Emmet shares his recipe for a low calorie meal with a great ratio of protein, carbs and fat for comforting lunches and cosy nights in.

I don’t know about you, but it seems as if winter has well arrived earlier than usual to Donegal this year.

The dark evenings have set in.
The weather is particularly bad for this time of year and all everyone wants to do is lock the doors, pull the blinds and light the fire.

Image result for cosy socks fireplace

If you are anything like my clients, at this time of year you aren’t thinking about for salads for lunch when trying to be healthy or lose some weight.
The biggest request that I tend to get when the weather gets colder, is for healthy recipes for soup.

The biggest problem with most soups, especially the ones that you would get in restaurants, is that they are usually large bowls of carbs and fat, with virtually zero protein in them.
If we add in what people usually have along with their soup, bread and butter or a sandwich of some sort, you could easily end up with a meal that has huge amounts of calories, with large amounts of carbs and fat in it and could wreak havoc on your diet.

While this may taste great, it isn’t the right choice if you are thinking about looking your best at the Christmas Party in 13 weeks time.

How do we change this around?
Below I have a recipe for a Butternut Squash soup, that not only tastes great, but is also a low calorie and high protein alternative for our usual winter warmer.
What’s even better, is that you get 4 servings once you have it made, so it can do 4 lunches or 2 dinners and 2 lunches.

Preparation is key with dieting, so making big pots of great tasting soup like this will help to keep you on track.

Give this a try and be sure to let me know what you think of it. It’s a particular favourite with my Rushe Fitness members.

Butternut Squash Soup

Makes 4 servings.

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, cut into chunks
2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced in 2 inch cubes
8 cups water or stock

1. In a large soup pot, warm the butter
2. Caramelize onion in the pot, sautéing 8 – 10 minutes until golden brown
3. Add the squash cubes and carrots. Cook for 10 more minutes until the outside of the squash
cubes are a bit soft.
4. Pour the water over the onion/squash mixture
5. Bring the entire mixture up to a boil and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until squash and carrots are
6. In a blender, puree soup in very small batches (as not to scorch yourself and have soup
splattered on your ceiling) at low, then working up to high speed until mixture is smooth and
7. Serve piping hot
8. Add protein of your choice to the soup (100g cooked chicken is my preferred choice)

Nutritional Information per serving (with 100g of cooked chicken added)
Calories – 349
Protein – 32g
Carbohydrates – 44g
Fat – 8.5g

This gives you a perfect low calorie meal, that has a great ratio of protein, carbs and fat in it and tastes great.