Winter Warmer Soup Recipes

Although London seems to be basking in very late Indian Summer, my mind is starting to zoom ahead to some winter warmers that will be perfect for cold nights. 

My favourite quick and easy go to dinner is soup. You can tweak the recipes each time, throw in whatever you have in the fridge and make it in huge portions which will fill your freezer. 

Basic soup base:

1 x white or red onion (finely chopped)

2 x cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

2 x sticks of celery (chopped)

1 x carrot (chopped)

Sautee all of the above in 1 tbsp of olive or coconut oil and then add in 1 litre of vegetable or chicken stock, bring to the boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes. This makes a delicious and light broth that you can customise in thousands of different ways. Here are some of my top picks…

Carrot and coriander

– Basic soup base including a thumb size piece of ginger + a whole bag of carrots (chopped) + a large bunch of coriander

– Simmer with plenty of black pepper and half a can of coconut milk

– Blend until nearly smoothish, I like a few chunks in it! 

Tomato

– Basic soup base + 1 can of chopped tomatoes + 1 tsp agave nectar + 2 tbsp tomato puree

– Simmer and blend if you want it smooth

– Serve with a swirl of homemade pesto or a dollop of greek yogurt

Green Goddess

– Basic soup base (minus the carrot) + 1 chopped courgette + 1 bag of spinach/watercress/kale + small handful of chopped mint + 2 handfuls of peas

– Simmer until everything is cooked through and blend until smooth

I’m going to do a series of these quick and easy Winter Warmer recipes, are there any that you’d like to see on here? 

Food Cupboard Essentials

Picture the scene…. You’ve had a long day at work, you’re tired and hungry. You come home, open the fridge and, shock horror, it’s empty! 

What do you do? 

It’s so easy to pick up the phone and call your local Chinese or Indian takeaway shop but you had your cheat meal for lunch and a greasy plate of questionably-sourced food just isn’t going to cut it. 

Here’s my top-10 list of things that you should always have in your cupboard or freezer to avoid these disastrous evenings:

1) Gluten free pasta – simply boil and mix with a can of tuna, a tbsp of pesto or pasta sauce, some frozen vegetables and a few pumpkin seeds for a quick and healthy comfort-food dinner

2) Pole and line caught sustainable tuna – canned tuna is never as good as fresh tuna but it can sit in the cupboard for months and it provides a great hit of low-fat protein with a salad or mixed in pasta as above

3) Quinoa – cook with some organic vegetable bouillon and then add in whatever you want. It’s a great source of vegetable protein, filling and a healthier alternative to white rice

4) Frozen vegetables – I always keep frozen soy beans, peas and spinach in my freezer to add to pasta sauces or defrost to add bulk to a salad

5) Frozen fruit – cherries, berries, bananas, mangoes, the list goes on! Great for putting in smoothies, porridge or just munching when you want a cold, sweet treat

6) Oats – If you’re really desperate, porridge makes a great dinner. 25g of oats with a sprinkle of seeds or nuts and some frozen cherries, all cooked with water is delicious

7) Canned beans – I love adding cannellini beans, kidney beans or chickpeas to a salad for a serving of plant-based protein. They’re also really filling,which is great when you’re starving! 

8) Frozen soup – When you’re making soup, make enough to feed a small army and then freeze what you don’t need in individual portions. It can be defrosted very quickly and is perfectly satisfying

9) Thai curry paste – if all you have is scrag ends of vegetables, stir-fry them with some Thai curry paste and you’ve got a spicy and warming dinner

10) Frozen wholewheat tortillas – this is for when you’re really desperate… defrost a couple of tortillas, spread some tomato paste on them and top with grated cheese and whatever else is left in the fridge. Ta dah! Healthy pizzas! 

What’s your favourite food cupboard dinner? 

Quick and easy dinners

The last thing I want to do in the evenings during the week is spend hours chopping and then cooking food, especially if I’ve just worked out. My rule is, if it can’t be on the table within 25 minutes then it’s a weekend dish. 

So here are my top 3 quick ‘n’ healthy dinner recipes..

1) Asian spiced salmon with vegetable stir fry

1 x fillet of organic salmon (approx 200g)

Spices (five spice, cumin, garlic)

Assortment of vegetables (aubergine, onion, pak choi, mushrooms etc.)

Gluten free soy sauce

1 x teaspoon Thai green curry paste

1 x tablespoon coconut oil

Melt the coconut oil in a wok and add in the curry paste. Fry the paste until it smells amazing. Chop all of the vegetables (you can be fancy and julienne them or just cut them into cubes all roughly the same size) and throw them into the pan. In the meantime, season your salmon fillet and roast in the oven at 180 celcius for 10-15 minutes. It should still be pink and flakey. Serve in a bowl with a splash of soy sauce.

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2) Simple salad

1 x handful of lettuce leaves

4 x cherry tomatoes

8 x slices of cucumber

1 x spring onion

½ x sweet pepper

1 x cooked beetroot

150g of protein of your choice

Dressing (2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, squeeze of lemon juice, 1 tsp wholegrain mustard, pinch each of salt/pepper/sugar – shake up in a jar and keep in fridge)

Chop and combine all ingredients. Dress with 1 x tablespoon of dressing

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3) Quick Tuna Stew

1 x tbsp olive oil

Assortment of vegetables (onion, aubergine, courgette, peppers)

1 x tin of tomatoes

1 x tin of pole & line caught tuna

Spices (cumin, garlic, chilli flakes, paprika)

1 x handful of green beans

5 x brussel sprouts

Chop up the assorted vegetables and cook gently until soft. Add in tin of tomatoes and tin of tuna with spices. Allow to bubble for 15 minutes. Steam the beans and brussel sprouts (I use a bamboo steamer, it’s brilliant…) and serve everything in a big bowl. This is like a big tummy hug in a bowl!

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