Fat Mum Slim $6 Winter Soup Interview and Recipe

Fat Mum Slim $6 Winter Soup Interview and Recipe

Interview with Chantelle Ellem, Woolworths ambassador and Fat Mum Slim blogger

Question: What originally inspired you to begin Fat Mum Slim?

Chantelle Ellem: Over ten years ago I was a brand new mum, and I felt a bit lost. I had always kept a journal, but I'd seen that over in the States blogs were becoming popular, so I decided to start one myself. It was a private blog that I wrote about parenting and my attempts at losing weight, but one day I started sharing publicly and it became popular quickly, and the rest is pretty much history.

Question: What did you learn about yourself through the creation of Fat Mum Slim?

Chantelle Ellem: I was so shy and lacking in confidence when I first started my blog, but blogging over the past ten years has stretched me unbelievably. I've been on TV countless times, presented to 300 people for an hour; I've travelled the world and presented videos. Each time I'm asked to do these things, my first reaction is to think that I couldn't possibly do it, but something inside me pushes me to give it a go, and I do. I've learned that anything is possible and I am capable of more than I believe I am!

Question: Where do you find inspiration when creating recipes?

Chantelle Ellem: I usually find inspiration in the aisles of Woolworths, or while staring mindlessly into my pantry. I'm often trying to figure out what I can make for dinner that everyone will want to eat, or figuring out how to make a meal on a budget with what I have in the pantry.

Question: Can you share your top Winter lunch ideas for adults with us?

Chantelle Ellem: For Winter, I always lean on my staples, like pasta, white rice, or brown rice. I'm big on batch cooking on a lazy Sunday and making soups and such for the week ahead. There's nothing more delightful then working from home, and realising at lunchtime that there's yummy soup ready in the freezer!

Question: How can parents create lunch-box friendly Winter lunch ideas?

Chantelle Ellem: My best tip is to buy a small, kid-sized Thermos and fill them with soups, noodles, fried rice, spaghetti bolognese and other yummy winter-warming foods that the kids love.

Question: Why did you choose to become a Woolworths ambassador?

Chantelle Ellem: I've been part of the Woolworths family really since I was really young. My mum has always worked in our Woolworths local store, and going in there is like being around family. We're welcomed with familiar hugs and smiles, and it feels like home. So, it was a no-brainer. It's where I shop, it's a big part of my life and I genuinely love Woolies.

Question: Why do you shop at Woolworths?

Chantelle Ellem: I shop at Woolies, because I know that I am always buying great produce, and that I'm able to shop for good prices. Plus, I know where EVERYTHING is. There's comfort in walking in a store and knowing exactly where everything is that I need. Plus, if I shopped anywhere else I'd feel like I was doing the wrong thing by my mum!

Question: Can you tell us about your $6 Winter Soup Recipe?

Chantelle Ellem: I love soup season, so my enthusiasm for this recipe is pretty high. I plan on eating this soup all through Winter. It's that good. And it's so simple to make.

This soup packs all the flavour in without any effort, thanks to the onion, celery, bacon and garlic. The great thing about soups is that you can spend a Sunday cooking up a storm and then freeze for later. Working from home, I love a grab and go meal that I can pull out, heat up and eat over my laptop. This one works well for lunches and dinners… which explains why I'll be eating it all the time.

This is another cheap recipe too, for anyone wanting to watch their budget. If you wanted to make it cheaper, you can use a cheaper cut of bacon, or a little less of it… but really for under $6 you get around 6 serves of soup. Throw in a $1.50 baguette {slathered with delicious butter} from the bakery section of Woolworths, and you've got a very delicious meal.

Woolworths have also just launched five new products in the Woolworths Hearty Soup range including Beef & Vegetable, Lamb & Barley, Chicken & Bean, Mexican Soup with Chilli Bean and Peppered Steak. If you are looking for a convenient meal solution and have limited time to prepare your meal from scratch, these soups are perfect for you! They are great if you are strapped for time, but still want a filling lunch. They're also affordable at $5 for 500g if you are managing your budgets this winter.

Question: Can you share your $6 Winter Soup Recipe?

Chantelle Ellem: Vegetable, Bacon and Lentil Soup Recipe

1 brown onion, chopped finely
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 Woolworths deli bacon rashers, diced
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, diced finely
1 cup red lentils
2 Woolworths chicken stock cubes
1 litre water
Finely chopped chives to serve

In a large saucepan over medium heat, place the oil and cook the onion, bacon, garlic, celery and carrot. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened.
Add the lentils, the stock cubes and the water. Bring to the boil, and then turn down to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Top with chives to serve.

Interview by Brooke Hunter