The best part of winter is that we get to eat soup and for me the time to get my fill of vegetables to ward off the colds and flu that so many people suffer with in winter. It is so important to eat loads of vegetables in winter and this soup will go a long way to keeping your immune system on top of things in winter so have a bowl a day to keep the doc at bay! (makes 8 servings) There are loads of ingredients so print this one and head off to your fruit and veg store, recipe in hand.
What you need
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large carrots diced
2 medium onions chopped
4 celery stalks sliced
3 L chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
2 leeks finely sliced
1 Handfull of green beans chopped (about 12 or so)
1 large clove garlic chopped
1 small cauliflower broken up into small pieces
4 baby marrows sliced
3 medium tomatoes skinned, seeds removed and chopped up (optional but very nice)
palm of chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
1 tin haricot beans or butter beans
Add the oil to a large pot on a medium to high heat and add the carrots, onions and celery, cook for a few minutes until the onions are beginning to soften. This should take about 3 or 4 minutes.
Now add the stock and the bay leaf and bring to the boil. Toss in the leeks, garlic and green beans, simmer with the lid on for about 5 or 10 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste and then toss in the cauliflower, baby marrows and tinned beans.
Reduce the heat, add the tomatoes and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes on a slow simmer. Stir in the parsley and serve with a grate of parmesan over the top.
I like to take 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the soup and pop it in the blender, blitz it and then stir back into the soup to thicken it up but not necessary.
You can also add a cup of cooked rice, 2 medium chopped potatoes or a handfull of pasta shells after adding the stock to change it a bit and make it a meal in a bowl. You can also add some shredded cooked chicken or diced ham to the recipe but whatever you do be sure to have it every day.
Seriously folks, if you have a bowl of this soup every day from now until the end of winter you will go a long way to avoiding the winter colds and flu and it is so very tasty you may just want to keep it up throughout the year!
It is very similar to the minestrone soup that is a classic Italian recipe
Winter is the perfect time to slim down and I came across this excellent challenge being offered by www.slenderchallenge.co.za where 20 people will be selected and will compete to see who can lose the most weight over a 12 week period. The program has been designed to effectively help people lose as much as 350g of fat a day, yes folks, every day. If the program is strictly adhered to, you could be 10 to 12 kilo’s lighter after the first month.
Are you ready for the slender challenge? There is a R25000 value prize for the winner, so head on over to www.slenderchallenge.co.za to read about the research behind the program and to put your name forward as a participant. You can also follow the competitors progress on a daily basis through their daily blogs on the site, so even if you are a little skeptical about dieting and the claims they make, here you can follow the real time progress of each person.