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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Tuesday's winter warmer

Losing weight eating the food we love. Today I've enjoyed this really tasty home made chicken and winter vegetable soup, topped with a gruyere crouton. The dish would be just as delicious without the chicken...  If you haven't got time to make soup (and save ££££s) then choose something ready made - something you know you'll really enjoy. Just check out the number of calories. Eat enough! If you don't  you'll most likely find yourself sticking your head in the cupboard looking for snacks.
Chicken & vegetable soup


1 chicken carcass (if you have one)
6-8 chicken wings
2 litres water
200g chopped tinned tomatoes
400g tinned cannellini beans
3 large carrots
200g waxy type potatoes (Estima, Maris Peer or new potatoes will work well)
half a swede (cubed)
handful of frozen garden peas
3 large onions
one leek
2 sticks of celery
2 outer leaves of a cabbage (shredded)
2 bay leaves
To serve: french stick and gruyere or cheddar cheese

Place the chicken wings and carcass into a large pot and cover with two litres of water. Add one bay leaf, half of the leek, one grated carrot, one stick of celery and some thyme and rosemary. If you have fresh herbs that's great, but use dried if necessary. Bring to the boil, skim off the foam, then simmer for at least an hour - I usually keep mine going for a couple of hours if I'm around. This will make a very nice stock for the soup. Remove the chicken pieces, and when they are cool enough to handle, remove the meat and discard the rest. Chop the chicken and set aside for later.
Strain the stock and begin to make the soup by adding in all the other (chopped) vegetables - except for the cabbage & peas. Add a little salt and pepper, minced garlic, rosemary & thyme and the 200g of chopped tinned tomatoes. Boil, then simmer for around 25 minutes until the vegetables are soft. 
Now blend about a quarter of the soup - this will thicken it without the need for flour.
Finally, add the CANNELLI beans and bring to the boil. Next add the chopped chicken and SHREDDED cabbage and peas. Test for seasoning again. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve with toasted french bread croutons with gruyere (or cheddar) cheese.
For the soup/crouton and a couple of slices of french stick on the side - I would estimate around 400 calories.
We love home made soup because we can control the contents - we know how much salt there is in our food. I often find that ready made soups contain a lot more salt.
REMEMBER: We all have a calorie allowance - and we like to post our main meals to show you what we are eating. You won’t find us posting every last morsel though – but we hope this gives you an idea of how far calories can go!
Read about OUR UNIQUE METHOD of weight loss and find out how we have lost weight eating the food we love.
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