Five benefits of enjoying a hearty bowl of homemade soup
We’ve just come out of a country-wide cold snap and it’s likely we will face another before winter is up. The cooler weather definitely offers the perfect opportunity to indulge in a hearty bowl of homemade soup. Be it a bisque or broth, Catherine Clark, the owner and founder of Harvest Table says that soups are not only an easy choice to warm you up, they are the ultimate healthy meal or snack that the whole family will love.
“Whatever the season, my favourite go-to meal for my family is soup. The most wonderful thing about this easy, convenient meal is the health benefits that come with it. Combining so many essential food groups, soups are rich in the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that your body needs to keep you going, especially in the colder months,” Catherine says.
She offers five reasons why you should be eating more soup this winter are:
1. Soup is inexpensive
Making soup is a great way to use up all the leftovers you’ve got in your fridge and a little goes a long way. If you have veggies that are starting to wilt, tossing them into a soup can give them new life. Play around with ratios and measurements to create a warming, delicious bowl of goodness and add a variety of herbs and spices to create new flavours.
2. Soup is easy to prepare
Soup is one of the easiest, stress-free meals to cook. You need zero “cheffy” skills to whip up a mouth-watering homemade delight. It’s simply a case of sweating off some onions, leeks or even celery, adding water or stock and whatever else you fancy, be it root vegetables, chicken or greens, and just waiting until everything is cooked through. It couldn’t be simpler.
3. It’s good for you
Soups are versatile and you can pack them chock full of nutrient-dense fibrous vegetables, meats, lentils and beans. And because soups are slow-cooked, these ingredients retain their nutritional value, delivering a meal in a bowl that is easy to digest, appealing in texture and tastes great. Just go easy on the salt and cream, and your bowl of soup will always be a nutritious and filling option.
4. It freezes well
Forget ready-made meals, soup is the last word in convenience foods. To prepare lunches or dinners in advance, whip up a big batch of your favourite soup over the weekend and you can stash half in the freezer to enjoy later. A bonus: you’ll have a healthy, homemade meal at the ready when you’re busy, under the weather or too tired to cook.
5. It can give your immune system a boost
While all the ingredients used to make a homemade soup are nutritious, you can also give your immune system an extra boost by adding Harvest Table Bone Broth Powder to your soup. Good immunity starts in your gut, and bone broth ensures a well-functioning digestive system as it helps seal up any holes, heals the lining and nourishes the gut with important nutrients. Plus, bone broth is mild enough to be able to blend into almost any dish without the risk of it overpowering, or even changing the flavour. In fact, in soups, it is known to enhance the flavour.
In hopes of tempting even beginner cooks to jump on the soup bandwagon, here is a much-loved simple, but delicious soup recipe by @drjoshaxe from the Harvest Table kitchen:
Home-made Chicken Broth
- 2kg chicken necks/feet/wings
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 medium onions, peel on, sliced in half lengthwise and quartered
- 4 garlic cloves, peel on and smashed
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 5–6 sprigs parsley
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 18–20 cups cold water
**Optional: 8 tablespoons of The Harvest Table Bone Broth
- Place all ingredients in a 10-quart capacity slow cooker.
- Add in water.
- Simmer for 24–48 hours, skimming fat occasionally.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Discard solids and strain remainder in a bowl through a colander. Let stock cool to room temperature, cover and chill.
- Use within a week or freeze up to three months.
Harvest Table has a wide range of collagen products that are available from www.harvesttable.co.za. Follow Catherine on Instagram: @whole_healthy_me.