Slowly Does It... (2015)

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Simple Vegetable Soup

Summer Vegetable Soup with Herb Pistou

Roasted Tomato & Pepper Soup

Autumn Vegetable Soup

Green Lentil & Coconut Soup

Pepper & Lentil Soup

Pasta & Chickpea Soup with Pesto

Autumn Barley Soup

Quick Winter Minestrone

Mulligatawny Soup

Hearty Chicken Soup with Dumplings

Parsnip Soup with Chorizo

Turkey & Chestnut Soup

Hot & Sour Soup

Spicy Lamb Soup

Simple Vegetable Soup

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time 50 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 96 calories, 6g fat (of which 1g saturates), 8g carbohydrate, 0.2g salt • Vegetarian • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

1 or 2 onions, finely chopped

2 tbsp oil or 1 tbsp oil and 25g (1oz) butter

1 or 2 garlic cloves, crushed (optional)

450g (1lb) chopped mixed vegetables, such as leeks, potatoes, celery, fennel, canned tomatoes and parsnips, chopped finely or cut into larger dice for a chunky soup

1.1 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock

1. Fry the onions in the oil or oil and butter until soft and add the garlic, if you like.

2. Add the chopped mixed vegetables and the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20–30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

3. Leave chunky, partially purée or blend until smooth.

Summer Vegetable Soup with Herb Pistou

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time 1 hour • Serves 6 • Per Serving 163 calories, 7g fat (of which 1g saturates), 17g carbohydrate, 0.1g salt • Vegetarian • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

3 tbsp sunflower oil

1 onion, finely chopped

225g (8oz) waxy potatoes, finely diced

175g (6oz) carrots, finely diced

1 medium turnip, finely diced

4 bay leaves

6 large fresh sage leaves

2 courgettes, about 375g (13oz), finely diced

175g (6oz) green beans, trimmed and halved

125g (4oz) shelled small peas

225g (8oz) tomatoes, seeded and finely diced

1 small broccoli head, broken into florets

salt and ground black pepper

pistou (Cook’s Tip) or ready-made pesto to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a gentle heat. Add the onion, potatoes, carrots and turnip and cook for 10 minutes. Pour in 1.7 litres (3 pints) cold water, season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil and add the bay and sage leaves. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.

2. Add the courgettes, beans, peas and tomatoes. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 10–15 minutes. Add the broccoli 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

3. Remove the bay and sage leaves and adjust the seasoning. Pour the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately; serve the pistou or pesto separately to stir into the hot soup.

COOK’S TIP

Pistou is a Provençal condiment similar to Italian pesto.

To make your own, using a pestle and mortar or a small bowl and the end of a rolling pin, or a mini processor, pound together ¾ tsp sea salt and 6 chopped garlic cloves until smooth. Add 15g (½oz) freshly chopped basil and pound to a paste, then mix in 12 tbsp olive oil, a little at a time. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to one week.

Roasted Tomato & Pepper Soup

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time about 1 hour • Serves 6 • Per Serving 239 calories, 16g fat (of which 6g saturates), 15g carbohydrate, 0.4g salt • Gluten Free • Easy

1.4kg (3lb) full-flavoured tomatoes, preferably vine-ripened

2 red peppers, seeded and chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

3 small onions, thinly sliced

20g (¾oz) fresh thyme sprigs

4 tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

4 tbsp vodka

salt and ground black pepper

6 tbsp double cream to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) mark 6. Put the tomatoes into a large roasting tin with the red peppers, garlic and onions. Scatter 6 thyme sprigs over the top, drizzle with the oil and roast in the oven for 25 minutes. Turn the vegetables over and roast for a further 30–40 minutes until tender and slightly charred.

2. Put one-third of the vegetables into a blender or food processor with 300ml (pint) boiled water. Add the Worcestershire sauce and vodka and then season with salt and pepper. Whiz until smooth, then pass through a sieve into a pan.

3. Whiz the remaining vegetables with 450ml (¾pint) boiled water, then sieve and add to the pan.

4. To serve, warm the soup thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Pour into warmed bowls, add 1 tbsp double cream to each bowl, then drag a cocktail stick through the cream to swirl. Scatter a few fresh thyme leaves over the top and serve immediately.

