be bad!

If you'd like to re-create this lovely yumminess at home, here's what I did (but you can add or remove any part of it, substitute veggies, or use veggie stock - the world is your oyster!) :

LUNCHTIME SOUP  (serves 2)

Ingredients :

1 tbsp olive oil
1 banana shallot, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
2 sticks celery, de-stringed and chopped fine
1 medium parsnip, peeled & sliced finely
a small block of swede, peeled & diced finely
3 florets of cauliflower, each cut in half

600ml chicken or vegetable stock - I used 2 Knorr Chicken Stockpot
a few offcuts of cooked meat taken from a roasted joint
a small bunch of parsley, chopped.

Method :

1.  Heat the olive oil gently in a saucepan and add the shallots.  Cook over a medium heat until they are softened but not browned.

2.  Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute or so.

3.  Add the remainder of the vegetables, except the parsley, and cook on a greater heat for 3-4 minutes.

4.  Add the stock and bring to a boil.

5.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are very nearly at the desired tenderness, then add the cooked meat.  Make sure the meat has heated through and the soup is back up to temperature, during which the vegetables should have attained the desired tenderness.  Try not to stir too briskly, or you'll break up the pieces of meat.

6.  Add the parsley and stir to combine.  Cook for another minute, then serve.



  1. Lovely Jenny ~ we have soup nearly every lunchtime in the colder months, and that looks tasty!

  2. Karen, I think the real beauty of this soup is its adaptability and the speed with which it can be in the bowl. Just perfect for lunchtimes.

    Rehan, do! I doubt you'll be disappointed.

  3. Mmm I love the sound of your raid-the-fridge lunchtime soup! Am on a real soup kick lately, such a great way to make something special out of fridge finds!

  4. Anne, I think there's something about this time of year that makes you want something warm and in a bowl. LOL However, you're still thinking "must watch the waistline" and "fresh vegetables", so to make a soup like this one is just absolutely perfect. :)


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