This time of year, we're all crazing warmth and comfort and there's no better way to get that than in a steaming bowl of soup. Hearty, healthy, and delicious, soups are simply a great way to enjoy the season's produce.
One big pot equals ready made meals.
When it comes to ensuring you get your daily dose of vegetables, what tastier way to ensure all the vitamins are loaded into a meal than by cooking up and enjoying a bowl of soup.
Nutritionists urge everyone to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day - but it can be difficult to hit these targets.
However, a bowl of soup is a sure-fire way to make certain you are getting at least two of those portions.
A mixed vegetable or minestrone soup will also ensure you get a good mix of minerals, nutrients and phytochemicals - antioxidants found in plants that destroy harmful chemicals in your body.
When it comes to the health benefits it does not include every soup.
The creamy variety have their own not-so-hidden fat traps, but there are a multitude of vegetable soups and broths that provide a heap of goodness in every spoonful as well as tasting great too.
One of the first considerations for soup has to be the base. Hands down - for non-vegetarians - meat and bones stock is the best.
And there is also more and more research to back up the belief that soup can actually help you lose weight - if that’s what you’re after.
Researchers believe this may have to do with the fact that soup fills you up on few calories. In fact, a recent study found that eating soup as an appetiser can decrease calorie intake at a subsequent meal by about 20 %.
And yet another thing in its favour - is that soup has to be one of the easiest meals to prepare. It is also extremely adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand or in the fridge. It can be very economical, and can easily be frozen for future meals.
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