This is a great day to talk about soup. In Minnesota, it is currently 42 degrees fahrenhiet below 0 wind chill...two of the best things that you can do for your diet are to eat a huge salad each day, and have some healthy soup!
Soup is healthy, convenient and it tastes good. Soup is actually simple to make homemade, and there are endless options, so it is never boring.
There is truth to drinking soup when you are under the weather. Depending upon what you put in your soup, there are benefits to the immune system. There are benefits to getting extra fluids in your system, also. If you eat a light soup before you eat a meal, you will most likely eat less due to the extra liquids in your stomach.
There have been many improvements in store bought soups, but it is still a much better option to make your own. Store bought soups generally contain a lot of sodium and chemicals. There are many soup commercials on television lately that talk about how they have taken monosodium glutamate (MSG) out of their soups. Unfortunately, there are many that still contain MSG. Look for soups in a box, rather than a can, to avoid BPA that can leach from the can.
When our parents made soup, they boiled bones to make the broth. This leeched the bone marrow from the bones, which provided us with chondroitin for our joints. Now, many people have to supplement this nutrient for their joints.
The list of different kinds of soup are endless – I like to see what I have in the house and start throwing it in the pot. The more vegetables the better! My kids call it mystery or garbage soup.
I quite often will buy a rotisserie chicken to use as part of a meal or to have chicken meat for sandwiches. I know that the skin is the best tasting part, but it is healthier to get rid of the skin – the cooking process creates toxins on the skin. Many times I will then boil he carcass of the chicken to make a stock for soup. Making homemade broth is a great way to save money and get the most bang for your buck. It is also a healthy option for cooking. Making your own broth lets you avoid all the sodium that can be added to canned broth.
The soup shown above is a vegetable soup - it has celery, potatoes, onions, garlic, mushrooms, red pepper flakes, garlic pepper, peppers, and carrots. I saute the veggies in some olive oil and chicken broth before I add it to the main broth. I made this one creamy by adding some almond milk and about the equivalent of a half of slice of pepper jack cheese per serving. Clear broths are best to eat on a day to day basis, but once in a while, a creamy soup is great for a comfort meal. I rarely put meat in my soups - but I do use chicken broth for more flavor. Stay warm!
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Shanna Seguin is a wife and mother of two. She is currently an Electrodermal Screening Technician with a background in Classical Naturopathy. She also is a high school special education teacher, and a nature enthusiast.