Ever heard of souping? If you haven’t already, you likely will. Souping has been touted as “the new juicing.” Before you roll your eyes, take a look at what the trend entails and how it can make eating healthy during these colder months easy.
Often shunned for high sodium content, many people wonder if soup is actually healthy. It is! Vegetable and broth-based soups can be both healthful and delicious, packed with all sorts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
A well-crafted soup contains a combination of vitamin-rich vegetables, protein, and complex carbohydrates. Soups can provide the fiber and protein for a high-volume meal that is relatively low in calories when compared with other foods with similar nutrient profiles.
Look for broth-based soups that have plenty of vegetables and a serving of lean protein in each bowl. Additionally, soups with a serving of legumes (such as beans or lentils) will provide you with quality low-glycemic carbohydrates, fiber, and additional protein along side the extra flavors and textures they bring to the dish. Beware soups that are cream-based as they are typically loaded in saturated fat and extra calories.
While we don’t necessarily promote “fad diets”, souping can be a great way to reset your diet and cut calorie intake while still getting all the nutrients you need with a quick, 30-minute meal. What should you know about souping? Souping is a short-term diet comprised solely of soup.
Pros of the Souping Diet:
- Souping minimizes blood sugar spikes when compared to juicing because vegetable and legume-based soups are not only inherently lower in sugar compared to juices (which are primarily made from fruit), but they also provide a greater concentration of complex carbohydrates (which are much slower to digest and raise blood sugar).
- Nutritious soups have protein, which is typically lacking in a juice cleanse.
- The extra fiber and protein found in soup not only provides more nutrition than a typical juice cleanse, but it also provides more satiety.
Cons of the Souping Diet:
- Souping often tends to be low in calories – sometimes too low – which may lead to muscle breakdown instead of fat loss.
- Souping is a short-term “fad” diet, not a long-term solution. Substantive and maintainable weight loss will require more changes to the big (dietary) picture than a soup cleanse will provide.
Bottom line: nutritious soups can be a wonderful addition to a healthy diet. For some people, replacing a few meals per week with a well-crafted, lower-calorie soup can be a great springboard into making those small dietary changes that eventually add up to big changes.
30-Minute Recipe: Chicken and Vegetable Soup
Yields 4 servings.
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 4 – 5 cups vegetable stock
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 TBSP Italian Spice Blend
- 2 cups sliced green cabbage
- 1 cup green beans
- 1 cup kidney beans
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sautee the onions and carrots until softened, 3-5 minutes. Ad garlic and continue to sauté ~2 minutes, until softened.
- Add tomato paste and spices, stir to incorporate and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes.
- Add stock, stirring to combine. Make sure to dissolve any tomato paste lumps.
- Add chicken pieces, cabbage, green beans, and kidney beans, stirring to combine. Bring soup up to a slow simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and gently simmer until all vegetables are tender and chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Post written by FFC contributor.