It’s soup season! Having a nice warm cup of soup on a cold winter day is one of our favorite things.
On cold days when we were in college, we used to joke with our friends that they could bet that despite the cold weather, we’d eat a large frozen yogurt and after that, they could find us in the dining hall near the soup vat trying to stay warm. After hovering over the soup, we’d eat it for our meal. Yes, after our dessert. Clearly, we didn’t have the best habits. The good news is that now we do have our soup before our dessert. Haha.
And it sure is nice to feel warm and toasty as soup spreads its’ warmth throughout your body on a chilly day; we are starting to crave it as we speak!
There are also a lot of health benefits to eating hot soup! First, hot soup helps to restore the water balance in your body which can then keep your blood pressure under control (that is, as long as your soup isn’t swimming in sodium). And chicken soup, specifically, has anti-inflammatory effects.
What’s more, research shows that when you start a meal with a vegetable-based soup or a brothy soup you’ll eat fewer calories in your meal. Plus, soup is an all-around great meal starter or meal in itself.
Although soup is delicious, there are plenty of soups out there are very unhealthy, extremely high in calories, and can be very detrimental to your overall health. So please be careful!
How do you know if a soup is healthy or not?
Here are some tips to make sure that you swallow a healthy soup:
Look for soups:
- low in fat (less than 3 grams/ serving) and low in saturated fat (ideally less than 1 gram/ serving)
- low in sodium (ideally fewer than 200-300 mg/ serving) and flavored with lots of spices (NOTE: it will be hard to find canned soups that are this low—make sure you choose one less than 480 mg/ serving and then try to add more veggies to the soup to make more servings with less salt in each serving)
- Go for bean based soups (packed with nutrients, fiber and protein), and stay away from cream based soups (they’re loaded with artery clogging fat and lots of calories).
- Here is our one of our favorite soup recipes, hope you like it!
White Bean Soup
What do I need?
- 1 pound of dried white navy beans
- 3 chopped medium sized leeks
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 5 chopped celery sticks
- juice from ½ a lemon
- 3 cloves are garlic
- 3 diced carrots
- 5 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
- Pepper to taste
How do I make it?
First, soak beans overnight and then drain them. In a large pot, heat the oil, add leeks, and stir for about 5-7 minutes. Next add celery, garlic, and carrots; stir for about 8-10 minutes. Finally add stock, beans, pepper, and rosemary to the mixture. Boil soup, then bring then reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove 3 cups of soup, puree them in a blender, and then add back into soup pot along with lemon juice. Mix well!