Autumn Vegetable Soup

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time 45 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 326 calories, 17g fat (of which 9g saturates), 29g carbohydrate, 1.1g salt • Easy

50g (2oz) butter

1 medium onion, diced

450g (1lb) potatoes, diced

100g (3½oz) diced bacon

1 garlic clove, chopped

100g (3½oz) white of leek, chopped

2 Cox’s Orange Pippin apples, unpeeled, cored and chopped

2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dill seeds (optional)

600ml (1 pint) dry cider

900ml (1½ pints) hot vegetable stock

125g (4oz) Savoy cabbage leaves, shredded

salt and ground black pepper

1. Melt the butter in a large pan, then add the onion, potatoes, bacon, garlic, leek, apples, thyme and dill seeds, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir, then cover the pan and cook gently for 15 minutes.

2. Add the cider and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the hot stock and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

3. Pour half the soup into a blender or liquidiser and whiz until smooth, then add to the remaining soup in the pan. Reheat gently, add the shredded cabbage and simmer for a further 3 minutes. Ladle into warmed bowls and serve.

Green Lentil & Coconut Soup

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time 40 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 442 calories, 22g fat (of which 10g saturates), 48g carbohydrate, 0.3g salt • Vegetarian • Dairy Free • Easy

225g (8oz) whole green lentils

4 tbsp sunflower oil

350g (12oz) floury potatoes, diced

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

¼ tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp ground cumin

50g (2oz) creamed coconut

750ml (1¼ pints) vegetable stock

300ml (½ pint) coconut milk

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

salt and ground black pepper

toasted fresh coconut and coriander sprigs (optional) to garnish

1. Put the lentils into a sieve and wash thoroughly under cold running water. Drain well.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the potatoes and fry gently for 5 minutes or until beginning to colour. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

3. Add the onion to the pan and fry gently for 10 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, turmeric and cumin and fry for 2–3 minutes. Add the coconut, stock, coconut milk and lentils and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the lentils are just tender.

4. Add the potatoes and lemon zest and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook gently for a further 5 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Ladle into warmed bowls, garnish with toasted coconut and the coriander sprigs, if you like, and serve hot.

Pepper & Lentil Soup

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time 45 minutes • Serves 6 • Per Serving 165 calories, 3g fat (of which 1g saturates), 27g carbohydrate, 0.5g salt • Vegetarian • Dairy Free • Easy

1 tbsp oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 celery stick, chopped

1 leek, trimmed and chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2 red peppers, seeded and diced

225g (8oz) red lentils

400g can chopped tomatoes

1 litre (1¾ pints) hot light vegetable stock

25g pack flat-leafed parsley, chopped

salt and ground black pepper

toast to serve

1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion, celery, leek and carrot and cook for 10–15 minutes until soft.

2. Add the red peppers and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the red lentils, add the tomatoes and hot stock and season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Cover the pan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until the lentils are soft and the vegetables are tender.

4. Stir in the parsley. Ladle into warmed bowls and serve with toast.

Pasta & Chickpea Soup with Pesto

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Preparation Time 25 minutes • Cooking Time about 1 hour • Serves 6 • Per Serving 211 calories, 8g fat (of which 1g saturates), 26g carbohydrate, 0.3g salt • Easy

3 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 small leek, trimmed and sliced

1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary

400g can chickpeas

1.1 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock

4 ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped

1 courgette, diced

125g (4oz) shelled peas

125g (4oz) French beans, halved

125g (4oz) shelled broad beans

50g (2oz) dried pastina (small soup pasta)

2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

salt and ground black pepper

fresh ready-made pesto (Cook’s Tip) and freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, garlic, leek and rosemary and fry gently for 5–6 minutes or until softened but not coloured. Add the chickpeas with their liquid, the stock and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 40 minutes.

2. Add the courgette, peas, French beans and broad beans. Return to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the pasta and parsley and simmer for 6–8 minutes until al dente. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Ladle into warmed bowls and serve topped with a spoonful of pesto and a sprinkling of cheese.

COOK’S TIP

This broth is also good with a tablespoon of pesto added to each bowl and served with chunks of crusty bread.

Pesto

Put a 20g pack of roughly chopped basil into a food processor. Add 25g (1oz) finely grated Parmesan, 50g (2oz) pinenuts and 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and whiz to a rough paste. Alternatively, grind in a pestle and mortar. Season with salt and plenty of ground black pepper.

