Satisfying, immune-boosting, cold-curing and weight-reducing – the humble bowl of soup is currently enjoying a renaissance. While juicing may have been the big thing in 2014, it’s time for soup to take centre stage: recent research has shown that there’s more to soup than meets the eye which means it’s a mistake to assume it can only ever be the supporting act to a main meal.
The health benefits of soup go far beyond the obvious opportunity to pack in plenty of vegetables. While that will always be a bonus, research has revealed that eating soup can play a key role in weight loss, optimise the immune function and that it really might be a cure for the common cold.
An American study in 20001 demonstrated that the traditional use of chicken soup to help relieve cold symptoms could be more than just an old wives’ tale, so this is definitely the one to reach for next time you’re feeling under the weather. The compounds found in chicken soup can help to relieve inflammation of the respiratory tract, reduce mucus and promote sleep. The key to this is using home-made stock, which is highly nutritious and far more delicious than the average stock cube.
If weight loss is your goal, then tucking into soup can make a real difference. A blend of chicken, vegetables and water for example, encourages food to stay in the stomach for longer compared to a standard meal of chicken and vegetables, helping to create a sense of satiety so that you stay fuller for longer. Studies have also shown that blended soups slow down gastric emptying even further, compared to chunky soups2.
If you’re looking for some inspirational recipes, then look no further than Magic Soup, a new book full of tempting soup recipes. Authors Nicole Pisani and Kate Adams demonstrate just how easy it is to turn soup into a satisfying, delicious and healthy main meal. I’ve picked out six of my favourites in a review for the Mail on Sunday and explain the associated health benefits for each one.
Each recipe in Magic Soup is packed with a fantastic range of nutrients with a whole host of health benefits and while there are one or two fiddly recipes for the keen cook, the vast majority are quick and easy to put together. Simple recipes for home-made stock feature in the introduction – it really couldn’t be easier – and once you’ve tried this you’ll never want to go back. Soup truly is the new super food – healthy, delicious and so much kinder to the bank balance than the obscure ‘wonder’ seeds or berries that hit the headlines on a regular basis.
Click here for some Magic Soup recipes: Soup-er Food
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