Get ready for summer with deliciously light recipes which taste good but keep you looking great at the same time.
1. Mediterranean eggplant soup
Low in kilojoules and fat, this savoury soup brings together a medley of Italian flavours for a slimming but satisfying meal.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cups water
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 large celery stalks, finely diced
- 2 medium eggplants (approx 500g), peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes
- 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 teaspoons Italian herb mix
- 1 cup raw pasta, any small shape such as shells or twists
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Heat oil in a soup pot or large saucepan. Add onion, garlic, and celery and sauté over medium heat until onion is golden. Add water, eggplant cubes, tomatoes, and herb mix. Simmer gently, covered, until the eggplant is tender, for about 45 minutes.
Cook the pasta separately until it is al dente. Drain and stir into the soup along with the parsley. Adjust the consistency if the soup becomes too thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer over low heat for another 15 minutes. Serve at once, or let soup stand an hour or so before serving, then heat through as needed.
Serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Nava Atlas' Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons recipe at Care2.com.
2. Cold summer soup
Perfect for a lunch meal, this soup is easy to make. Most of the preparation time lies in the chopping and chilling.
- 4 cucumbers, peeled and cut in medium dice
- 2 green onions, chopped
- ½ honeydew melon, peeled and cut into medium dice
- 1 serrano chilli, chopped finely
- 1 stalk celery, chopped finely
- ½ cup rice wine vinegar
- Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh mint leaves, chopped
- Leaves from ½ bunch fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- 2 tablespoons low-fat yogurt (plain)
- ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Combine the cucumbers, green onions, melon, chilli, celery, vinegar, herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt in a large bowl.
Put the bowl in a large pot of ice water to chill for 30 minutes. In another bowl, combine the yoghurt, 2 dashes of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, the parsley, and refrigerate.
Served chilled, sprinkling with a pinch of extra parsley.
Adapted from University of New Mexico Employee Health Promotion Program recipe.
3. Korean seaweed soup
A traditional birthday dish in Korea, this recipe is believed to benefit women who have just given birth and offers an ideal starter for those with a taste for savoury food.
- 1 medium-sized package of dried brown seaweed
- 150g beef sirloin, minced (optional)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 6 cups water
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
Soak seaweed in water and cover. When soft, drain, and cut into small pieces.
Heat a saucepan over medium heat; add beef, sesame oil, ½ tablespoon soy sauce, and a little salt, and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in seaweed and remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce; cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
Pour in 2 cups of water, and bring to the boil. Stir in garlic and remaining 4 cups water.
Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
Adapted from AllRecipes.com recipe.