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5:2 Cookery Discussion, Tips & Ideas

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Cor these are all so yummy. Is a stick blender absolutely necessary to get the soups to thicken? Can they be made in a slow cooker? Are there any cheaper soup makers out there?
A saucepan, dear Azureblue. And teeth. They are very good at blending...
One of my Christmas presents was this ... arden+soup

It is going to come in very handy.
@nursebean, @debsie, I clean veg like potatoes and carrots, leave the skins on, chop them fairly small. There is a level on the inside of the 'kettle' that you can fill up to, so I try and chop small to pack in as much veg so it is thicker.

Today we had cauliflower cheese soup. I chopped up the cauliflower, stock as well, a large onion, a large clove of garlic, filled up to the level with an unpeeled potato, topped it with boiling water and used one of those chicken stock pots and s & p. Set it for a smooth soup, 21 mins later pour in some ready grated mature cheddar, put the lid back on and blend, then just pour into a bowl. I actually ended up with 6 portions so 2 for the freezer. It was thick and delicious and so quick and easy.

Haven't tried making a chunky soup in it as I prefer to make a large portion in the stock pot but on the days that I don't have time and want a smooth soup quickly then the soup maker is for me (and my girls).

If you want some more energy saving ideas @nursebean, then you can buy ready cooked bacon which would be brilliant for lentil and carrot soup or split pea soup, which I'm going to have a go at in the soup maker sometime soon.

Great thread, I could live off soup and there are some great ideas.
Put a tin of butter beans in at the end of any vegetable soup or a stew and use a stick blender. You don't have to make it smooth just a few beans blended really thickens it up.

I am very tempted by the soup maker for £40 in Asda :wink: Not sure hubby will agree as he bought me a KitchenAid for Christmas so will probably say i've had enough gadgets! :lol:
tattie champer! Potato masher thing. That's what I use to blend soup if I can't be bothered with the stick thing. I like the smooth and slightly lumpy texture it gives- especially broccoli soup.
Some really nice recipe ideas here - thanks for sharing.
My friend has one of those Murphy Richards soup makers and she swears by it.
I use a Bamix myself - and I am looking forward to trying some of these recipes.
My favourite thick soup is butternut squash and red pepper - quite east, one butternut squash peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks, one onion peeled and chopped, one red pepper deseeded and chopped, put all veg into large pan, add a couple of veg or chicken stock cubes, pour boiling water from kettle over the veg to just cover it, bring to the boil on high heat then turn down to simmer, cover pot and leave for 15 minutes or so until you can stick a fork through the butternut squash easily. Blitz with Bamix or any handheld blender or carefully pour into food processor or blender to whiz it. Add salt and/or pepper to taste - wonderfully thick delicious soup. In October and November I substitute the butternut squash and red pepper with pumpkin - ultra yummy.
gillymary wrote: I am going to do that soup ASAP @manderley thank you. How is your foot?

My foot is better, thanks, even if I have to stay still for a few days more

Today will be a spinach with prawns soup


3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion
6 tablespoons flour
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1/4 lb blue cheese or more to taste
1/2 lb (8-10 ounce) fresh spinach or 1 package frozen spinach
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 lb large cleaned and cooked shrimp
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


Chop the onion
Crumble the blue cheese
Clean and chop the fresh spinach or defrost the frozen spinach and drain well


In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Sauté the onion for about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir.

Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat. Add the milk and cook for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the blue cheese until melted. Add the spinach, cream, sea salt and pepper. Bring to a boil again.

Add the shrimp. Cook over very low heat until the shrimp are heated through. Do not boil or the shrimp will become tough. Garnish with a few crumbles of blue cheese.

As I don't like blue cheese, I put ricotta instead
@Manderley badly twisted my ankle and bruised my foot a few weeks ago and it took weeks to heal so thinking of you and sending good healing vibes. Sorry off topic bean but know you won't mind :smile:

This thread has some fabulous soups collected what a great collection for future reference as I loved my fasting days in winter and survived because of lovely soups. Enjoy, yum.
Coincidentally, I made my first soup in several years the other day - it really made me realise what I've been missing. A thick split pea and potato soup, which was just the bees knees!

I found 200g of split green peas at the back of a high cupboard - no dates, but they must have been at least 4-5 years old!

I had to cook them for about 5 hours, I reckon, on and off, before they were soft enough, and even then I thought I'd better blitz them up a bit before adding them to the rest of the ingredients.

The recipe's here - basically just split peas, potatoes, onion and black pepper. And it's, oh, so tasty!

As a vegan I'm continually being surprised at - how can I put this? - how unnecessary the addition of meat is to recipes. This is just as flavoursome as a ham and pea soup for instance, - and I make lovely bolognese-type sauces without any mince. Lentil and potato hash also comes to mind - I used to think the flavour in a corned-beef hash came from the corned beef. Not a bit of it - it's the potato that's the star!

(Gets off soap-box and retires to a corner.)


Ps. I should add that I investigated the aforementioned high shelf - and found undated yellow split peas (which have been simmering for the past 2 hours and are just beginning to soften) - aduki beans from 2009 - and an unopened pack of split green peas again. No date, but the price was 39p for 500g! :oops: :oops: :oops:
What are the best veg to ensure a thick soup if you are low-carbing? I'm looking to avoid pulses, potatoes and parsnips.
I love the lentil and carrot recipe that @Domane posted but our family favourite is this Thai soup, takes about 15 minutes. I use the light coconut milk and any cabbage or greens instead of chinese leaf. Sometimes I go the whole hog but often I miss out the lime,the tomatoes and the fancy garnishes :oops: The BBC Good Food website is very good for soup inspiration. ... -veg-broth
Minumonline wrote: What are the best veg to ensure a thick soup if you are low-carbing? I'm looking to avoid pulses, potatoes and parsnips.

Izzy's list is good. If you want most of your veggies whole, you could cook and blitz the cauliflower on it's own? Given how well it worked for our cauliflower mash at Christmas, I suspect it would do a pretty neat job of thickening soup. And beware of large quantities of carrot - their carbs sneak up on one and bite on the behind...
Don't know what this is like, but I notice it is free for Kindle 'Comfort and love in a bowl' Easy veggie soups by Kate Winston.
izzy wrote:
Minumonline wrote: What are the best veg to ensure a thick soup if you are low-carbing? I'm looking to avoid pulses, potatoes and parsnips.

Hi. I would go for any of the leafy greens. also broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, celery, fennel, mushrooms, green beans. If you blend your soup, just add less stock/liquid, and it will make it thicker anyway, but depending how low carb you want to go, I personally love butternut squash in soups. Not low, but not right at the top of the list! And (on a non fasting day), you could always add cream, or, if you love it like I do, coconut milk. Below should be a list of veg, from low to high carb. Hope it helps. ... hatveg.htm

That's brilliant, thanks @izzy
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