Warming Winter Soups

 
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3 ways soups can help

1. Save time—soups are a meal in a pot and there is less washing up. Make them in bulk and serve leftovers the next day (the flavour only gets better) or freeze for later use. A pressure cooker significantly cuts time when cooking beans and wholegrains.

2. Save kilojoules—soups have fewer kilojoules compared to many other meals, especially if you base them on vegetables. In their natural state, vegetables are high in water and fibre content and low in fat and energy density (a measure of kilojoules per weight of food). Vegetable-based soups can make you feel fuller, reduce your hunger and help you eat fewer kilojoules throughout winter. Allow approximately 2 cups per serve.

3. Pack in the nutrients—soups can be nutrient dense (unless you serve a clear broth!). They allow you to pack a punch with protein, low GI carbs, fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Better than taking a vitamin pill!

How should I make soup?

1. Start with a good base—sauté onions and garlic in a little olive oil, add to vegetable-based stock or water to develop a robust flavour. Team with spices or dried herbs. For example, ginger goes well with carrot, turmeric and cumin with brown lentils and sweet paprika with cannellini beans.

2. Pick a legume—for example, black beans, chickpeas, split peas. These are healthier proteins than meat.

3. Pile in the vegetables—try cabbage, sweet potato, leeks, cauliflower, beetroot and spinach. Use simple combinations or multiple types.

4. Add a handful of wholegrains such as barley, brown rice or burghul to thicken or serve the soup with grainy bread.

5. Finish with fresh herbs, such as parsley, coriander, dill or chives. Drizzle with lemon or orange juice for a fresh taste! For example, lemon in red lentil soup.

Watch the cream and coconut cream! Use skim milk, So Good or lite evaporated milk (including coconut flavoured) or a dollop of low-fat yoghurt.