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Healthy soups make for delicious lunches and suppers that are as pleasing to the taste buds as they are friendly to the waistline. Here are a few tricks for upping the flavour of your soups whilst lowering their fat content.
Make it low fat and delicious
- If your recipe calls for pre-cooked vegetables - such as onions, celery or carrots - use a very small quantity of oil. If the vegetables start to stick to the pan, add a tablespoon or so of water, wine or stock to keep them from burning.
- Brown meats in a separate pan. Discard excess fat, and pat meat dry before adding to your soup pot.
- Miso - fermented soybean paste - adds savoury flavour to soup stocks, especially a vegetarian broth. Add about a tablespoon per litre of water, or to taste.
- Fry your spices for a minute or so over medium heat before adding them to your soup. Add dried herbs at the beginning of the cooking time, and fresh herbs right before serving.
- If your recipe calls for double or single cream, use pureed cooked potatoes instead. Or remove about 450ml of your cooked soup and blend until smooth. (Use a stick hand blender for best results, or puree it 225ml at a time in a blender. Hold the lid on tight with a kitchen towel to protect yourself from the steam.) Stir the puree back into the soup to thicken it.
- To add real cream flavour, stir in a few tablespoons of cream when the recipe calls for 200ml - a little cream will go a long way.
- Instead of cream, you can get the same creaminess without the fat simply by serving your soup with a dollop of Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche. Not only does it look pretty, but it adds wonderful richness minus the fat and calories.
- For soups that call for beef mince, try using turkey or chicken mince instead, which is far lower in fat.