Soups: Liquid Assets

Lentil and Black Bean Soup

This vegan-friendly stew is thick and filling thanks to the beans and lentils – both sources of protein and fibre-rich carbs. “The body absorbs these nutrients slowly, keeping energy levels on an even keel,” says sports nutritionist Monique Ryan. Lentils are rich in folate, key for the formation of energy-supplying red blood cells, and chilli, cumin and paprika provide a valuable dose of anti-inflammatory antioxidants.

Make it
1 Chop half a large onion and saute in a pot on medium heat until soft.
2 Add one crushed garlic clove, half a teaspoon each of chilli powder and cumin, and quarter of a teaspoon of paprika. Saute for one minute.
3 Add 500ml of vegetable stock and one tablespoon of tomato puree; bring to the boil. Add 100g of red lentils and cook for 25 minutes.
4 Partially mash 100g of rinsed black beans; add to the soup with salt, pepper and the juice of one lime.
5 Cook for five minutes. Garnish with coriander.

Curried Squash with Coconut Soup

Butternut squash has just 80kcal in 200g, which provides half of your daily vitamin C needs. It’s also a great source of potassium and magnesium, “two electrolytes most runners are deficient in”, says sports nutritionist Lisa Dorfman. Low-fat coconut milk adds creamy texture and flavour with 60 per cent fewer calories than the full-fat variety. Curry powder contains turmeric, which research shows keeps your joints healthy and protects against arthritis.

Make it
1 In a blender, combine 600g of cubed, steamed butternut squash, 120ml of low-fat coconut milk, 180ml of chicken stock, one teaspoon of curry powder and a quarter of a teaspoon of salt.
2 Puree until smooth, add more salt to taste and reheat if necessary. Top each bowl with a dollop of plain Greek yoghurt, preferably with a suitably flamboyant at-table flourish.

Tomato, Chickpea and Pesto Soup

According to a study in the journal Appetite, adding chickpeas to your diet means you’ll feel fuller compared with days when you don’t eat them, and researchers credit the bean’s high fibre content for the walk-past-KFC effect. Cooked tomatoes throw the antioxidant lycopene into the mix, which studies show can protect skin from UV rays. Pesto adds a rich flavour, while basil is packed with antioxidants and magnesium, the latter of which regulates blood sugar and keeps energy levels stable, according to Dorfman.
 
Make it
1 In a pot, saute half a diced onion in olive oil over a medium heat. Add a crushed garlic clove and cook for 30 seconds.
2 Add two 400g tins of chopped tomatoes and 80ml of water; bring to the boil.
3 Add a teapsoon of sugar, and salt and pepper. Add a can of rinsed chickpeas. Simmer for 10 minutes.
4 Top each serving with a dollop of basil pesto.

Spicy Sausage and Mushroom Soup

Wild rice, wholegrain bread and sausage provide just the right carb-and-protein combo runners need after a long run, says Ryan. Using less meat and lots of mushrooms reduces the fat and calories swimming around in there. Kale is packed with vitamin K, which strengthens bones and reduces fracture risk, and antioxidants that neutralise exercise-induced free radicals.

Make it
1 In a pot, saute 100g of cooked, sliced spicy chicken sausage in oil until brown. Remove and set aside.
2 In the same pot, cook 200g of sliced mushrooms until soft; pour in 60ml of water. Add quarter of a teaspoon of dried thyme, one teaspoon of chilli flakes, 800g of chopped kale and 60ml of white wine. Cook until the kale is wilted.
3 Add 600ml of chicken stock and a pinch of salt; simmer for 15 minutes.
4 Stir in 375g of cooked wild rice and simmer for five minutes. Eat with brown bread.

Picture credit: Andre Baranowski