Soup is a great way to add additional veg to your diet, and fresh soup tastes far superior than tinned versions and healthier since you control any added salt and sugar.  Soups that are blended down are a great way of hiding veg, and if you slowly add vegetables that you don’t like to a soup you do like, you can slowly retrain your taste buds to like (or at least tolerate) the new foods

Stoup is another version of soup but with really chunky veg, one of Susan’s favourite is from River cottage- ‘much more veg’  a fragrant veg stoup.  This filling stoup is around 339 calories per portion, 105% of vitamin A and 53% of vitamin C and a good 26% of fibre.

There are many tasty soup recipes but many come with a long list of ingredients which puts people off, for a treat Susan purchased a soup recipe bag which came with all the ingredients apart from oil and water, and with many spices involved in this soup, it saves purchasing many different spices.  The soup bags change on a weekly basis and Susan tried their Indian Cauliflower and spinach soup – though the consistency is more of a stoup.  It was a very tasty soup, with the spicy heat not too overpowering. At around 140 calories per portion its more of a light lunch, and with two grown lads Susan would probably add a tin of chickpeas in future to make it more filling. The tomato haters in the family didn’t realise there was chopped tomato on their bowl.    A bowl provides 13% of your daily iron and 15% of your daily potassium, low in carbohydrates and 48% of your daily fibre requirements.



Meat Free Monday, veganary or just looking to reduce your meat consumption.

Many people are looking to reduce their meat consumption after the festive period, some are looking to become vegetarian or vegan for a month, some will follow meat free Monday for the whole year, whatever your reason there are lots and lots of tasty recipes easily available on the web for you to try.  For some they choose to ty meat substitutes or ready meals, but remember a highly processed diet is unhealthy in the long term it doesn’t matter if it comes with a ‘healthy’ label.

First thing most people find difficult when they swap to no meat is that there is no centrepiece to their meal, the meat was the focus, the whole meal is the focus with many vegetarian dishes, also many people are soon put off eating dishes with lots of vegetables since they find the preparation time consuming, if need by when changing your diet cheat, use ready made curry paste, ginger/ garlic purees and ready prepared vegetables.

Susan’s Meat Free Monday meal for her family today is River Cottage’s Fragrant Veg stoup served with brown basmati rice, it took about one hour to cut, chop and cook but the kitchen smells lovely.

For just the soup it comes in at around 340 calories per serving, this was made using full fat coconut milk so you can reduce the calories if you use a lower fat version.   It is high in saturated fat due to the coconut milk so not a meal to have every day.  The stoup provides 15% of your daily protein, 105% of your vitamin A, 10% of your potassium requirements, handy for those on diuretics that tend to be low in potassium due to the medication, low in carbohydrates 9%, high in fibre 26% of daily requirements  and 50% of your daily vitamin C, with 5% of your daily iron.

Add in 100g of cooked Basmati Rice – Basmati rice is lower GI than all other rices so better to help keep blood sugar levels stable.  Basmati has the highest content of all rice for amino acids and essential nutrients.

Percentage daily values are based on a 2000 Calorie per day diet.




Butternut Squash Soup

Autumn is upon us and so is the root veg season, time to make some nutritious soup.  Another recipe I make in my slow cooker but can easily be made on a stove.

Ingredients- Feeds 4


  • 2tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 5cm (2in) piece root ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm (1in) cubes
  • 1.5 litres (2.75pt) vegetable stock- add sufficient stock to cover veg and no more
  • 1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onions, ginger and garlic and sweat for 5 minutes, until soft but not coloured.
  2. Add the ground cumin and cook for a minute, add this and all other ingredients apart from the  to the slow cooker
  3. Purée the soup in an electric blender until smooth, stir in the coriander and serve in warmed bowls with a spoonful of yogurt on top if required


Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 201
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9 g 14 %
Saturated Fat 1 g 4 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 925 mg 39 %
Potassium 854 mg 24 %
Total Carbohydrate 32 g 11 %
Dietary Fiber 6 g 24 %
Sugars 9 g
Protein 3 g 6 %
Vitamin A 512 %
Vitamin C 66 %
Calcium 11 %
Iron 8 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.