3 fitness-boosting soups


Simple, hearty and bursting with health benefits, these tasty soups are almost as easy to make as they are to eat.

Lucy Miller
16 Nov 2010

Spiced lettuce with goat's cheese
- 25g unsalted butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1 small green pepper, deseeded and very finely chopped
- 1 large lettuce, roughly shredded
- 1.5l vegetable stock
- 150g soft goat’s cheese, finely diced
How to make it
Melt the butter in a large saucepan and sauté the onions and garlic for five minutes. Sprinkle in the cumin, stir thoroughly and cook for two more minutes. Add the pepper, lettuce and stock and simmer for five minutes. Blend in a food processor or using a hand blender until smooth, then return to the saucepan to heat through. Scatter the cheese on top and serve hot.
Why you should have it
Lettuce provides chemicals that help you to relax, as well as immune system-boosting vitamin C and betacarotene. Goat’s cheese is rich in protein and is also a good source of tryptophan, a key good mood nutrient. Cumin stimulates the secretion of pancreatic enzymes, which are necessary for proper digestion and nutrient assimilation.
Bulgarian Chicken and yoghurt
- 50g unsalted butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 leek, finely chopped
- 3 new potatoes, finely cubed
- 2 celery sticks, finely diced
- 1 carrot, trimmed, peeled and finely cubed
- 2 skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
- 1.5l chicken stock
- Handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 4tbsp fat-free Greek yoghurt
How to make it
Heat the butter in a large saucepan and sauté the onions and leeks until soft. Add the rest of the vegetables and the chicken strips and continue cooking, stirring constantly for around five minutes until the chicken is browned on all sides. Add the stock and parsley and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables and chicken are cooked through and tender. Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt in each bowl.

Why you should have it

Chicken is a rich source of protein which is slow-digesting and will help you feel full for longer and resist the urge to snack. Greek yoghurt is low-GI, which helps to keep blood sugar levels steady, maintaining energy and putting an end to sugar cravings. Celery lowers cholesterol by increasing bile acid secretion, which helps to lower the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Cress and chorizo

- 10g unsalted butter
- 150g chorizo sausage, finely sliced
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed and finely  chopped
- 1 heaped tbsp flour
- 1l vegetable stock
- 1 large bunch of watercress, thick stems removed
- 350ml crème fraîche
How to make it
Melt the butter in a saucepan and gently fry the sausage for around ten minutes, then set aside. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring, until soft and golden. Add the flour, stir and cook for two minutes, still stirring. Pour in the stock and bring to boil. Add the cress and crème fraîche, stir and simmer for two minutes. Blend in a food processor or using a hand blender until smooth. Stir in the sausage, leave off the heat for two minutes, then serve.
Why you should have it
Onions contain quercetin, which works with vitamin C to help kill harmful bacteria, allowing you to fight off colds and flu. Watercress contains lots of phytochemicals, which are known for their anti-cancer and immunity-boosting properties. Garlic is rich in a variety of sulphur-containing compounds that have powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties.

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