Everybody knows that homemade soups are not only tastier than their canned or boxed counterparts, but they’re usually healthier too, with no high-fructose corn syrup or dubious ingredients to speak of. But there’s one more reason why you should never resort to store-bought soup again: they’re just plain boring! From family favorites like Italian Wedding Soup to new classics like Sweet Potato and Chicken Tortilla Soup, here are 10 insanely delicious ways to make homemade soups!
While some soups seem complicated and are better left to trained chefs, soup is one of the easiest meals you can make. There are countless recipes online, but they all boil down to cooking your ingredients in a liquid on your stove or in your oven until they become flavorful. If that sounds intimidating, here are a few tips: – Most ingredients—especially those used for soup—cook at low temperatures, so use a pot or crockpot and turn it on low; not only will it save you energy (and money) but it also means that ingredients won’t burn as easily. – Stay organized!
Choose Broth Over Water
Water doesn’t always bring out flavors. Instead, soups made with broth taste richer and more intense. Plus, some research has shown that chicken soup can help reduce cold symptoms in kids and make adults feel better about their workday (and lunch!). What’s not to love? If you don’t have homemade stock on hand, use low-sodium store-bought chicken or vegetable broth instead—or make your own next time you roast a whole chicken or turkey. The flavor will be just as good!
Fresh herbs are one of those things that seem intimidating and hard to incorporate into your cooking, but they’re a breeze. Add them just before serving for best results, but most herbs can be used in place of salt or other spices. Mix and match your favorite combinations: basil and tomatoes, cilantro and lime, rosemary with potatoes…the possibilities are endless! For even more flavor, add dried herbs like oregano and thyme along with fresh ones.
Add Some Veggies
Adding veggies like carrots, celery, and potatoes can help cut down on your sodium intake while boosting nutritional value. Doing so is a win-win. If you’re concerned about carbs though, don’t worry—the fiber found in veggies will help keep you fuller longer. Making soups from scratch also has many health benefits; for example, by controlling portions yourself and using fresh ingredients instead of canned or frozen food, you can significantly lower your calorie intake but still get all of your nutrients. Plus, making soup is a great way to use up leftovers in your fridge—a bonus!
Vegetables Aren’t Just For Starters
The average person tends to think of soup as a starter or an entrée, but soups are a great way to get in servings of veggies throughout your day. More than half of Americans don’t eat enough vegetables each day. A cup of soup can pack 4 servings of veggies into your diet! This also makes them an ideal way for vegetarians and vegans to make sure they’re getting all their essential nutrients. So stock up on these 10 recipes and start making soups on weeknights—your taste buds will thank you later!
Beans are Great
Beans are excellent additions to soups because they’re very inexpensive and add a hearty texture, meatiness, and lots of protein. Depending on your preference, feel free to use canned or dried beans. Just keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on whether you want super soft beans or slightly firm beans. When making any kind of soup, you should always start with onions (chopped) and garlic (minced), as these flavors help bring out a deep flavor in most soups. The second step is usually sautéing vegetables like carrots, celery, and bell peppers for added flavor.
Use Spices Wisely
Spices can add huge amounts of flavor to soups. However, if you’re not careful they can also provide large quantities of unhealthy fat, calories, and sodium. Before you start cooking with spices make sure you have a good idea of what you’re adding so that you don’t end up ruining your dish. The best way to use spices is in moderation, alongside other flavors like herbs or citrus juices. The only safe rule: no more than 1 teaspoon per serving (if your recipe serves 4). The best part about it? It tastes great!
Soup Can Be a Meal
A common misconception about soup is that it’s mainly a starter or side dish. Soup can be eaten as a meal! Many cultures around the world do just that. Next time you’re looking for a healthy and delicious dinner option, give the soup a try. And don’t be afraid of loading up on veggies—many soups have less than 100 calories per serving! Consider minestrone or vegetable chili; they are usually higher in fiber and vitamins than other types of soups and often contain protein from beans. You can also add lean protein (like chicken or tofu) for an extra punch of nutrition.
Go Meatless Sometimes
If you’re following a traditional American diet (especially one high in processed foods), then chances are, you’re not getting enough dietary fiber. Dietary fiber can improve satiety and keep you feeling full for longer. It also helps food pass through your digestive system faster, so it speeds up the elimination of waste material from your body. To get more dietary fiber into your diet, it might be helpful to go meatless at least once a week or add some fiber-rich veggies like broccoli or kale into your cooking once or twice a week. A typical adult needs about 25 grams of fiber per day—just think about doubling that number if you want to lose weight quickly!
Soup is Comforting
Sometimes comfort food is just what you need—especially when you’re sick, or fighting a cold. A warm bowl of soup can help your body fight an illness, as well as give you something tasty to put some pep in your step. It’s also great for helping with digestion and satisfying hunger. If you’ve got homemade soup on hand, don’t be afraid to heat it and eat it at any time of day! If anything, eating homemade soup (or another healthy meal) in a variety of ways throughout the day can help keep cravings in check and prevent over-indulging. It’s all about portion control, right?
also read: Barbecuing and Grilling