To combat the frosty chill of winter, some of my favourite warming recipes are unquestionably soups. But beware, not all soups are created equally. You might think they’re healthy because of all that cuddly ‘hearty’ and ‘homely’ PR that goes into them, but take a little look at the label first: a lot of those you’ll find on the supermarket shelves are super-high in sugars and fats, so that they taste impossibly supreme, and because they’re in liquid form, they get metabolised very quickly. These soups are calorie ‘wolves’ dressed in sheep’s clothing! One way to be sure about what you’re nourishing yourself with is to make it from scratch, which helps to ensure added freshness and keep costs down. That’s always my procedure with soups, and is exactly what I did for this healthy and warming ‘Avocado, Broccoli and Chicken Velouté’, bursting with healthy fats, high quality lean proteins, and a metabolic boost to kick! Click ‘MORE’ to find out why it’s healthy, to get the ‘how to’ and see the recipe!
Why is it so healthy?
KEY INGREDIENT 1 – RIPE AVOCADO
Packed with healthy fats and a decent amount of dietary fibre too (27g per 100g), the good monounsaturated fat work wonders for skin, hair, training results and general well being. It also boosts levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, which can help to protect against damage from free radicals. You don’t need to skip fats to lose weight – the body needs them for a range of functions, and avocado is rich in what we need! So too are almonds for that matter – throw them in too!
KEY INGREDIENT 2 – GREEN FRESH JALEPENO CHILLI
Chilli is full of immune-stimulating and health-promoting properties. One component is capsaicin (which gives it the spicy kick, and is a strong anti-diabetic). It also has anti-bacterial and anti-carcinogenic properties, whilst reducing (bad) LDL cholesterol levels. These Jalepeno peppers are pretty fiery (2500 on the Scoville scale of ‘can you handle the heat?’), and are more than enough to raise your metabolism a few notches too! It’s rich in vitamin-C (100g chilli = c.240% of RDA) which is immune boosting and fights free radicals from the body. There’s a good amount of minerals such as potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium too, all of which will help regulate the blood pressure. It also provides your body with its required dose of B-complex vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1).
KEY INGREDIENT 3 – CHICKEN BREAST
Free -range, hormone & antibiotic free organic roast chicken breast (100g contains 116 calories, 22g protein, 3g fat) is perfect if you’re trying to lose weight, as it’s lower in fat and calories than other meats such as beef (100g fillet steak contains 196 calories, 26g protein, 9g fat) and pork (100g pork chop contains 260 calories, 28g protein, 16g fat), whilst still being high in lean proteins. It contains vitamins B6 and B3 (to help cell recovery) and essential selenium (anti-cancerous properties) and zinc (cell regeneration, digestion-aiding). A small serving of chicken can meet your niacin requirements for the entire day (essential for brain health, shown to help protect against Alzheimer’s disease & dementia), as well as Vitamin E, betacarotene, and Vitamins B6 and B12.
1. One fresh broccoli
2. Three cups of water
3. Two vegetable stock cubes
4. One white onion
5. One green jalapeño
6. Half lemon juice
7. Two avocados
8. One large carrot
9. 50g of fresh spinach
10. Olive oil
11. Pink salt and pepper
1. Chop the broccoli into small pieces and steam for 5 minutes. Save the water for the soup (there’s lots of nutritional value in the broccoli steamed water).
2. Over a medium heat gently fry the peeled and sliced onion until soft. Finely chop and add the jalapeño.
3. In a blender add the broccoli, carrot, spinach, peeled avocados, one cup of water and blend until smooth (you can also use a hand blender).
4. Boil two cups of water in a saucepan, add the vegetable broth.
5. Add the mixture to a saucepan. Season with pink salt and pepper. Let it cook for another 5 minutes over a low heat (avoid boiling). Dilute possibly with more water if the soup seems too thick.
6. Season with 1/2-1 tablespoon squeezed lime juice.