Chicken noodle soup

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serves: 4 prep: 20 min cook: 15 minutes

900ml chicken or vegetable stock (or Miso soup mix)
•  1 boneless, skinless chicken, about 175g
•  1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
•  1 garlic clove, finely chopped
•  50g shirataki noodles
•  6 mushrooms , thinly sliced
•  2 spring onions, shredded
•  2 tsp soy sauce , plus extra for serving
•  mint or basil leaves and a little shredded chilli to serve

1.    Pour the stock into a pan and add the chicken, ginger and garlic. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, partly cover and simmer for 20 mins, until the chicken is tender. Remove the chicken to a board and shred into bite-size pieces using a couple of forks.
2.    Return the chicken to the stock with the noodles, mushrooms, half the spring onions and the soy sauce. Simmer for 3-4 mins until the noodles are tender. Ladle into two bowls and scatter over the remaining spring onions, herbs and chilli shreds if using. Serve with extra soy sauce for sprinkling.

Make it vegetarian

Replace the chicken with 175g firm tofu cut into cubes, simmer for 5 mins, then add the other ingredients as before.

Tomato soup

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serves: 4 prep: 30 min cook: 40 min

1-1.25kg/2lb 4oz-2lb 12oz ripe tomato 
•    1 medium onion
•    1 small carrot
•    1  celery stick
•    4  tsp olive oil
•    2 squirts of tomato purée (about 2 tsp)
•    a good pinch of granulated sweetener
•    2 bay leaves
•    1.2 litres/ 2 pints hot vegetable stock
1.    Firstly, prepare your vegetables. You need 1-1.25kg ripe tomatoes. cut each tomato into quarters and slice off any hard cores (they don't soften during cooking and you'd get hard bits in the soup at the end). Peel 1 medium onion and 1 small carrot and chop them into small pieces. Chop 1 celery stick roughly the same size.
2.    Spoon 4 tsp olive oil into a large heavy-based pan and heat it over a low heat. tip in the onion, carrot and celery and mix them together with a wooden spoon. Still with the heat low, cook the vegetables until they're soft and faintly coloured. This should take about 10 minutes
3.    Holding the tube over the pan, squirt in about 2 tsp of tomato purée, then stir it around so it turns the vegetables red. Shoot the tomatoes in off the chopping board, sprinkle in a good pinch of sweetener and grind in a little black pepper. Tear 2 bay leaves into a few pieces and throw them into the pan. Stir to mix everything together, put the lid on the pan and let the tomatoes stew over a low heat for 10 minutes until they shrink down in the pan and their juices flow nicely.
4.    Slowly pour in the 1.2 litres/ 2 pints of hot stock (made with boiling water and 4 rounded tsp bouillon powder or 2 stock cubes), stirring at the same time to mix it with the vegetables. Cook gently for 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times. At the end of cooking the tomatoes will have broken down and be very slushy looking.
5.    Remove the pan from the heat, take the lid off and stand back for a few seconds or so while the steam escapes, then fish out the pieces of bay leaf and throw them away. Ladle the soup into your blender Blitz until the soup's smooth (stop the machine and lift the lid to check after about 30 seconds), Pour the puréed soup back into the pan and reheat it over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until you can see bubbles breaking gently on the surface.

Leek and bacon soup

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serves: 4 prep: 10 min cook: 20 min

3 rashers low fat  bacon , chopped
•  1 onion, chopped
•  400g pack trimmed leek  , sliced
•  3 medium  turnip, peeled and diced
•  1,4l hot vegetable stock
•  142ml pot single cream
•  4 rashers low fat bacon , to serve

1.    fry the bacon and onion, stirring until they start to turn golden. Tip in the leeks and turnips, stir well, then cover and turn down the heat. Cook gently for 5 mins, shaking the pan every now and then to make sure that the mixture doesn't catch.
2.    Pour in the stock, season well and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 mins until the vegetables are soft. Leave to cool for a few mins, then blend in a food processor in batches until smooth. Return to the pan, pour in the cream and stir well. Taste and season if necessary. Serve scattered with tasty crisp bacon and eat with toasted Dukan bread on the side.

Moroccan soup

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serves: 4 prep: 10 min cook: 15 min

1 tsp olive oil
•    1 medium onion, chopped
•    2  celery sticks, chopped
•    2 tsp ground cumin 
•    600ml hot vegetable stock
•    400g can chopped plum tomato with garlic
•    100g frozen string beans
•    zest and juice ½  lemon
•    large handful coriander or parsley and flatbread, to serve

1.    Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then fry the onion and celery gently for 10 mins until softened, stirring frequently. Tip in the cumin and fry for another min.
2.    Turn up the heat, then add the stock, tomatoes plus a good grind of black pepper. Simmer for 8 mins. Throw in string beans and lemon juice, cook for a further 2 mins. Season to taste, then top with a sprinkling of lemon zest and chopped herbs. Serve with Dukan bread.

Spicing it up
Spice it up further with a spoonful of harissa paste. Curry lovers can swap the cumin for 1 tsp of garam marsala.

