Soups could be a great healthy meal or a snack at any season, however, they really “hit the spot” in cold winter days. I personally enjoy them throughout the year especially as my children do not seem to like all the vegetables that I normally eat and I would like them to have in their diet. Soups are a great way to disguise them so boys get their fair share of “unloved” vegetables regularly through soups, whether they know it or not. And they happen to really like soups, which is a bonus.
Home made soups are a much healthier option compared to canned soups that are usually high in sodium and some in sugar too, like tomato soup, as well as a chemical BPA. They are easy to make and cheaper too than store-bought ones. So, win on all counts.
I always make my own and I alternate between vegetable soups and chicken bone broth soups. Bone broth in particular has been found to have incredible benefits on our health:
- It contains all nutrients and minerals found in bones and tendons
- The gelatin in bone broth protects and heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and helps aid in the digestion of nutrients
- It helps you fight inflammation thanks to the anti-inflammatory amino acids present
- The calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in bone broth helps our bones to grow and repair
- Helps with skin, hair and nail health thanks to the collagen and gelatin
- The glucosamine in bone broth can stimulate the growth of new collagen, repair damaged joints and reduce pain
- A published study shows eating chicken soup during a respiratory infection, such as colds and flu, helps reduce the number of white blood cells, which are the cells that cause flu and cold symptoms.
Chicken Bone Broth Soup Ingredients:
- 2 organic whole legs of chicken
- 4 -6 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 1 whole onion, finely chopped
- 2 whole carrots, finely chopped
- 1 whole parsnip finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley to garnish
- ½ teaspoon sea salt or teaspoon of bouillon,
Directions: Place all of the above ingredients in a pan and cook on low heat for 2 hours. Even better would be to use a slow cooker for longer as slow cooking preserves the nutrients better than the high heat. Because of the children, I like to put the whole soup through the sieve so to separate clear soup from the ingredients, mash-up vegetables and fine chop chicken pieces and then put them all back together.
Vegetable Soup Ingredients (whatever I have in the fridge, but I recommend the following, all chopped):
- 1 whole broccoli
- 4 carrots
- 2 parsnips
- 1/2 squash
- 1 medium sweet potato
- whole celery
- 2 courgettes
- 2 small or 1 large onion
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt or bouillon
- water and tablespoon of olive oil
Directions: Place all of the above ingredients in a pan and cook on low heat for 30 minutes. It is pretty much ready to be served. The above would give around 8 servings of soups, so, for us as a family – we have 2 days worth of soup. I would perhaps grill some chicken to eat with a bowl of soup for a balanced meal. I also blend all the ingredients for a creamy texture for boys and add a dollop of drained low-fat yoghurt, like Liberte’, also to up the protein. In any case, it is a delicious winter warmer or a whole year round snack or a meal.
Soups are the easiest to make and, if you are not into soups, I hope this inspires you to give them a try. There are so many fancy recipes out there where you can use so many different ingredients and spices, but these two I grew up with, they are basic and, for someone who has two fussy eaters at home, these are good enough to help with their nutrient and fibre intake.