Leek & Butter Bean Soup with Crispy Kale and Bacon

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The Only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary” Vince Lombardi

 

This dish contains endless goodness and flavours and was a perfect dish the day before my big race last Sunday.

Butter Beans are belonging to the same family as Lima beans. Pulses such as this are especially good for us athletes in our diets because pulses like this lower our heart disease and heart attack risks. In addition, they are a great source of fibre which obviously benefits the digestive system and processes. Their plant base origins mean that they also have a large source of anti-oxidants and plant sterols. Research tells us that plant based foods and a more Mediterranean diet is better for us all round but it also helps reduce anxiety and depression.

The leeks help us with preserving healthy blood vessels, which means importantly, for us runners, it aids the quality of oxygen that our blood is able to absorb as we are running.

Topping this dish off with a Kale is an absolutely delicious way of eating this dish.

Kale is one of the best vegetables you can eat, especially as an Athlete. Firstly it is anti-inflammatory so helps us combat inflammation after exercise, not to mention the fact that it has potassium, calcium, vitamins A, C and K.

Kale has more Iron per calorie than Beef, more calcium in it than milk and 10% more vitamin C than Spinach.

Iron levels are vital to enable us to exercise or compete well and at our best.

 

 

2 tsp olive oil ( 120 Calories, 14g Fat, 0g Carbs, 0g Protein)

4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked

1 x 400g cans butter beans ( 100 Calories, 1g Fat, 19g Carbs, 6g Protein)

150ml Chicken stock with Water ( 36 Calories, 1g Fat, 4g Carbs, 3g Protein)

½ small pack flat-leaf parsley ( 36 Calories, 1g Fat, 6g Carbs, 3g Protein)

4 rashers bacon ( 204 Calories, 14g Fat, 2g Carbs, 20g Protein)

 

 

1) Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the chopped leek and thyme and fry until the leeks are beginning to soften. Add a little water if the leeks begin to stick beforehand.

2) Once the leeks soften, add the Butter Beans, including the water they are in in the can, along with the Chicken stock mixed with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer.

3) Meanwhile, cook the bacon rashers in another pan until crispy. Put aside on a plate and cut in to small chunks.

4) Halfway through the bacon cooking, add the Kale and fry until it is fully wilted.

5) Add the chopped Parsley to the broth and simmer a little further.

6) Ladle the soup in to deep bowls, adding the Bacon and Kale on the top to finish.

7) Serve with Crusty Bread.

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