Creamy curried carrot & butter bean soup​​

PREP: 25 MINS

COOK: 1 HR

EASY

SERVES 8 - 10

A smooth blended vegetable soup with Indian spice to leave simmering for hours - perfect for feeding a crowd​

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal254

  • fat6g

  • saturates2g

  • carbs36g

  • sugars18g

  • fibre12g

  • protein13g

  • salt1.8g

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

  • onions chopped

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander

  • 1 tbsp medium curry powder

  • 1¼kg carrot 1kg/2lb 4oz roughly sliced, rest coarsely grated

  • 3 x 400g cans butter beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1.2l vegetable stock

  • 400ml whole milk

  • snipped chives, if you like, to serve, plus 2 crusty loaves

Method

  1. Put the oil and onions in the biggest saucepan or casserole you have and soften for 10 mins. Stir in the spices and cook for 2 mins, then add the sliced carrots with half the beans and the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 15-20 mins until the carrots are tender.

  2. Whizz the soup to a purée with a hand blender, or purée in batches in a blender or food processor. Tip it back into the pan (pour it through a sieve or a colander if you like), and stir in the remaining beans and grated carrot with 500ml hot water. Bring back to a simmer, then cover and cook gently for 10 mins.

  3. Stir in the milk and season to taste, then keep on a very gentle heat until needed. If you like, snip a few chives over and serve with crusty bread.

Thai squash soup

PREP: 15 MINS

COOK: 20 MINS

EASY

SERVES 4

Up your vegetable intake with this fragrant pumpkin soup spiced with Asian flavours

  • Vegetarian

  • Vegan

 

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal161

  • fat6g

  • saturates5g

  • carbs23g

  • sugars13g

  • fibre5g

  • protein4g

  • salt0g

 

Ingredients

  • onion chopped

  • 1 lemongrass stalk, bashed and shredded

  • 1-2 red chillies, roughly chopped

  • 1kg butternut squash, peeled and diced

  • juice 1 lime

  • 125ml coconut milk

  • small bunch coriander, leaves picked

Method

  1. Fry the onion, lemongrass and most of the chilli in a large pan with a splash of water for 2-3 mins until softened – add more water if it starts to catch. Tip in the squash and stir. Cover with 1 litre water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins until the squash is tender. Add lime juice, remove from the heat and blitz with a hand blender until smooth.

  2. Pour in the coconut milk, season, then return to the heat to gently warm through. Ladle into bowls and serve with coriander and the remaining chilli.

Chicken noodle soup

PREP: 10 MINSCOOK: 30 MINS

EASY

SERVES 2

Mary Cadogan's aromatic broth will warm you up on a winter's evening - it contains ginger, which is particularly good for colds, too

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal217

  • fat2g

  • saturates0.4g

  • carbs26g

  • sugars1g

  • fibre0.6g

  • protein26g

  • salt2.52g

Ingredients

  • 900ml chicken or vegetable stock (or Miso soup mix)

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, about 175g/6oz

  • 1 tsp chopped fresh root ginger

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

  • 50g rice or wheat noodles

  • 2 tbsp sweetcorn canned or frozen

  • 2-3 mushrooms thinly sliced

  • spring onions shredded

  • 2 tsp soy sauce plus extra for serving

  • mint or basil leaves and a little shredded chilli (optional), to serve

Method

  1. Pour the stock into a pan and add the chicken, ginger and garlic. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, partly cover and simmer for 20 mins, until the chicken is tender. Remove the chicken to a board and shred into bite-size pieces using a couple of forks.

  2. Return the chicken to the stock with the noodles, corn, mushrooms, half the spring onions and the soy sauce. Simmer for 3-4 mins until the noodles are tender. Ladle into two bowls and scatter over the remaining spring onions, herbs and chilli shreds if using. Serve with extra soy sauce for sprinkling.

Broccoli and kale green soup

 

PREP: 15 MINS COOK: 20 MINS

EASY

SERVES 2

This super healthy soup combines broccoli and kale with ginger, coriander and turmeric for a nutrient dense and low-fat lunch

  • Healthy

  • Gluten-free

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal182

  • fat8g

  • saturates1g

  • carbs14g

  • sugars4g

  • fibre5g

  • protein10g

  • salt0.7g

Ingredients

  • 500ml stock, made by mixing 1 tbsp bouillon powder and boiling water in a jug

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced

  • thumb-sized piece ginger sliced

  • ½ tsp ground coriander

  • 3cm/1in piece fresh turmeric root, peeled and grated, or ½ tsp ground turmeric

  • pinch of pink Himalayan salt

  • 200g courgettes roughly sliced

  • 85g broccoli

  • 100g kale chopped

  • lime zested and juiced

  • small pack parsley roughly chopped, reserving a few whole leaves to serve

Method

  1. Put the oil in a deep pan, add the garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric and salt, fry on a medium heat for 2 mins, then add 3 tbsp water to give a bit more moisture to the spices.

  2. Add the courgettes, making sure you mix well to coat the slices in all the spices, and continue cooking for 3 mins. Add 400ml stock and leave to simmer for 3 mins.

  3. Add the broccoli, kale and lime juice with the rest of the stock. Leave to cook again for another 3-4 mins until all the vegetables are soft.

  4. Take off the heat and add the chopped parsley. Pour everything into a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. It will be a beautiful green with bits of dark speckled through (which is the kale). Garnish with lime zest and parsley.

Tomato soup

EASY

SERVES 4 FOR LUNCH OR 6 AS A STARTER

To make the tastiest tomato soup you’ll ever experience wait until the tomatoes are at their most ripe and juicy, around September

  • Freezable

  • Vegetarian

  • Vegan

Nutrition: nutrition per serving for four

  • kcal123

  • fat7g

  • saturates1g

  • carbs13g

  • sugars1g

  • fibre4g

  • protein4g

  • salt1.08g

Ingredients

  • 1-1¼kg/2lb 4oz-2lb 12oz ripe tomatoes

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1 small carrot

  • celery stick

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 squirts of tomato purée (about 2 tsp)

  • a good pinch of sugar

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1.2 litres/ 2 pints hot vegetable stock (made with boiling water and 4 rounded tsp bouillon powder or 2 stock cubes)

Method

  1. Firstly, prepare your vegetables. You need 1-1.25kg/2lb 4oz-2lb 12oz ripe tomatoes. If the tomatoes are on their vines, pull them off. The green stalky bits should come off at the same time, but if they don't, just pull or twist them off afterwards. Throw the vines and green bits away and wash the tomatoes. Now cut each tomato into quarters and slice off any hard cores (they don't soften during cooking and you'd get hard bits in the soup at the end). Peel 1 medium onion and 1 small carrot and chop them into small pieces. Chop 1 celery stick roughly the same size.

  2. Spoon 2 tbsp olive oil into a large heavy-based pan and heat it over a low heat. Hold your hand over the pan until you can feel the heat rising from the oil, then tip in the onion, carrot and celery and mix them together with a wooden spoon. Still with the heat low, cook the vegetables until they're soft and faintly coloured. This should take about 10 minutes and you should stir them two or three times so they cook evenly and don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

  3. Holding the tube over the pan, squirt in about 2 tsp of tomato purée, then stir it around so it turns the vegetables red. Shoot the tomatoes in off the chopping board, sprinkle in a good pinch of sugar and grind in a little black pepper. Tear 2 bay leaves into a few pieces and throw them into the pan. Stir to mix everything together, put the lid on the pan and let the tomatoes stew over a low heat for 10 minutes until they shrink down in the pan and their juices flow nicely. From time to time, give the pan a good shake – this will keep everything well mixed.

  4. Slowly pour in the 1.2 litres/ 2 pints of hot stock (made with boiling water and 4 rounded tsp bouillon powder or 2 stock cubes), stirring at the same time to mix it with the vegetables. Turn up the heat as high as it will go and wait until everything is bubbling, then turn the heat down to low again and put the lid back on the pan. Cook gently for 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times. At the end of cooking the tomatoes will have broken down and be very slushy looking.

  5. Remove the pan from the heat, take the lid off and stand back for a few seconds or so while the steam escapes, then fish out the pieces of bay leaf and throw them away. Ladle the soup into your blender until it’s about three-quarters full, fit the lid on tightly and turn the machine on full. Blitz until the soup’s smooth (stop the machine and lift the lid to check after about 30 seconds), then pour the puréed soup into a large bowl. Repeat with the soup that’s left in the pan. (The soup may now be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating.)

  6. Pour the puréed soup back into the pan and reheat it over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until you can see bubbles breaking gently on the surface. Taste a spoonful and add a pinch or two of salt if you think the soup needs it, plus more pepper and sugar if you like. If the colour’s not a deep enough red for you, plop in another teaspoon of tomato purée and stir until it dissolves. Ladle into bowls and serve. Or sieve and serve chilled with some cream swirled in. For other serving suggestions, see opposite.

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