As the weather starts to cool down, there are few things more nourishing than warming up with delicious comfort food, like a big bowl of homemade soup. Not only is soup a quick, easy and healthy dinner solution, it’s easily reheated for a wholesome lunch the next day – often tasting even better! Or simply freeze your leftovers for up to a few months – it’s the ultimate cheap and nutritious frozen meal.
Here are 3 reasons why you should make soup part of your weekly routine this winter:
1. Homemade soup can be a balanced ‘one-pot’ meal
Gone are the days of having a one or two veg soup as an entrée to the main course. These days, exciting and balanced soup recipes are the main course, one that will ensure you’re getting a variety of food groups and nutrients in one meal! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different whole grains and legumes to mix things up – quinoa, barley, rice, beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas – these all add important nutrients to your soup, add variety and help keep you full. Several studies also show that eating soup is associated with higher diet quality and lower body weight (1).
2. Soup is cheap, quick and easy to make
Most soup recipes make 4-6 serves, and are easily stored in the fridge or freezer. Additionally, when you compare the cost of ingredients against the number of meals you get out of the pot, soup works out to be an extremely economical option! Most soups are also low on prep and cooking time – just chop up your veggies, throw in a mix of herbs, spices, grains, legumes or lean meats, then leave to simmer.
3. Soup is the ultimate staple for meal-prepping
Homemade soup is an obvious choice when meal-prepping for the week, due to its versatility with storage and reheating. You’ll be the envy of your co-workers when you have a chicken, barley and vegetable soup to pop in the microwave at lunchtime. Coming home from a long day in the office, with hungry kids in tow, there’s nothing better than having a freezer full of rich tomato and cannellini bean soup to throw on the stove and reheat. You know you’re consuming a healthy, nutritious and warming meal in the time it takes to come to the boil – just toast a few slices of wholemeal or whole grain bread and you’re set.
Get creative, experiment, and mix and match to get the most out of your soup this winter!
Quick tips on making your soup super healthy:
- Choose low salt/sodium stock
- Experiment with plant-based sources of protein such as tofu, beans, eggs or lentils
- Skip the cream – thicken with milk, yoghurt, sweet potato, pureed white beans or beaten eggs
- Add flavour with fresh herbs and spices
- Cook with lean meats such as chicken, turkey, fish or seafood
Take a look at our recipe collection here for more great soup inspiration!
(1) Zhu Y and Hollis JH, Soup consumption is associated with a lower dietary energy density and a better diet quality in US adults. Br J Nutr. 2014 Apr 28;111(8):1474-80