A Bowl of Winter Goodness


In winter it’s important for athletes to eat healthily and keep warm while beating winter weight-gain! Just one bowl of these wholesome soups a day can give you energy and help you stick to your weight. – BY CHRISTINE PETERS, REGISTERED DIETICIAN

Pea and Ham Soup
Peas are good for your heart because of their high soluble fibre content that reduces LDL cholesterol levels. They also help to lower blood sugar levels and blood pressure!
(35 minutes to make, serves four.)

• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
• 2 carrots, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 500g frozen peas
• 3 cups reduced-salt chicken stock
• 250g lean ham, chopped
• 1/3 cup light sour cream/buttermilk/plain fat-free yoghurt

Step 1: Spray a large saucepan with oil and place over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add garlic and peas and cook for a further 3–4 minutes.
Step 2: Add stock and 3 cups water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat. Blend well using a stick blender.
Step 3: Return soup to low heat. Add ham and stir until warmed through. Ladle soup into bowls, swirl with sour cream, buttermilk or yoghurt and serve.

Cauliflower Soup
This filling, low-calorie, high-fibre veggie is one of the most powerful healing and cancer-protective foods. It contains high amounts of vitamin C and other nutrients like folate, plus cancer-fighting compounds called phytonutrients.
(45 minutes to make, serves 6.)

• 700g cauliflower, coarsely chopped
• 1 small leek (white part only), sliced
• 1 medium potato, peeled, cut into chunks
• 3½ cups reduced-salt vegetable or chicken stock
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• ½ cup light cream/buttermilk/fat-free yoghurt for cooking
• pinch paprika
• 2 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Step 1: Place cauliflower, leek, potato, stock and garlic into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until potato is tender. Cool slightly.
Step 2: Blend mixture using a stick blender, or in two batches in a food processor. Season with freshly ground black pepper and stir through cooking cream. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley before serving.

Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup
Carrots are high in B-carotene and fibre, which help protect against certain cancers and high cholesterol.
(40 minutes to make, serves 4.)

• 3 cups reduced-salt veggie stock
• 2 onions, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
• 1kg carrots, peeled, chopped
• 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
• ½ cup red lentils
• 4 tablespoons toasted almonds, roughly chopped
• fresh coriander, to serve
• 4 pieces pita bread, to serve

Step 1: Add ¼ cup stock to a large saucepan. Cook onions and garlic until softened.
Step 2: Add caraway seeds, carrots and celery and a little more stock, if needed. Cook 8-10 minutes.
Step 3: Add remaining stock, lentils and 2 cups water. Bring to the boil and simmer 10 minutes.
Step 4: Purée soup in blender until smooth, but slightly chunky. Divide soup between bowls. Top with almonds and coriander. Serve with pita bread.