It’s that time of year again. The nights are long, the days are cold and we’re starting to need extra energy and motivation to convince us to put bums on saddles.
A warming winter soup, packed full of essential nutrients to keep you toasty as well as bumping up your fuel levels should do the trick. Endurance athlete and author of Go Faster Foods Kate Percy says soups are a great way to boost both stamina and recovery.
“Thick hearty soups based on lentils or pulses and plenty of fresh vegetables, eaten with hunks of wholemeal crusty bread, will keep you sustained for longer and are ideal for endurance,” says Percy. “Whereas broths and lighter vegetable soups are fantastic for recovery and rehydration after your workout and a great alternative to a sports drink if you can’t face something sweet.”
Spiced lentil and tomato soup
As a pre-ride meal, this gently spiced soup will help you power through. Full of A, B and C vitamins, it’s a great source of magnesium and iron. Both tomatoes and lentils have a low glycaemic index, so it’ll help control blood sugar levels and provide steady energy.
Spiced lentil and tomato soup:Paul Smith - www.smithpic.co.uk
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
1 bay leaf
1 stick celery (chopped)
1 small dried chili
1 tsp cumin seeds
300g green/brown lentils 1tbsp balsamic vinegar 800g can of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
Salt and pepper
1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
Freshly chopped coriander
Heat oil and sauté the onion and celery for a few minutes. Add bay leaf, dried chili and cumin and stir for 30 seconds.
Add the lentils, vinegar, tomatoes, tomato purée and stock, and bring to boil.
Simmer for 40 minutes, stirring frequently.
Season and serve with coriander.
Chickpea, sweet potato and spinach soup
This soup is particularly good for endurance. Chickpeas provide a virtually fat-free source of protein and carbohydrate and are high in minerals and ﬁbre.
Chickpea, sweet potato and spinach soup:Paul Smith - www.smithpic.co.uk