Soup: the perfect runner’s fuel
Recover fast and watch your weight with the perfect runner’s fuel: soup
WHEN made with the right ingredients, soup provides carbohydrate, protein and antioxidants, supporting your muscles like no other meal. Many runners think they need hours to cook a decent soup, but you can make a delicious meal in 30 minutes with whatever is in your kitchen. Create your own by following these five easy steps. 1 / COOK THE AROMATICS These vegetables, herbs and spices will add flavour to your soup. In a large saucepan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil. Add 250g of diced veg (see below) and two tablespoons of dried herbs and spices; fry for five minutes.
TRY Onion, garlic, celery, carrots; dried sage, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, rosemary, cumin, cinnamon, chilli powder.
LIQUID ASSETS They add anti-inflammatory compounds that fight soreness.
TIP Add fresh herbs at the end of cooking to prevent loss of flavour. 2 / POUR IN LIQUID The liquid content will help keep you hydrated in the winter and it will relieve congestion, too. Add one to two litres of warmed liquid (heating it speeds up cooking). Use one type of liquid or a mix if you want to create more complex flavours in your soup.
TRY Vegetable, chicken, beef or fish stock; tomato puree and juice; beer or wine (up to a quarter of total liquid) 3 / ADD VEGETABLES Veggies pack antioxidant vitamins and runner-friendly minerals. Aim for 750g to 1kg, cut into bite-sized pieces. Cook for five to 15 minutes (soft or pre-cooked veg needs less time; raw, hard vegetables need more).
TRY Kale, carrots, peppers, bak choi, cabbage, tomatoes, mushrooms, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes.
TIP Add the greens during the last five minutes; this will prevent overcooking. 4 / INCLUDE PROTEIN Lean protein repairs muscles and provides iron. Use 400g of cooked meat or fish and one or two tins of beans for a vegetarian protein source. If you use dry lentils, add more liquid and cook for an extra 20 minutes.
TRY Beans (all kinds); cooked chicken, beef, fish, prawns; tofu, edamame; lentils 5 / TOSS IN CARBS Carbs restock energy stores. Add 450g of pre-cooked carbs and heat through for five minutes (add extra liquid and cooking time if using uncooked carbs).
TRY Cooked wholegrains (brown, black or wild rice, quinoa and barley); wholewheat pasta; potatoes
TIP Small pastas such as macaroni work best in soup.