It is finally here....Soup Season!
As the weather gets colder, at least in my part of the world, more of us want to come in after a cool walk in the crisp Fall/Winter weather, a skate or a ski with the family or snow shoveling the drive, to a warm, fragrant bowl of soup. The snow is falling, the fireplace is on...what do I want? Soup.
The great thing about soups are that they are often a one pot meal, are full of healthy ingredients and there are so many kinds, you just can't get bored of it.
The Benefits of Eating Soup
It is sometimes really hard to get all of your servings of daily vegetables without feeling like a rabbit, but with a big bowl of delicious soup, it can be easy. They are often chock full of vegetables...chicken and vegetable (full of kale or greens), butternut squash, carrot and ginger, beef and cabbage, vegetable and barley, cream of broccoli...you name it, vegetables.
I find this a great strategy to get my kids to eat more vegetables too, secretly.
Plus you get the added bonus of consuming the water that the veggies are cooked it, minimizing any lost nutrients that you typically get when cooking vegetables (especially boiling).
They can be filled with herbs and spices - the good, flavourful soups anyway - and is a good way to learn how to use these powerhouse nutrients. Some spices
like turmeric have healing properties such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, some like garlic and cayenne have antiviral and antibiotic properties and may help with the common cold, while spices like cinnamon, cloves, coriander, nutmeg and cardamom all aid in digestion when added to mucus forming foods like milk yogurt or other dairy. I love ginger for its anti-inflammatory properties, and of course, its taste! Try to use them in their fresh forms if possible!
Now not all soups are healthy and the benefits may not always outweigh the junk. You have to be careful when purchasing premade soups from some restaurants or delis as they are often laden with sugars, salts, preservatives and bad fats to ensure it tastes good and keeps for a longer time. Not always, but if you don't make it yourself, you can't be sure.
So, pick out some great recipes this winter and give them a try!
Some of My Favourtite Soups!
I have tried all of these and me and my family (even the 8 year old, for the most part) all love them. I hope you and yours do to!
I will start with one of our favourites. And I mean the whole family - kids too! It is so rich and creamy and only takes about an hour to cook from start to finish, which is a bonus when you don't have a bunch of soups made and stored, ready to go.
It says to blend 1/2 and then add the cooked rice. I like to blend it all up and then either add cauliflower rice (for a grain free or candida diet option), or wild rice or even a bit of quinoa. Other topping options are a bit of feta or some pumpkin seeds.
This is so hearty and full of plant-based protein...smoky without the meat...you won't be hungry after a bowl of this!
I cook it stove top and use veggie broth to replace the water and instead of the bouillon. There is also a slow cooker option, but I haven't tried it that way yet.
Broccoli and Turmeric and Leeks, oh my! (Note: leeks can be hard to find sometimes, but are a must for this recipe)! So good for you!
I added some nutritional yeast when it was done for a bit of that cheesy taste, which my daughter loves, and a whole bunch of added B vitamins - especially B12. This one wasn't a fave of my son's but he would much rather get his broccoli in this way than any other, so a win:)
The picture on the right is from sweetpeasandsaffron.com and is all you need for this delicious soup along with a bit of avocado oil to sauté the leeks! Check out her site and give it a try.
In fact, I have a double batch of this one in the slow cooker, simmering as I type!
This is a great soup if you are following a Candida Diet or just want ultra low carb and super yummy!
If you like cabbage rolls you will love this soup. Full on onions, veggies and lean ground beef, (look for grass fed/organic beef whenever you can!) this soup makes a great meal. With some homemade wholegrain or grain-free bread (those recipes will be coming!) and a small piece of fruit, done! This soup is quick and easy and a definitely a family pleaser. And what to you do when cabbage is in season and you have a few huge heads of cabbage? Make cabbage roll soup, of course!
Okay so Soups can be healthy, but why else are they the PERFECT Winter meal?
Soups are great as you can often make them ahead and reheat when you need a warm, quick, healthy meal for the family or just for you. Make a few pots on the weekend and then don't scrounge for a quick lunch or dinner - this is often when you reach for less than healthy options! It can make a high protein, high veggie meal without some of the higher glycemic load foods we often associate with lunches like breads, pastas and bagels.
Soups allow you to eat in season. Lots of squash around, make some roasted butternut squash soup! Cabbage? Make a yummy cabbage roll soup.
Cooking with ingredients that are grown locally and are in season often mean that the foods have more nutrients in them; they are picked closer to when ripe (more mineral uptake) and they travel less of a distance. Talk with your local farmers about their growing practices and support the ones who are using sustainable practices and lessening the use of herbicides and pesticides on our food.
You can make soups in so many ways...stock pot, crock pot, insta-pot. I like this as I can prepare 3 different batches of soup on a Sunday afternoon in different ways for the week. This will ensure me and my family are getting enough daily servings of vegetables and other great nutrients and will allow more time outside building a snowman than inside prepping dinners:)