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 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.
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 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
- 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
- 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.