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Comforting Tomato Veggie Split Pea Soup

Published by Cheryl Mussatto, MS, RD, LD on Jan 25, 2022

Taking stock of what makes soup so soothing and satisfying

 

A warm bowl of soup is a classic comfort food.  Just the sight, smell, and feel of holding a cup of steaming soup makes cold winter weather pleasantly cozy. No matter what season, soup is always a good choice. When brimming with nutritious veggies, soup makes a wholesome, hearty vegetarian meal with great texture and taste.  Pair soup with crusty bread making it an easy meal when in a hurry.

At this point, go ahead and jump to the recipe, if you like. But, if you want to know why a warm bowl of soup is special, read on. A pot of soup simmering on the stove offers more than a spoonful of comfort. It’s also a satisfying and nourishing meal loaded with health benefits.  Here’s a look at what soup has to offer:

Satiety

Satiety is defined as the perception of fullness lingering after a meal keeping you pleasantly full – not stuffed – until your next meal. Soup provides a lot of satiety. It satisfies due to its high water content and added ingredients. This tricks our bodies into thinking of it as food and not as a drink.  Soups satisfying power also lies in the multitude of sensory stimulation it provides – warmth, taste, aroma and visually seeing the different ingredients in the bowl.

Aids in weight loss

When attempting weight loss, have a bowl of soup. It’s satiation power builds throughout a meal helping prevent overeating. Another trick for weight loss or maintenance is to have an appetizer soup.  This curbs hunger at the start of a meal so you eat less of the other offerings at the table. For healthy weight maintenance, I recommend a veggie-packed soup as a good place to start.

Fiber

Soup is a perfect way for boosting the fiber content of meals. Some of the best fiber-filled foods to throw into a soup include peas, corn, beans, lentils, whole-wheat pasta, and barley.

Fiber is important for preventing constipation, regulating blood sugar and blood cholesterol.  The Institute of Medicine recommends that men under 50 eat about 38 grams of fiber daily while women should consume 25 grams a day.  Adults over 50 require less fiber (30 grams for men and 21 grams for women) due to reduced food consumption.

Provides water to prevent dehydration 

Drinking ample fluids in warm weather is important but keeping hydrated during cold winter months is also vital. Soup fits this bill perfectly. Convenient, comforting, and tasty, soup is a good go-to for fluid needs in addition to warming the body.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances neutralizing free radicals, preventing oxidative damage to cells.    Many soups contain vegetables rich in antioxidants along with vitamins and minerals, all good for obtaining necessary healthful nutrients.

On to the recipe

This cold weather season, stir up some batches of soup like the one below and see for yourself that it’s both a good food to eat and good for your health.

Comforting Tomato Veggie Split Pea Soup

Taking stock of what makes soup so soothing and satisfying
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6 (1 cup) servings
Calories 190 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ of a large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can, (14.5 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cans, (14.5 ounce) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup dried green split peas
  • 4 cups water

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat.
  • Cook onion, celery, and garlic in oil about 5 minutes or until softened.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Heat to boiling and then reduce heat.
  • Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until heated through.

Notes

Notes: Store leftovers in refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for up to 2 days. Reheat in microwave or on the stovetop.
Nutrition per serving: Calories – 190; Total Fat – 2 grams; Saturated Fat – 1 gram; Cholesterol – 0 milligrams; Carbohydrates – 30 grams; Protein – 13 grams; Sodium – 347 milligrams
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Cheryl Mussatto, MS, RD, LD

Cheryl Mussatto MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Institutional Management from Kansas State University. She is a clinical dietitian for Cotton O’Neil Clinics in Topeka and Osage City; an adjunct professor for Allen Community College, Burlingame, KS where she teaches Basic Nutrition; and is a freelance writer and blog contributor for Dr. David Samadi, Urologic Oncologist Expert and World Renowned Robotic Surgeon in New York City. Cheryl is also the author of The Nourished Brain, The Latest Science on Food’s Power for Protecting the Brain from Alzheimers and Dementia and The Prediabetes Action Plan and Cookbook, both available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions.

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