My husband travels frequently and gets to meet a lot of interesting people on planes. He recently returned home from a trip to Spokane (right up the very, very top of the US at the Canadian border) and he’d spent the trip talking to a grandma from El Salvador. She explained that her father travels annually from El Salvador to Spokane – by bus – he’s 90. My husband couldn’t help wonder how a 90 year old manages what must be many days on a bus to make the 3,700 miles trip. His daughter had a theory, “he eats soup every day”.
We are regular soup eaters around here. Especially in the winter months, but my husband’s chance encounter really got us thinking about just how great soup is. Soup is souper (sorry, I couldn’t resist) because:
1. Soups are generally full of nutrients, minerals, fibre and all sorts of vegetable goodness. If you’re struggling to consume your daily dose of veggies, this is an excellent way.
2. Soups are satisfying and can help us lose weight. Seriously! Several studies have been found that soup fills us up in such a way that we tend to consume less calories when we eat it.
3. Kids love soups. If you’ve got a particularly fussy bunch that turn their noses up at veggies then blend them all up into a yummy soup mix.
4. In winter soups are warming. They nourish our bodies on cold winter nights in a way that cold salads just can’t.
5. Soups are easy to digest and easy to eat.
6. They are so easy to make! For a basic veggie soup fry off some onion, add chopped veggies, pour in some broth (or water), season and once the veggies are soft it’s done.
7. Soups can use up whatever is in the fridge. Whatever veggies we have hanging around go in the soup pot. Cheap meat still on the bone is perfect for soups (my husband’s favourite ingredient). If we have leftover cooked chicken I put in at the end. Beans, grains, pasta can all go in if you like.
8. The possibilities are endless when it comes to variety. Google “soup recipes” for 71,800,000 ideas.
9. Soups freeze well. Make a BIG batch and have spare meals in the freezer ready for a rainy day.
10. Soups are simple on the clean up. Tonight we had soup. The big soup pot was washed out and four bowls and four spoons went into the dish washer. Clean up done in only a few minutes.
Shortly after Jose’s soup epiphany I finally got around to using my birthday massage (thanks Mom!) and the therapist mentioned that her favourite soup was simply red pepper, sweet potato and coconut milk. (Don’t be afraid of using unsweetened coconut milk in cooking, it’s nutritionally very good for us. It does make the soup taste really sweet and creamy though – even the unsweetened stuff – so if you don’t like things too sweet or too creamy be careful not to over do it. It also freezes well so spare milk can be stored in the freezer).
We had all three ingredients at home. Fate?