250g (8.8oz) vacuum packed, cooked beetroot
400g (14oz) can of cannellini beans (240g drained weight)
1 clove of garlic (or 1tsp garlic puree)
Thumb sized piece of peeled ginger (or ginger puree)
1tsp ground cumin
250ml hot vegetable stock (from a cube is fine, I use the low-salt kind)
1 tablespoon olive or rapeseed oil
Using fresh food as part of a recipe doesn’t need to be fiddly or time-consuming. This soup uses store cupboard ingredients that you can simply blend-up when you want a quick, tasty meal. There is virtually no chopping involved and the whole soup is ready in less than 10 minutes.
I use ready-cooked, vacuum-packed beetroot. It’s available in most supermarkets and you can use it straight out of the packet (just make sure you don’t buy the kind that has been pickled in vinegar!). Add the beetroots whole to the soup as a hand or jug blender will make light work of pureeing them. Similarly, I sometimes use ready-made garlic or ginger puree when my hands are very painful. They tend to be a bit less ‘punchy’ than fresh, but are very useful to have on standby. The ground cumin complements the earthy sweetness of the beetroot brilliantly, however you could also use a little extra ground ginger if you want the soup to have a bit of a kick.
Beetroot and cannellini beans might sound an odd combination but they work well together: the beans add creaminess, without fat, and provide a boost of fibre and protein. Beetroot is rich in nitrates, which can help improve circulation and reduce blood pressure, alongside being a good source of folate, magnesium, iron, potassium and vitamin C. The characteristic bright red colour means it is also packed with betacyanins; a plant pigment that is a powerful antioxidant. A study in 2011 found beetroot exact can suppress the growth of some cancer cells in vitro.
Serve the soup with a wholemeal roll filled with some lean chicken or salmon and dark leafy salad greens.
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the whole beetroot, beans and spices and give a quick stir.
Pour in the stock and then bring the pan to a low simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and blend until smooth. Serve.
|Nutritional values for 1 serving (based on recipe serving 2)|
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