What are the health benefits of soups? Read to know

Soup is a liquid or semi-liquid food item, often used as a starter in a royal dinner. Though it is served both warm and chilled, a bowl of hot soup is a top preference to all. Chicken, other meat items or vegetables are used to prepare the extract known as stock, and added to soups to enhance taste, aroma and nutritious effects of soups. In traditional French cuisine, soups are widely divided into two categories – clear soups which are thin and thick soups, where creams or flours may be added to increase consistency.

When it comes to meat stock of any variance, meat along with bones are boiled with water for long hours so that its nutritious facts are completely absorbed to stock. Meat is substituted with chopped vegetables to prepare vegetarian stocks. They are stored for future purposes also, and can be effectively used to prepare an instant and delicious soup with a few more vegetables added.

Boil vegetables for 10-15 minutes in water, and its nutrients dissolve in boiling water. Never over cook them. Close the lid while boiling vegetables, and use only sufficient water. You can add salt, pepper and cream as per your preference. You can also decorate your prepared soups by sprinkling boiled carrot and beans at the final stage. You can also make a paste of boiled vegetables to prepare soups. Use salt according to your health conditions. You can also add pulses to your soup to make them balanced diet. To increase protein content of soup, add chicken.

What is the history of soups?

It is dated BC 20,000. Interesting? Till waterproof utensils were made, boiling process was different. May be they earlier boiled soups in clay pots or used skin of animals as pots. Most historians agree to the fact that history of cuisine and soups are almost dated the same. It was easy to boil soup in big vessels with available vegetables and meat, and as it was easy to prepare in bulk quantity, it became equally popular among rich and poor. Slowly soup branched into different varieties based on local vegetables and other ingredients.

It’s said that modern culinary business is based on soups. The word ‘restaurant’ was first used in France in the 16th century. It indicates the availability of cheap, yet thick density soups in local markets as street food. It was marketed as a refreshing drink for tiredness and gained popularity very soon. In 1765 a businessman from Paris started a soup shop, which paved way to modern name ‘restaurant’, a place where food is served. Most of the soups available today are based on classic French soup recipes.

Health benefits of soups

Kids always have personal preferences when it comes to their diet. They may hate certain food items which are very nutritious and needed for their growth, for example vegetables. Soup is the short cut method to increase the consumption of vegetables. When you start giving them soups at an early age, they give better results – studies reveal.

When food is heated or cooked, certain vital vitamins and other factors are lost. In other cases, they get easily absorbed to water when cooked. Carrot, tomato etc are among those vegetables which turn more nutritious once cooked. Also when you boil vegetables for soup, the water is not thrown away. Instead it is used as stock. When leafy vegetables such as spinach are used to prepare soup, it improves the quantity of B-Vitamin.

For an adult person, average daily consumption of vegetables and fruits should be approximately 4.5 cups combined. Soup is the easy method to consume maximum vegetables. It takes less time to prepare, and vegetables won’t loss their nutrition quotient. Soups are tasty as well. If you use soups as starters for daily meals, you won’t consume extra carbohydrate rich food, cutting calories. It can give positive results many fold.

Soups prepared using fish and beans provide protein. Beans also provide fibres. Tomato is the source of anti-oxidant lycopene which can prevent cancer. Vegetables are great sources of different vitamins as well as fibers, which should be a part of our daily diet. Cream soups provide calcium, vitamin-D etc. You can also use cabbage, broccoli, lettuce etc to prepare tasty and fiber-rich soups. 

Soups give an easy solution to constipation and nausea. The fluid which reaches our body should be in proportion with the food we consume. Consuming soups thus provides an easy solution. You can also substitute your supper with a nutritious soup. It gives good sleep. Soups are taken before main course dishes to induce digestive enzymes. So when you take a cup of soup before dinner, it makes your digestion process easy.

You can also add soups to your weight-loss programs. Just substitute a main course carbohydrate dish with soup occasionally. You can follow this habit once or twice a week. Yet it’s not advisable to completely switch over to soups three times a day. Instead, alongside a balanced diet, you can take soup once or twice a day. Avoid caned soups and powdered instant soups. They are high in calories, and also contain preservatives. Prepare healthy soups at home.

Soups – Some interesting facts

1. Soups can be served hot or chilled, based on the climate of that place. Chilly taste or sweetness can also be added based on preferences and climatic conditions.

2. 10 billion bowls of soups are consumed by Americans annually.

3. Chicken noodle soup is the favourite of Americans.

4. The usage ‘No soup for you’ came into existence after a 1995 TV episode of NBC sitcom Seinfeld, which means ‘your request is rejected’ or ‘change of mind over something’.

5. January is the National soup month, and February 4 is National Homemade Soup day.

6. Evaporated soup was first made by Campbell company, and they introduced it to the outer world in year 1897.

7. As per popular belief, for lunch, ladies order soups more comparing males and the orders are almost double.

8. In UK, tomato soups are more popular.

Image source: Pixabay

Also read a few soup recipes….

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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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