I’ve always loved the comforting warmth soups give me on a brisk fall day or a cold winter night. There seems to be nothing more soothing, perfect and nourishing for this time of year. I love them all. Whether it is flavorful beef phó, chunky beef stew, vegan lentil soup, or filling potato soup, they are all delicious and appreciated in my household.
Although the world of soups is full of delights enough to entice, let me give you five more reasons why you should eat soups.
Dublin coddle soup (Photo: Kimi Harris)
1. Soups are frugal
In a world of foreclosures, tight budgets, and rising costs, frugality is of top concern for many. Soups are generally very frugal to make. Beans, grains, meats and vegetables stretch out to feed many once made into a warm pot of soup. A pot of soup can feed one for a week, a family of four for dinner with leftovers, and a crowd when sharing your meal with friends. I think this alone should earn soups a place on our menus!
2. Soups are adaptable
Salads and soups are two of the most easily adaptable dishes. Have carrots? Chop them up to add to chicken noodle soup or puree them in a soup for a curry carrot soup or a ginger carrot soup. Have spinach? Add them to a minestrone soup, or a lentil or white bean-based soup. Have leftover shredded chicken? Make the carcass into chicken broth, and shred the chicken, and make Mexican chicken soup. Leftover pot roast can be made into stew, potatoes can make delicious creamy creamless soups, garlic can be roasted and added to many soups, and cauliflower can be pureed to make a delightful white soup, a perfect canvas for spices and herbs.
I could go on, but the point is this, soups are adaptable to what you have on hand. With a little creativity, you can make delicious soups out of what you in your cupboard and in your refrigerator. Remaking your leftovers into soups is not only a frugal practice, but also ecologically smart.
Homemade chicken broth (Photo: Kimi Harris)
3. Soups are nourishing
If you feature rich chicken, beef, or lamb broths made out of bones, your soups will be full of special nutrition. Bone broths are full of easy-to-absorb minerals and so much more. Chicken broth has been considered a healing food for a long time, and scientific research seems to back that claim. If you consume animal meat, using those bones to make broths and stocks ensure that you don’t waste anything.
4. Soups are easy to make
While yeasted breads and towering cakes can be intimidating to make, soups are generally very easy to make. When I was pregnant with my last child, I had really severe morning sickness and my husband had to help more with the cooking. My husband does not enjoy cooking, but he made this recipe for simple chicken noodle soup almost every week because it was both so easy to make and so tasty, too. You don’t have to be a professional chef to make a good bowl of soup. They can be long simmered in a slow cooker while you are at work, or quickly simmered at the end of the day using pre-made chicken broth and ingredients that cook quickly.
5. Soups satisfy
Soups are a popular weight loss food for good reason. They give a lot more satiety for a lot less calories. A large platter of French fries will keep you reaching for more, while you can have even several bowls of soup and feel satisfied and full on a healthy allotment of calories.
In the end, there is a lot to love about soups. I personally can’t wait until lunch as my little family is having leftover Mexican cauliflower soup topped with cilantro and avocado, and I know it will both nourish our bodies and please our senses.
Do you have any favorite soup recipes to share?
More great soup recipes from MNN: