Unless you’re one of our Northern Hemisphere followers, you should be smack bang in the middle of winter right now. Here in SE Queensland, we’re blessed with very mild winters, however without fail, as soon as the weather starts to cool down, we start craving warm, hearty, wholesome food
Mostly liquid, the soup’s nutrients will sustain you and give your immune system a boost. Homemade soups and generally much much lower in calories that soup in a can. Keep in mind that canned soup is high in sodium and chemical BPA (bisphenol A. an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s and should have no place in our food chain)
Did you know although there are hundreds of different flavoured soups there are just 6 kinds of soups?
There are 3 main types of soups.
- Broth – the liquid in which meat is cooked, whereas stock is a combination of veggies and meat.
- Consomme – a clear soup made with meat, fish or vegetable stock. Example: minestrone
- Puree – thick soups made by cooking and then pureeing the ingredients.
Soup is literally one of the easiest lunch or dinner meals to prepare. Chunky soup or smooth, whizzed soup – just couple it with your favourite crusty bread and all the family will enjoy that feeling of being warm and toasty. And, what may seem like a simple, fuss-free winter favourite can be jam packed with benefits that you didn’t even realise.
Soup is a great way to get a boost of veg into your daily diet.
Veggies such as pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots and parsnips, won’t wilt or get limp when you cook them so make the perfect soup fillers. If you have produce in the fridge that is about to pass it’s prime, using them in the soup is a great way to reduce wastage and get them eaten before it’s too late.
Hydration is Key
During the cooler months, it’s common for us to drink less water. Although you might not be getting as hot and sweaty as you do in the warmer months, you’re still losing fluid throughout the day. Since soups are mostly liquid, they’re a great wat to boost your fluid intake.
Soups can help you stave off cold and flu, and they’re a great antidote for times when you are sick, too! Most soups are loaded with disease-fighting nutrients. In fact, studies show that chicken soup, in particular, can help prevent the common cold, especially if you load it up with fresh garlic, onions, celery and carrots. (They all contain powerful immune-boosting chemicals.) A bonus: the hot liquid helps soothe a sore throat.
Feeling Hot Hot Hot
Not only is soup warming due to its temperature, if you opt for ingredients that help heat the body internally such as ginger, chilli and spices like cinnamon or cloves the warming effects can be greater and easily support your body to feel warmer for longer.
Full & Content
Studies have found that soup can make you feel fuller for longer, and research has shown that regular soup eaters have healthier body mass indexes (BMI). People who eat soup before the main course tend to eat less overall, so consuming some of your calories in the form of soup can keep hunger at bay and help you lose weight, without making you feel like you’re depriving yourself.
When you have soup as a meal, it is a large portion of food that is low in calories. Having earned a reputation for being high in salt content, soups are offset by the high potassium level. Basic vegetable soup has about 700mg of potassium – that is 20% of your daily recommended dose. Overall people who eat soup have a high intake of fibre, Vitamin A, magnesium, iron, selenium and potassium. These nutrients regulate the digestive tract. It is your digestive functions that break down nutrients into small parts for your body to absorb, then using them for energy and cell repair.
Cream-based soups can be high in fat and calories, so steer towards the broth base. As an example, seafood chowder has about 200 calories and a veggie soup under 100.
Steaming, frying or boiling your food diminishes the nutrient intake. On the other hand, when simmering the soup, the vitamins and minerals are extracted and released into the broth.
Vegetables such as pumpkin, butternut, carrots and parsnips won’t go limp when you cook them. Do make use of vegetables that are past their prime. Whisk them up in the blender to make a nourishing soup.
Consider using a slow cooker. Not just for soups, but for stews as well. You can throw all sorts of vegies into a stew. Soups and stews don’t have to be just vegetables. Marrow from beef or pork bones adds delicious flavour to the soup.
The Healing Powers of Soup
Chicken soup has become the jolly repartee of females making jokes about serving chicken soup to their loved male family members suffering flu-like symptoms also commonly referred to as “The Man Flu” Many people swear by chicken soup and it appears there is some scientific backing to this sentiment. A 2000 US study highlighted the soups effectiveness in breaking down mucus and calming upper respiratory inflammation.
Soups are not high in Vitamin C, due to that vitamin being heat sensitive. It is the sodium in the recipe that helps relieve sore throat pain, based on the same principle behind gargling saltwater. Speed recovery with nutrient-dense rich soups, loaded up with garlic, onions, celery, carrots, turmeric, cayenne and ginger.
Here is our list of favourite healing soups:
For the home cook, stock, broth, and bouillon are the foundation of soups, sauces, and many other tasty dishes. Do experiment with homemade variations. Find your personal favourites, teach the children and cook to your heart’s content.
Regardless of whether soup really helps cure minor ailments or can help you lose weight, there’s no denying its wellbeing-boosting properties. Placebo or not, soup is comforting for many people and can give you a welcome lift on the darkest days of winter.