Yes Autumn is here, but that does not mean you have to stay in more and eat rubbish!
Soup is one of the most versatile and filling meals so lets look at why that is.
Soup is a quick, hot meal that offers numerous health benefits. A variety of ingredients can be thrown into a slow cooker in the morning before you leave for work or school and on your return home there will be a delicious meal waiting for you. Another benefit to soup is that you can use up leftovers in a soup pot and create recipes, since soup creations allow you to be experimental.
Because soup contains so much water it fills you up with fewer calories. A recent study found that people who ate chicken and rice soup instead of a chicken and rice casserole, consumed fewer calories but were equally satisfied.
Eating soup is a great way to add healthy vegetables to meals. Adding chopped spinach or kale at the end of cooking will boost your soup’s vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content which helps stave off winter colds and flu. Infact it looks like your grandma’s cold remedy actually has scientific basis. A study in 2008 reported that chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate symptoms of respiratory tract infections.
Sensible soup choices can also help lower the risks of cancer and heart disease. Creating you own soup, you are in the driver’s seat and can avoid artificial ingredients that you can’t even pronounce.
Here are a couple of soup recipes to kick start your inspiration!
Butternut Squash Soup with Chilli and Crème Fraiche
264 kcalories, protein 5g, carbohydrate 28g, fat 15 g, saturated fat 7g, fibre 6g, sugar 17g, salt 0.61 g
1 butternut squash, about 1kg, peeled and deseeded, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 onions diced, 1 garlic clove thinly sliced, 2 mild red chillies finely chopped, 850ml vegetable stock, 4 tbsp crème fraiche, and a little more to serve.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the squash into large cubes about 4cm/1½in across, then toss in a large roasting tin with half the olive oil. Roast for 30 mins, turning once during cooking, until soft.
While the squash cooks, melt the butter with the remaining oil in a large saucepan, then add the onions, garlic and ¾ of the chilli. Cover and cook on a very low heat for 15-20 mins until the onions are completely soft.
Tip the squash into the pan, add the stock and the crème fraîche, then use a hand blender until smooth. Return to the pan, reheat, then season to taste. Serve the soup with crème fraîche and the remaining chopped chilli.
Thai Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup
360 kcalories, protein 19.2g, carbohydrate 30g, fat 18.1 g, saturated fat 12.4g, fibre 3.2g, sugar 10.8g, salt 2.1 g
1 tsp olive or rapeseed oil, 2 garlic cloves chopped, 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped, small chunk root ginger chopped, 1 stalk lemongrass bashed, 25g coriander, 2tbsp red Thai curry paste, 750ml chicken stock, 160ml coconut cream, 500g sweet potatoes peeled and roughly chopped, 2 skinless chicken breasts sliced, juice of 1 lime, 1 tbsp sugar, ½ tsp fish sauce.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, chilli, ginger, lemongrass, coriander stalks and curry paste and cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, coconut cream and sweet potatoes and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Remove the lemongrass and throw away. Transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth.
Return to the saucepan, add the chicken and cook for 5 – 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir through the limejuice, sugar and fish sauce, sprinkle with the coriander leaves and serve.
A bowl of warm soup not only warms the body, but also the soul. Its convenience, low cost, and variety should not be underestimated.
Embrace Nutrition would love to hear your comments, questions and favourite soup recipes! Either comment below or get in touch today!
Until Next Time…X