As we make our way through another long, cold winter, relishing a steamy bowl of soup or tender meaty stew can keep you and the fam warm and toasty. Soup not only keeps the chill away, but it is also a fuss-free way to get dinner on the table quickly, says registered dietitian, Retha Harmse. Also, soul food chef Adrian Miller’s pea soup is just the healthy glowing kick you need.
“Soup has been a culinary staple of nearly every culture and cuisine since ancient times. It’s easy to make, has no set ingredient list, and hardly has a seasonality – making it ideal for all budgets, all environments, and all palates.”
Add a healthy punch to your soups
A soup loaded with hearty veggies will give you the high fibre punch you need and even curb those winter cravings, while broths make the least calorie-dense meals to ever touch your lips, explains Harmse.
“To ensure that your soup is well balanced, I would suggest adding different coloured vegetables, one serving of beans, lean meats, milk/natural yoghurt, and roasted seeds/nuts as croutons. Enjoy this with a slice of wholewheat bread!”
There is a downside to eating soup daily
Too much of a good thing always has a downside. Consuming soups in addition to a well-balanced diet would be perfectly fine, but as the main food source, you might encounter some problems, says Harmse. These include:
- Reduced fibre intake: Even though vegetable soups contain more fibre than refined and processed foods, the fibre content of whole raw vegetables is still superior.
- Lack of variation: When you limit your intake to only soups, you will get bored due to a lack of variation. Although there are various vegetable combinations, the end product will remain the same and ultimately put you off.
- Restriction cravings: “Linking to my previous point, monotonous eating and restrictions lead to cravings. I’ve seen how people who would not generally like a certain food source would choose to binge on it, just because it is off-limits,” she says.
- Starvation: A liquid diet is a good way of restricting calories, but if done as your main food source, it may lead to starvation. This means that your body doesn’t get enough energy and then decides to hang on to its reserves, which means that you won’t lose weight.
- Sodium: Unintentionally, soups can become very high in sodium due to common flavourants used. This increases the risk of hypertension.
This pea soup will keep this chill away
Break out your cauldron and start soup season with a bang, with a recipe by American chef and historian, Adrian Miller.
The soup is said to have even been enjoyed by the first US president George Washington. Make Miller’s historic soup featured in his third published work, The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas.
- 1 1/2 cups freshly shucked or frozen peas
- 1/3 cup julienned leek, white parts only
- 1/4 cup diced onions
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup chopped mint
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice