Soup can be easy to digest, nourishing and versatile. You can:
- try clear soups to stimulate the appetite and provide extra fluid, but don’t have them too often as they are low in protein and energy
- add energy and/or protein to soups with meat, chicken, legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans), cereals (rice, pasta, noodles, barley), cheese, cream, butter, margarine and oil
- vary the taste with nutmeg, ground cumin or curry powder
- puree or blend soups if you have difficulty swallowing
- thicken soups with pureed vegetables, cream, eggs or enriched milk.
- 250 g meat on the bone (any cut)
- 600 mL water
- 30 g cereal (e.g. sago, rice or pearl barley), washed
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- salt and pepper
Method: Remove the fat from the meat and cut into small pieces. Soak meat and bones in cold water for 30 minutes, then bring slowly to the boil. Add cereal once soup is boiling. Simmer for 1 hour. Add vegetables to soup and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bones, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Creamy potato and leek soup
- 1–2 tsp olive or vegetable oil
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 kg potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- ½ cup cream
Method: Heat oil in a large saucepan and cook leek until soft. Add cumin seeds and cook for 2 minutes. Add potato and stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 25–30 minutes until potatoes are tender. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in cream.
- tbsp olive or vegetable oil
- 3 cups diced vegetables
- tbsp flour
- chicken stock cubes 3 cups water
- tbsp tomato paste
- 400 g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup cream
- ½ cup rice
Method: Heat oil in a large saucepan and fry vegetables for 5 minutes. Add flour and stir. Add crumbled stock cubes, water, tomato paste and butter beans. Simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Blend the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return soup to saucepan and add milk, cream and rice. Simmer soup for 15–20 minutes until rice is cooked.
Use potatoes, carrots or whatever vegetables you have.
Video: How to eat well after a cancer diagnosis
Podcast: Appetite Loss and Nausea
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Jacqueline Baker, Senior Oncology Dietitian, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Lauren Atkins, Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, OnCore Nutrition, VIC; Dr Tsien Fua, Head and Neck Radiation Oncology Specialist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Rosemerry Hodgkin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Clare Hughes, Manager, Nutrition Unit, Cancer Council NSW; John Spurr, Consumer; Emma Vale, Senior Dietitian, GenesisCare, SA; David Wood, Consumer.
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