10 Reasons Why You Should Make Soup
This time of year I get serious about my soup. It’s rare a winter weekend goes by where I don’t make at least a small pot for the week. Here are a few reasons why I think soup is so great.
- Warming. On a cold winter day, nothing sounds better than a warm bowl of soup.
- Filling. If you skip the cream-based and cheese-based soups, soup tends to provide satiety with fewer calories than other forms of food.
- Easy way to eat your veggies. If you’re having trouble reaching the 2 ½ cups of veggies a day, try soup. My mantra when making soup, “Just add kale.” I will often top off a pot of soup with a handful or two of a chopped green leafy vegetables.
- Gets better with time. The flavor of soup is even better the next day, so it makes great leftovers. A bowl warmed up for lunch is perfect.
- Discourages waste. It’s a great way to get rid of leftovers. Add vegetables, cooked grains, broth, and beans. Not sure what to do with the last of the bunch of parsley or cilantro? Throw it in the soup!
- It’s forgiving. Substitute broccoli for carrots, rice for noodles, vegetable broth for beef broth, kidney for black beans, and turkey for chicken. Don’t worry, you may change the nature of the soup a bit, but chances are it will still be delicious. Is soccer practice running late? Don’t worry—the soup will still be happily simmering whenever you sit down to dinner.
- Versatile. Whether you’re hankering for a light, broth-based soup or a meaty chili, soup can hit the spot — creamy and smooth or chunky and rustic. Bland for an unsettled stomach or spicy for a bold appetizer, soup can fit the bill. Even in the summer months — try it cold! The possibilities are endless.
- Easy. Most soups take a cutting board, knife, and a pot. It’s the ultimate one-dish meal. Easy prep and easy clean up.
- Inexpensive. Making soup is a great way to stretch your ingredients—especially the more expensive ones like meat and cheese. Use meat as a flavor-enhancer. Instead of incorporating cheese into the soup, save it to sprinkle on top—you may be satisfied with less.
- Affords great hospitality. Knowing you have a half pot of soup in the fridge or a few containers in the freezer may be just what you need to offer an impromptu invitation. Throw together a salad and a crusty loaf of bread and you have a meal to share with loved ones.
African Peanut Soup
Cost: About $0.75 per serving
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ head of cauliflower
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- 1 can (15 ounce) petite diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1 bunch Swiss chard or kale, chopped into thin strips
- Hot sauce, like Sriracha
- Optional: chopped cilantro and peanuts
In a medium Dutch oven or stock pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic. Cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Add cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes. Add peanut butter and tomatoes. Simmer until it reaches desired thickness (20-30 minutes), stirring occasionally. Stir in the chard and season the soup with hot sauce and salt to taste. Simmer for about 3 more minutes. Serve over cooked brown rice. Top with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts and cilantro if desired.
Laura Holtrop Kohl MS, RD
Harmons City Creek