If you are over the age of 40, like me, you recall that “Soup is Good Food” was the slogan for a very popular soup company. If you are an ex punk rocker, like me, you also remember that it was the name of a song by a band from San Francisco called the Dead Kennedys. The song is actually about losing one’s job and value in our society…..but I digress.
I was a latch-key kid. Both my parents worked and even though my mom usually made some amazing home made meals, there were nights when she came home from work and was just too exhausted. That meant dinner would sometimes be a t.v. dinner or soup and a sandwich. One of my faves was tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Looking back I realize it was not the healthiest meal as it came from a can and was loaded with sodium….the sandwich was made with white bread and processed cheese…not exactly a healthy meal but it sure was comforting. My mom was just doing her best.
Soup still is the ultimate comfort food. For me, winter is all about hearty soups for lunch and dinner. They are so easy to make, healthy and inexpensive. And recipe-wise, they are very forgiving. I start my soups off with a little minced onion and garlic sauteed in a little coconut oil. Then I add the vegetable du jour or two and saute that for a little bit. Then I add vegetable stock and cook until the veggies are tender. Then I might add some lentils or cannelloni beans and spices. After the soup has cooled I take out some of the veggies and put them aside and then use the immersion blender to puree the soup. Then I add the veggies back in. To make the soup even healthier and thicker I add a tablespoon or two of freshly ground flax seeds. It gives the soup bulk and a slightly nutty taste and adds omega 3s, fiber and phytochemicals.
Sometimes, if I am feeling lazy I buy the prepackaged soups that come in a carton. They are generally delicious, low in calories and sodium, and healthy. When I make soup from scratch I often make a vat of it and freeze half. It tastes even better the second day.
Soup is low in calories and carbs (provided it’s not loaded with starchy veggies like potatoes or heavy cream or cheeses) and is great for diets because it fills you up. What are some of your favorite soups?