Spicy roasted turnip soup

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serves: 4 prep: 10 min cook: 30 min

2tsp olive oil
•  1 tsp coriander ground
•  1 tsp cumin seeds , plus extra to garnish
•  ½ tsp ground turmeric
•  ½ tsp mustard seeds
•  1 large onion, cut into 8 chunks
•  2  garlic cloves
•  675g turnip, diced
•  2 plum tomatoes , quartered
•  1.2l vegetable stock
•  1 tbsp lemon juice

1.    Heat oven to 220CIn a bowl, mix together the oil and spices. Add the vegetables and mix well. Spread over a heavy baking sheet, then roast for 30 mins until tender.
2.    Spoon into a food processor or liquidiser with half the stock and process until smooth. Pour into a pan with the remaining stock, season, then heat until barely simmering. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Garnish with cumin seeds.

Spicy prawn soup

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serves: 4 prep: 10 min cook: 15 min

1 tsp colza oil
•  300g bag crunchy stir-fry vegetables
•  140g shiitake mushrooms , sliced
•  2 tbsp Thai green curry paste
•  a few drops of coconut flavouring according to taste
•    60 g low fat buttermilk
•  200ml vegetable or fish stock
•  300g shirataki noodles
•  200g bag large, raw prawns
1.    Heat a wok, add the oil, then stir-fry the veg and mushrooms for 2-3 mins. Take out and set aside, then tip the curry paste into the pan and fry for 1 min.
2.    Pour in the coconut flavouring buttermilk and stock. Bring to the boil, drop in the noodles and prawns, then reduce the heat and simmer for 4 mins until the prawns are cooked through. Stir in the veg, then serve.

Creamy smoked salmon and broccoli soup

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serves: 4  prep: 10 min  cook: 20 min

2 large leeks, halved and finely sliced
•  1 bay leaf
•  1kg broccoli, diced
•  1l chicken or vegetable stock
•  100ml low fat buttermilk
•  200g smoked salmon , cut into strips
•  small bunch chives , snipped

1.    Heat the butter in a large saucepan and add the leeks and bay leaf. Cook over a low heat for 8-10 mins or until the leek is really soft, then stir through the broccoli. Pour over the stock and buttermilk and bring to the simmer, then gently bubble for 10-15 mins until the broccoli is really tender. Add two-thirds of the smoked salmon, stir through and season. Serve the soup in deep bowls with the remaining smoked salmon and snipped chives on the top. 

Thai shirataki noodle with coconut and salmon

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serves: 4  prep:10 min  cook: 20 min

2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
•  165ml low fat buttermilk
•    Few drops of coconut flavouring according to taste
•  500ml chicken stock
•  2 skinless salmon, about 125g each
•  100g shirataki noodles
•  1 tsp fish sauce
•  1 lime, juiced
•  2 spring onions, shredded
•  1 red chilli  , shredded
•  a few leaves coriander , to serve (optional)

1.    Heat a wide non-stick pan and cook the curry paste for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add the buttermilk and coconut flavouring and stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes then turn down the heat to low and add the salmon. Poach for 4-5 minutes until just cooked.
2.    Cook the noodles according to pack instructions, drain and divide between two soup bowls.
3.    Sit a salmon fillet on top of each stack of noodles. Add the fish sauce and lime juice to the soup and pour over the noodles. Top with spring onion, chilli and coriander.

Leftover chicken soup 

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serves: 4  prep: 10 min cook: 30 min

•    2  tsp olive oil
•    2  onions, chopped
•    3 medium carrots , chopped
•    1 tbsp thyme leaves, roughly chopped
•    1.4l chicken stock
•    300g leftover roast chicken, shredded and skin removed
•    200g mushrooms
•    3 tbsp low fat Greek yogurt
•    1 garlic clove, crushed
•    squeeze lemon juice

•    Heat oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add onions, carrots and thyme, then gently fry for 15 mins. Stir in stock, bring to a boil, cover, then simmer for 10 mins.
•    Add the chicken, remove half the mixture, then purée with a stick blender. Tip back into the pan with the rest of the soup, mushrooms and seasoning, then simmer for 5 mins until hot through.
•    Mix the yogurt, garlic and lemon juice, swirl into the soup in bowls, then serve.

Creamy spinach soup

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serves: 4 prep: 10 min    cook: 20 min

1 medium onion, finely chopped
•  2garlic cloves  , finely chopped
•  450ml chicken or vegetable stock
•  600ml skimmed milk
•  450g fresh spinaches or frozen
•  finely grated zest of half a lemon 
•  freshly grated nutmeg , to taste
•  3 tbsplow fat buttermilk, to serve

1.    add the onion and garlic in a pan with a tsp of olive oil  and fry gently for 5-6 minutes until softening. Pour in the stock and simmer then pour in the milk and bring up to a simmer, then stir in half the spinach and the lemon zest. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the spinach has completely wilted down. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
2.    Pour the soup into a blender or food processor, add the remaining spinach (this will keep the soup bright green and fresh tasting) and process until silky smooth - you may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your machine
3.    Return to the pan and reheat. Taste and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Ladle the soup into bowls and swirl in the cream