Whether one is trying to ward away the winter chills or just looking for a healthy comfort food, a bowl of soup is almost always the remedy. From New England's chowder and the Spanish gazpacho to the Russian borscht and Italy's minestrone, there are various ways you can combine nutritious ingredients in a pot to create wholesome recipes. Soups are versatile; they make for a quick lunch option or when combined with rice or noodles, it transforms into a complete one-pot meal.
A. Escoffier in The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery propounds how "Soups of the 19th Century kitchens were in fact complete dishes in themselves and contained, apart from the liquid content and its vegetable garnish, a wide variety of meat, poultry, game and fish. Only the liquid part of these classical dishes continues to be referred to as soup!"
"The ideal soup contains some amount of salt, which stimulates the salty composition (Miso) of the ocean from which primitive life evolved. The first cardinal rule to stimulate your digestion and get you stomach ready for food is the intake of this remarkable aperitif. And if you are following the Macrobiotic path at lunch time then miso or sea salt becomes a must. Vegetable soups have fluid texture -warm, soothing and relaxing," remarks Shonaalii Sabherwal, Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Chef.
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Shalini Manglani, a Bengaluru-based Wellness Expert says "Simple soups are an easy way to get vitamins and minerals from vegetables into the body. Being easy to digest, they can be consumed by people of all ages. Since they stimulate digestion, pre-meal is the perfect time for consumption."
Some Tips to Remember
1. A strained soup is fiber free. So in order to retain some fiber, avoid straining them for a health boost.
2. Soups can even serve as a great dinner or afternoon snack as far as they do not contain too much salt or preservatives.
3. The base of a good soup is the stock. A home-made stock is a flavored liquid preparation which adds body and depth to soups, sauces, stews and braises. Making it in large batches and keeping it handy works wonders.
4. Soups help in keeping the tummy feeling fuller for longer. They become particularly beneficial to those who are trying to lose weight. But what is vital to note is that the soup should contain less or no butter or cream and limited grains and protein.
5. "Usually two bowls of soup a day, each four inch deep is advised. While quick and clear stocks with leafy greens and lighter vegetables is a good alternative in summer, thicker stocks, slow cooked (boiled) on low flame, gain a upper hand in cooler seasons. Round vegetables like beetroot, pumpkin, sweet potato and other tubers can be cooked in the cooler seasons with spices like clove, cinnamon and green cardamom to warm the body," says Shonaalii.
Veg Soup Recipes
1. Cold Cream of Green Pea Soup
Recipe by Prem Kumar Pogakula, The Imperial
An easy to make pea soup with the goodness of yogurt that can be served hot or cold.
Recipe by Chef Vicky Ratnani
2. Radish Soup with Tofu Miso Cream
Creamy soup made out of radishes, spring onion, celery and vegetable stock, topped off with luscious cream made of tofu, orange juice and honey.
3. Basil Tomato Soup
Recipe by Chef Joey Mathew
Tomatoes and carrots blended together in this soup, garnished with basil leaves, olive oil and lemon zest.
4. Baby Corn Soup
Recipe by Chef Niru Gupta
A baby corn soup with the goodness of cabbage, capsicum and mushrooms. A delight on a wintery night.
5. Mexican Soup
Recipe by Chef Roopa Gulati
A delicious soup with chickpeas, kidney beans and lots of vegetables that will keep you warm during the winters.
6. Cream of Broccoli Mushroom Soup
Recipe by Chef Ashok Bijalwan
A delicious and healthy soup made within twenty minutes. This broccoli and mushroom soup is made with a hint of pepper and a dash of cream. Comforting and nutritious
7. Vichyssoise Soup
Recipe by Chef Preah Narang
A hearty and satisfying soup - tastes as good without the bacon. Serve cold in summer or hot in winter
8. Turnip and Zucchini Soup
Recipe by Chef Aditya Bal
A very healthy soup with turnips, zucchini and spinach. Makes for a great de-toxifying meal.
9. Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
Recipe by Arjun Gupta
Arjun Gupta of The Piano Man, New Delhi cooks up a healthy, wholesome and filling broccoli soup with cheddar cheese. This one's a meal in itself!
10. Vegetable Manchow Soup
Recipe by Chef Niru Gupta
Savour the hot and spicy flavours of this Chinese vegetable manchow soup.