Autumn Barley Soup

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Preparation Time 10 minutes • Cooking Time 1 hour 5 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 86 calories, trace fat (of which 0.2g saturates), 17g carbohydrate, 0.1g salt • Vegetarian • Dairy Free • Easy

25g (1oz) pot barley, washed and drained

1 litre (1¾ pints) vegetable stock

2 large carrots, diced

1 turnip, diced

2 leeks, trimmed and sliced

2 celery sticks, diced

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 bouquet garni (Cook’s Tip)

2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

salt and ground black pepper

1. Put the barley and stock into a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until the barley is tender.

2. Add the vegetables to the pan with the bouquet garni and season to taste with black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

3. Discard the bouquet garni. Add the parsley to the soup, season to taste with salt and pepper and stir well, then ladle into warmed bowls and serve immediately.

COOK’S TIP

To make a bouquet garni, tie together a sprig each of thyme and parsley with a bay leaf and a piece of celery.

Quick Winter Minestrone

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Preparation Time 10 minutes • Cooking Time 45 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 334 calories, 11g fat (of which 3g saturates), 47g carbohydrate, 1.5g salt • Dairy Free • Easy

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery stick, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tbsp freshly chopped thyme

1 litre (1¾ pints) vegetable stock

400g can chopped tomatoes

400g can borlotti beans, drained and rinsed

125g (4oz) minestrone pasta

175g (6oz) Savoy cabbage, shredded

salt and ground black pepper

fresh ready-made pesto, toasted ciabatta and extra virgin olive oil to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook for 8–10 minutes until softened, then add the garlic and thyme. Fry for another 2–3 minutes.

2. Add the stock, tomatoes and half the borlotti beans and bring to the boil. Mash the remaining beans and stir into the soup, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, adding the minestrone pasta and cabbage for the last 10 minutes of cooking time.

3. Check the seasoning and correct, if necessary. Ladle into warmed bowls and serve with a dollop of fresh pesto on top and slices of toasted ciabatta drizzled with extra virgin olive oil on the side.

Mulligatawny Soup

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Preparation Time 5 minutes • Cooking Time 40 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 252 calories, 13g fat (of which 4g saturates), 7g carbohydrate, 0.9g salt • Easy

3 rashers streaky bacon, rinded and finely chopped

550g (1¼lb) chicken portions

600ml (1 pint) hot chicken stock

1 carrot, sliced

1 celery stick, chopped

1 apple, cored and chopped

2 tsp curry powder

4 peppercorns, crushed

1 clove

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp plain flour

150ml (¼ pint) milk

50g (2oz) long-grain rice, cooked, and crusty bread to serve

1. Fry the bacon in a large pan until the fat begins to run. Do not allow the bacon to become brown.

2. Add the chicken and brown well. Drain the meat on kitchen paper and pour off the fat.

3. Return the bacon and chicken to the pan and add the hot stock and next seven ingredients. Cover the pan and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

4. Remove the chicken and allow to cool a little. Cut off the meat and return it to the soup. Discard the clove and bay leaf and reheat the soup gently.

5. Mix the flour with a little cold water. Add to the soup with the milk and reheat without boiling.

6. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, spoon a mound of rice into each one and serve immediately with crusty bread.

Hearty Chicken Soup with Dumplings

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time 40 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 335 calories, 15g fat (of which 5g saturates), 31g carbohydrate, 0.3g salt • Easy

2 tbsp olive oil

2 celery sticks, roughly chopped

150g (5oz) carrots, roughly chopped

150g (5oz) waxy salad potatoes, thinly sliced

275g (10oz) chicken breast, thinly sliced

2 litres (3½ pints) hot chicken stock

75g (3oz) frozen peas

salt and ground black pepper

a handful of chives, roughly chopped, to garnish (optional)

FOR THE DUMPLINGS

100g (3½oz) plain flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 medium egg, well beaten

25g (1oz) butter, melted

a splash of milk

1. Heat the oil in a large pan, then add the celery, carrots and potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are beginning to caramelise around the edges. Add the chicken and fry for 3 minutes or until just starting to turn golden. Pour in the hot stock and simmer for 15 minutes, skimming the surface occasionally to remove any scum.

2. To make the dumplings, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, then season with black pepper. Combine the egg, melted butter and milk in a separate bowl, then stir quickly into the flour to make a stiff batter.

3. Drop half-teaspoonfuls of the dumpling mixture into the soup, then cover and simmer for a further 15 minutes.

4. Stir in the peas and heat through. Check the seasoning, sprinkle with pepper and serve garnished with chives, if you like.

