Soup is often thought of the food that goes at the beginning of the meal (“soup or salad?”), the food that went with our grilled cheese sandwich as a kid (tomato soup, what else?), or what we have when we are sick (chicken soup or broth).
But in my household, we have been in soup season for a couple of months and have at least another month of it. One of the original comfort foods takes a front seat as a main course one-two times per week in the colder months. Originally, the family wondered where the rest of the meal was, but after eating many of the soups we have, they a satisfied with their soup and some bread or a tortilla. I also round out the meal with a side of fruit.
BENEFITS OF SOUP
Low Cost Once you stock up on your spices, many of which you may already have, the most expensive part tends is often the protein (meat and/or beans), which if done right, isn’t expensive. Soups are generally filled with vegetables, so you can cut back on the meat if you don’t have enough. And going meatless can save you even more.
Easy To Make Whether you choose to use the crock pot/slow cooker or have a one dish soup and prepare it completely in the sauce pan, most of the time it won’t take multiple pans to make this meal.
Lower Calorie If we fill up on soup, we are more likely to eat less. Research indicates that we eat fewer calories if we have soup with or as a meal. The concept if that we eat our food each day base on volume, not calories. Since soup takes a lot of volume and isn’t usually calorie dense, you will eat fewer calories. This tends to work better with broth based soups instead of cream based soups.
Varieties for All Dietary Preferences Whether you are vegan or meat-eater or someone in-between, you can have a soups that fits into your lifestyle. Choose from chicken, beef, ham, seafood and vegetarian soups to satisfy everyone. Even though we aren’t a vegetarian family, we often have our meatless soups.
SOME OF OUR FAVORITE SOUP RECIPES
Baked Potato Soup – The ultimate comfort food; this is one I like to get in restaurants when they have it. My homemade version, I control the calories.
Black Bean Soup – A vegan soup with the beans and vegetables. Can you say antioxidants?
Green Chile Chicken Stew – from Bueno Foods Low Fat and Heart Healthy choices and green chile is a New Mexico staple.
Butternut-Beef Chili – I buy the pre-cut butternut squash to save a load of time. This is very filling for less than 275 calories.
Spring Seafood Stew – shrimp and scallops, I love it. This is light on vegetables, so serve with a side salad.
I can’t help being partial with the recipes from Cooking Light! If you want to try some, go to myrecipes.com and search for your favorite. Like I said, we have at least one, or more a week in the winter. This week: Tuscan White Bean Soup with Prosciutto and Tortilla Soup. Both are weeknight meals.
What is your favorite soup? Share your recipe!