I am an avid fan of soup. While some people prefer to chew their food I adore slurping down a good bowl of homemade soup. Always delightfully satisfying my soups are loaded with greens, usually leftovers and therefore a rich source of vitamins and minerals.
All year long I make a large cauldron of soup on the weekend to be savored in various ways throughout the week. Served hot or cold I find soup to be super versatile and very easy.
* Topped with cheese and accompanied by bread and salad it makes a light yet nutritious dinner.
* A mug at 11am gets me through till dinner on a busy day consumed by meetings.
* It is an easy snack for Louis when he gets home from school hungry before dinner, and a great appetizer for friends who pop in at the last minute to say Hi.
I can rave about my personal reasons to eat soup but let me share some of the research.
1. Soup helps keep your weight loss goals on track.
Broth-based soups packed with vegetables are high in fiber, easy to digest, typically low in calories, but rich in nutrition. A bowl will fill you up reducing your appetite and the desire to eat much more.
2. Soup is my go to use for leftovers.
I hate waste so as I mentioned making a big batch of soup on the weekend is an easy way to use up leftover food.
3. In the winter I find eating soup fends off flu’s and colds.
Loaded with greens, which are alkinalizing and intrinsically anti-inflammatory, a steaming bowl of vegetable soup can build immunity and reduce mucus.
4. Soup is affordable.
Making healthy soup is so affordable. All you need are some fresh vegetables and broth. I buy cartons of organic broth, add onion and my favorite vegetable then often throw in leftovers from the night before.
5. Soup tastes great!
Just because it is healthy does not mean it should not be delicious.
Here is my standard Easy Soup Recipe.
2 bunches of greens or 4 cups of your favorite chopped vegetable.
1 large red onion sliced
4 cloves of fresh garlic
1 stick of butter or 4 tablespoons of your favorite healthy oil
Herbs as desired. I love chives, cilantro, dill, basil, rosemary, parsley.
Spices as desired. My favorites are turmeric, curry, paprika, red pepper
32 oz carton of broth. (I prefer chicken broth because it is light and complements the vegetable flavor but you can decide: vegetable broth makes a lighter soup, beef broth makes a richer soup and fish broth is great of you want to add fish to your soup.)
Leftovers: meats, salad, vegetables
· Heat the oil or butter in a large saucepan
· Add the onion and garlic and stir until translucent
· Add the chopped vegetables and stir until coated in the oil
· Add any herbs and spices you like. (Start simple so that you don’t confuse the flavors and choose based on the vegetable you are using)
· Cook for at least 10 minutes with the lid on stirring occasionally until the vegetables are beginning to soften or the greens have wilted.
· If you are going to add leftover vegetables now is the time to add them. Stir them in and let them mix well with the base.
· Add the broth, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft
· Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving
At this point you can decide whether you want a chunky or smooth soup. If I want to add left over chicken, fish or meat I typically leave my soup chunky and add these ingredients 10 minutes before serving so that they are well mixed and hot.
If I want a smooth soup, which I often prefer, I blend 2 cups at a time in my Vitamix, transferring to a new saucepan ready to be served immediately or heated up later.
You can be creative but I often serve my pureed soup with a sprinkle of grated cheese, or a dollop of sour cream garnished with chopped parsley or cilantro.
Please share your favorite home-made soup recipes.