The Home Economics Bit
Potatoes are a naturally gluten free source of starch which is essential for energy. Potato skins are an excellent source of fibre, which provides a feeling of fullness and aids digestion. Potatoes are a very good source of potassium – a mineral that helps control fluid balance in the body and helps the heart muscles to work properly – as well as vitamins B1 and B6. Vitamin B1 (thiamin) is essential for a healthy nervous system; whilst both vitamin B1 and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) help the body to release and use energy from foods.
Carrots are one of the best food sources of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is vital for healthy eyesight and helps to improve vision in dim light (because it is converted into a pigment called rhodopsin in the retina). Beta-carotene is also an antioxidant, meaning that it helps to boost our immune system among other things, such as maintaining healthy, elasticated skin. So, carrots can help us to see better and look younger!
Celery has a high water content and is, therefore, low in kilocalories. However, it still packs a punch in terms of its nutritional benefits. Celery supplies the minerals calcium and potassium, as well as folate and vitamin K. Each of these nutrients have important roles to play in maintaining heart health. Celery is also a very good source of fibre, needed for healthy digestion.
Gluten Free Basic Vegetable Soup
- 400 g carrots diced
- 4 sticks celery diced
- 4 medium potatoes peeled and diced
- 1 large onion diced
- 800 ml vegetable / chicken stock ensure gluten free
- 50 g butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- swirl of fresh cream to garnish (optional)
- Melt 50g butter in a heavy saucepan. When it foams, add the vegetables, and stir until they are well coated.
- Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper and toss again. Put a disc of greaseproof paper on top of the vegetables to keep in the steam, then cover the pan with its lid.
- Cook over a gentle heat for 10 mins, or until the vegetables are soft but not coloured.
- Uncover the pan and discard the paper. Pour in 800 ml of chicken or vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are just cooked – about 5 minutes. Do not overcook or the soup will lose its fresh flavour.
- Purée in a blender until silky smooth, in batches if necessary, then taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Garnish and serve.