When it comes to eating healthy, soups and stews are some of the best recipes to choose.
Generally speaking, they pack in plenty of vegetables, they’re easy to batch cook and they’re filling without being super high in calories.
But, while they’re certainly slimming friendly, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re not that summer friendly.
Soups and stews are a winter staple. In colder months there’s nothing better than a piping hot bowl of your favourite stewed meat and veggies.
It’s natural to feel like you need to take them off the menu when the weather is warmer.
Summer doesn’t have to be all about salads and barbeques.
In fact, we have lots of ideas about what to eat when it’s hot outside, and our list includes all kinds of recipes.
We all like a little variety in our weekly menu, and there are plenty of soups and stews that can be enjoyed whatever the weather.
Here are a few of our favourite summer friendly soups and stews.
Fresh, zingy soups
It’s true that soups are warm and comforting, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be refreshing too.
Of course, cold soup exists – gazpacho is commonly enjoyed in hot countries like Spain and Portugal as a light summer lunch.
But if cold soup isn’t your cup of tea, how about a hot bowl of Carrot, Orange and Thyme Soup?
Choosing soups that are zingy and fresh tasting is ideal for the warmer weather, and this one has that burst of citrus to cut through the creamy carrot.
Because soups have such a high liquid content they’re actually perfect for hot days, helping you stay hydrated.
Something like our Cream of Spinach and Rocket Soup even looks summery.
With a vibrant colour and silky smooth texture, eating your greens has never been so delicious.
Full of goodness, this light soup packs a nutritional punch, helping you get your vitamins in – and for just 143 calories a serving.
Another flavourful soup that works just as well in summer is our Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Soup.
Drawing on the flavours of the Mediterranean, the tangy feta pairs beautifully with the rich taste of roasted red peppers and tomatoes.
Helping you on your way to your 5 a day, this soup is perfect for batch cooking.
You can freeze some for another day and crumble a little fresh feta on when you reheat it.
We know the British summertime is unpredictable, so how about a delicious soup that’ll brighten up the less than sunny days?
This Smoky Ham and Pasta Soup is proper comfort food, but still light enough for summer.
We love to use fun pasta shapes in ours – they make this the happiest bowl of soup you’ll ever eat!
Lighter summer stews
If you fancy something a little more substantial than a soup, why not try one of our summer friendly stews?
We’ve rounded up our lightest stew recipes, picking out hearty dishes with punchy flavours.
Let’s start with this Italian Sausage Stew. With a rich, garlicky tomato sauce, lots of veggies and pasta all simmered together, it’s influenced by the flavours of Italy.
Served with a wedge of crusty bread it’s definitely comfort food, but just as delicious in summer as in winter.
Somewhere between a soup and a stew, this Turkey Bun Cha is our take on a popular Vietnamese street food.
Instead of pork, we’ve used turkey meatballs and served them in a tasty broth with noodles and plenty of vegetables.
With a gentle heat from the chilli, this dish has an irresistible blend of spice and savoury flavour.
There’s no denying that a big bowl of hot chilli is the ultimate dinner on a cold winter’s night, but we think that our Vegan Chilli is every bit as good in the summertime.
This recipe has so much veg packed into it! You won’t miss the meat at all.
It’s great for batch cooking too, so you can freeze the leftovers or package them up for lunches throughout the week.
Slow cooker stews
When it’s hot we’ll do just about anything to avoid putting the oven on.
It’s easy to turn to salads or barbecues – and even the takeaway when it feels too hot to cook.
But your slow cooker is another great option!
It’s perfect for making big batches of soups and stews that can be enjoyed whatever the weather.
With minimal effort you can create healthy, filling meals that are ready when you walk in the door after a long day.
Some of our favourite slow cooker recipes are ideal summer friendly dishes.
For example, this Caribbean Jerk Stew is just too good to save for colder weather.
It’s hearty and filling, but the sweet, salty and spicy flavour combination is perfect for summer.
We also love this Beef Paprikash. Our slimming friendly version of the classic Hungarian stew can be left to cook in the slow cooker all day.
It develops a deep, rich paprika flavour and the meat becomes melt-in-the-mouth tender.
You can serve it with noodles, rice, potatoes or lots of vegetables – it’s so versatile.
Have you heard of the Cuban dish Ropa Vieja? It’s a super simple beef dish that tastes incredible and can be made in the slow cooker.
Our recipe for Cuban Beef comes in under 300 calories per serving.
The fresh flavours of tomato, peppers and coriander mean that this dish is so much more than just a winter warmer.
We think it tastes even better enjoyed in the sunshine with some fluffy basmati rice.
What are your favourite summer friendly soups and stews? Tell us over in our Facebook Group! We love to hear your recommendations and see snaps of your creations.
There are nearly 1 million members in our Facebook Group waiting to inspire, support and motivate you on your slimming journey.