Benefits of enjoying a bowl of soup
When you come in from a long day at work, and it’s cold and dark outside, you need something quick and easy to warm you up. Well, it’s no soup-rise that this article will recommend a hearty soup for you! Read on for benefits, tips, and a couple of recipes.
What are the benefits of enjoying a bowl of soup?
Soup gives you a warm, good feeling
You literally feel the warmth spreading through your body as you eat a hot soup. Not only is this a great comfort on cold winter nights, but it can actually promote healing. Simply feeling better or feeling good about yourself encourages the body to heal. For this to work, you need to serve and eat the soup while it’s still hot. It should be almost, but not unbearably, hot. If you find this difficult to do on cold days, consider preheating your soup bowls, perhaps using boiling water.
It’s inexpensive and easy to prepare large batches of soup
Soup is one of those wonderful meals that don’t need to cost a lot. Many vegetable soups are incredibly affordable. But, there’s more. It’s straightforward to prepare a big batch of soup at the weekend and freeze it. This gives you weeks of cheap healthy dinner options when you don’t feel like doing anything else. There’s nothing easier than reheating soup, and you don’t even need a microwave. Just pop some on the stove. The trick is to split the batch into portions when freezing so that it’s easy just to take one and heat it.
Soups are an excellent source of nutrients
Usually including a selection of vegetables, soups are nutritious and packed with minerals and vitamins. If you get it right, a soup can count for at least one of your 5-a-day. How do you know what you are getting? Check the nutritional label for the ingredients.
Well obviously soups hydrate! They are mostly water. Yet they also contain the electrolytes that are often forgotten, including sodium. Just don’t use this as an excuse to add too much salt! In an age when we are encouraged to drink more water, soups are a great way to top up a healthy liquid intake.
Soups make you feel full
This is one secret of many diets–feeling full. Willpower is overrated; why suffer with hunger? A bowl of soup as a warm liquid actually promote a feeling of fullness in your body that should reduce snacking later. What’s more, since they are packed full of nutrition, you aren’t starving yourself, just eating what your body needs.
One advantage of soups is to be able to substitute ingredients according to what you have available. This helps keep costs down and stops food from going to waste. Try these recipes out, then think about substitutions!
Hearty Vegetable Soup
You can use either a slow cooker or a Dutch oven with this recipe, though the steps are slightly different. Here I’ve gone with the Dutch oven approach for this bowl of soup; check the original recipe for more details including how to use a slow cooker.
- 28 oz. canned diced tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 yellow medium-sized onion
- 3 large carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes
- ½ bunch of flat-leaf parsley
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Salt and Pepper to taste
How to Make
Wash and peel the vegetables (carrots, onion, celery, and potatoes), then chop/slice/cut into pieces ½ to 1 inch thick. Mince the garlic.
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a pre-warmed soup pot or Dutch oven.
Sauté the onion, carrots, and celery and season with salt and pepper, until the onion is translucent.
Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
Add the potatoes, then cook for another 5 minutes.
Pour in the vegetable broth and tomatoes (including juice from can.) Add the beans, then season with salt and pepper. Simmer the covered pot for about 25 minutes.
Add the peas and corn. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
Once the vegetables are done, add some chopped parsley and a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice.
Your soup is now ready to serve.
This potato soup, while still nutritious, is perhaps not quite as healthy as the above vegetable soup! Yet it’s also just that little bit yummier. Check the original recipe for details, tips, and toppings, but here’s a brief lowdown:
- 6 strips of bacon
- 6 large Yukon or russet potatoes
- 1 small onion
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ⅓ cup flour
- 32 oz. low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- Pinch of smoked paprika
- Salt & Pepper to taste
How to Make
Cook your bacon in a pot over medium heat until it starts to crisp. Remove and set aside, reserving the fat.
Sauté onion, with salt and pepper, in the pot with bacon fat for 3 minutes.
Add carrots and cook for another minute, then mince the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Sprinkle salt, pepper, and paprika over the cooked vegetables according to taste.
Then add the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
Cube the potatoes (about 1/2 inch thick), add them to the pot, and then pour in the chicken broth, milk, and cream. Simmer 15-20 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to blend up the potatoes until you end up with a soup with a creamy consistency.
Add the Greek yogurt and the cooked bacon, then sprinkle some toppings (cheese is a good choice.) Simmer for another 5 minutes.
Why not prepare yourself a big batch of soup and enjoy it over the week?