It’s officially soup weather! Is there anything better than warming up with a nourishing bowl of soup on a cold evening?
Soup can be an incredibly healthy choice, packing a nutrient punch while keeping your meal light. Another benefit of soup is that it can be an easy and quick meal, and one that you can tailor to your preferences.
Here are the basics that you need to know to make a nutritious bowl of soup:
- Cook finely chopped onion in a little olive oil until soft (3-5 minutes).
- Add a clove or two of crushed garlic and stir for another minute.
- Add finely chopped vegetables – whatever you wish! Carrot, celery, parsnip, cauliflower…
- Add your liquid: 2/3rds stock (chicken or vegetable) and 1/3rd water – as much as you want, depending on how thick you want your soup. Add a tin of diced tomatoes too.
- Bring to a gentle boil then simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables soften.
- Add some softer vegetables that don’t need to be cooked for as long (green beans, peas and some leafy greens like silverbeet) and some tinned legumes (i.e. lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans).
- Cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley and serve alongside some toasted wholegrain bread.
Remember, to maximise the nutritional content of your soup meal:
- Add as many vegetables as you can – most people do not eat enough vegetables, so get them in your soup!
- Include legumes (i.e. lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans) for fibre and protein – legumes are incredibly nutritious and are a really valuable addition to your soup. Rinse canned legumes before adding to the pot, as it gets rid of excess sodium.
- Use a reduced salt stock.
- Serve your soup alongside a slice of wholegrain bread (i.e. dark rye, soy and linseed).
- Put a nutritious topping on your bread: avocado, hummus, cheese.