FIVE REASONS WHY SOUP IS THE ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD…

Now Autumn is well and truly kicking in, the nights are starting to draw in and the mercury is on a slow downward slope, our bodies start to crave the warmth of comfort food. But instead of opting for stodgy, carb-based staples that will comprise all the salads you ate during the summer, discover afresh the ultimate cold weather comfort food – soup. Quick and easy to prepare, extremely versatile, nourishing and healthful, it’s a great comfort food to turn to when it gets chilly outside. There are so many great qualities that mean soup deserves to be your new best friend this autumn…

1. PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME…

Modern life seems to be a constant rush, so it’s little wonder that we see an inexorable rise in the popularity of convenience foods and takeaways. One of the great benefits of soup is that it can be made in advance, frozen easily and reheated quickly. Or you can simply pop your ingredients into a soup-maker and enjoy fresh food ready for when you come in in the evening – check out a few of the best soup makers.

2. A SATISFYING MEAL…

Another problem with junk food is that it’s a lot of empty calories – you may fill yourself up with unhealthy treats only to find that you’re hungry again an hour later. Soup can be made as hearty as you like – try bulking it out with potatoes and pearl barley for a traditional Scotch broth, lentils and beans for a spicy Mexican flavour, pasta in a Minestrone or noodles in Asian-style udon. The possibilities are endless – you could even make deluxe cheesy croutons on top of a French onion soup. Soup has a large water content, which means it keeps you hydrated as well – people often confuse hunger with being dehydrated. Studies have even cited soup as a diet aid for this reason, as being hydrated means that you’ll feel satisfied for longer and are less likely to reach for calorie-laden snacks.

3. SOUP IS A HEALTH AID…

It’s a fact that most cooking methods reduce the amount of vitamins and minerals in a vegetable. Making soup is the only method that doesn’t, due to all the vitamin-packed cooking water becoming part of the broth. Homemade chicken soup has also been proven to help alleviate colds and flu due to its ability to clear mucus and act as an anti-inflammatory to soothe aching muscles.

4. IT HELPS YOU EAT MORE VEGETABLES…

If you are trying to achieve your five a day, soup is a great way to get more vegetables in easily. Try adding peppers and onions to homemade tomato soup, or coming up with great tasting new combinations, such as butternut squash, leek and shallot. The only limit is your imagination. Plus, if you have children who are fussy about eating greens, it’s a great way to sneak extra nutrients in!

5. IT’S SUPER EASY TO MAKE…

Even if your culinary skills leave a lot to be desired, soup is easy to make. You can experiment by adding in any ingredients you like, and the whole thing is very hard to mess up. You can even vary a recipe by making a batch of soup and then adding something new for the following night.

 

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