Saturday, 11 August 2012 - , , , , , , , , 0 comments

SOMETHING FOR NOTHING : A Soup for All Seasons

Sometimes, when I make a large quantity of soup, I can start to get a little bored of it after a day or so. This soup is wonderful because it has a really versatile base and can be made into a variety of different combinations using flavours, textures and even temperatures!
The basic soup is zero propoints per serving.


The first hot soup is basically a minestrone. With my addition of beetroot, it takes on the most incredible vibrant deep red colour.
When liquidized, it becomes a smooth, thick 'red velvet' soup. This can be served hot, but can also be transformed quickly and easily into the most delicious chilled, garlicky version, a little reminiscent of gazpacho.
In the UK, we need to be able to respond quickly to extremes of weather so this dish is perfect!


For the Basic Red Minestrone (8-10 servings)


A large stock pot
2 white onions
1/2 teaspoon low fat spread
1 red onion
2 cloves garlic
4 sticks celery
4 carrots
2 medium beetroot
1 tin Cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons low salt soy sauce
2 low salt stock cubes
White and black pepper
Fresh herbs
Bay leaf


Dice the onion.
 Fry gently with the garlic in 1/2 a measured teaspoon of low fat spread and some Frylight Sunflower oil, until starting to soften.

Dice the remaining raw vegetables and add to the pan. Fry for a couple of minutes to take on the onion flavours.

Add the soy sauce, stock, fresh herbs, pepper, tinned tomatoes and fill the pan with water.

Pop in a bay leaf and bring the soup to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Allow to bubble for around an hour to cook the vegetables and allow the flavours to infuse.

Serve simply and beautifully with a sprig of fresh basil.


For the Red Velvet Soup
(Hot or Chilled Version)

When you've had enough of the minestrone or just fancy a change, blitz the soup with a hand blender in the pan.
You can serve this hot. 

For the chilled version, add the juice of a lime or lemon and some freshly crushed garlic. Chop some fresh mint into the soup.
To serve, use 1 measured teaspoon of 0% fat Greek yoghurt (0pp) and dot it into tiny blobs on the surface of the soup to compliment the citrus and garlic flavours. 

If you want to add some variety, drop some cooked prawns into it. (Don't forget to calculate the propoints/calories).
If it's a really hot day, pop some ice cubes into the soup-it makes it really refreshing. If you have time, try making ice cubes containing lemon and fresh herbs to put in the soup for a decorative and flavoursome sparkle.
Serve with a slice of fresh lime.


Red, velvety and hot.
Chilled, zesty and fresh.




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