Parsnip Soup with Chorizo

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time 1 hour • Serves 8 • Per Serving 278 calories, 20g fat (of which 9g saturates), 18g carbohydrate, 0.7g salt • Gluten Free • Easy

40g (1½oz) butter

1 onion, roughly chopped

225g (8oz) floury potatoes, such as King Edward, chopped

400g (14oz) parsnips, chopped

4 tsp paprika, plus extra to dust

1.1 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock

450ml (¾ pint) milk

4 tbsp double cream

75g (3oz) sliced chorizo sausage, cut into fine strips

salt and ground black pepper

parsnip crisps and freshly grated Parmesan to serve

1. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based pan over a gentle heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the potatoes, parsnips and paprika. Mix well and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.

2. Add the stock, milk and cream and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft. Add 50g (2oz) of the chorizo. Allow the soup to cool a little, then whiz in a blender or food processor until smooth. The soup can be thinned with additional stock or milk, if you like. Check the seasoning and put back in the pan.

3. To serve, reheat the soup. Serve in warmed bowls and top each with parsnip crisps. Sprinkle with the remaining chorizo and a little Parmesan, and dust with paprika.

FREEZING TIP

To freeze Complete the recipe to the end of step 2, then cool, pack and freeze for up to one month.

To use Thaw the soup overnight at cool room temperature, then complete the recipe.

Turkey & Chestnut Soup

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Preparation Time 5 minutes • Cooking Time 45 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 330 calories, 10g fat (of which 5g saturates), 52g carbohydrate, 0.2g salt • Gluten Free • Easy

25g (1oz) butter or margarine

1 large onion, chopped

225g (8oz) Brussels sprouts

900ml (1½ pints) turkey stock made from leftover carcass and any leftover turkey meat

400g can whole chestnuts, drained

2 tsp freshly chopped thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme

salt and ground black pepper

stock or milk to finish

thyme sprigs to garnish

1. Melt the fat in a large heavy-based pan, add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes or until it has softened.

2. Trim the sprouts and cut a cross in the base of each one. Add to the onion, cover the pan with a lid and cook gently for 5 minutes, shaking the pan frequently.

3. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then add the remaining ingredients, with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

4. Leave the soup to cool a little, then whiz in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to the rinsed-out pan and reheat gently, then thin down with either stock or milk, according to taste.

5. Taste and adjust the seasoning. To serve, ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with sprigs of thyme.

COOK’S TIP

Serve for an informal family lunch with hot garlic bread, wholemeal toast, cheese on toast or hot sausage rolls.

Hot & Sour Soup

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time 30–35 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 255 calories, 10g fat (of which 1g saturates), 19g carbohydrate, 0.7g salt • Dairy Free • Easy

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 turkey breasts, about 300g (11oz), or the same quantity of tofu, cut into strips

5cm (2in) piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

4 spring onions, finely sliced

1–2 tbsp Thai red curry paste

75g (3oz) long-grain wild rice

1.1 litres (2 pints) hot weak chicken or vegetable stock or boiling water

200g (7oz) mangetouts, sliced

juice of 1 lime

4 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander to garnish

1. Heat the oil in a deep pan. Add the turkey or tofu and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes or until browned. Add the ginger and spring onions and cook for a further 2–3 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and cook for 1–2 minutes to warm the spices.

2. Add the rice and stir to coat in the curry paste. Pour the hot stock or boiling water into the pan, stir once and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add the mangetouts and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Just before serving, squeeze in the lime juice and stir to mix.

4. To serve, ladle into warmed bowls and sprinkle with the coriander.

Spicy Lamb Soup

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time about 1 hour • Serves 4 • Per serving 367 calories, 17g fat (of which 6g saturates), 31g carbohydrate, 0.6g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

1 tbsp olive oil

350g (12oz) lamb mince

1 medium onion, finely chopped

227g can tomatoes

3 tsp harissa paste

1.5 litres (2½ pints) hot lamb stock

100g (3½oz) couscous

410g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

salt and ground black pepper

1 tbsp each freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley and mint to garnish

flatbread and lemon wedges (optional) to serve

1. Heat half the oil in a large pan and brown the mince in batches. Set aside.

2. Add the remaining oil and gently fry the onion for 10 minutes or until softened. Add the tomatoes and harissa and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

3. Add the hot stock and couscous and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and heat through for 2–3 minutes. Add the herbs and check the seasoning. Serve immediately with warmed flatbread, and lemon wedges, if you like, to squeeze into the soup.

GET AHEAD

To prepare ahead Complete the recipe to the end of step 1. Cool, cover and chill for up to three days.

To use Complete the recipe.