There is nothing as soothing as the taste of warm soup tricking down your throat on a cold winter's day. And when it comes to weight loss - healthy soup recipes are pretty much your one-pot secret weapons if you’ve just about had it with the whole salad scene.
They're not only easy ways to load up on veggies (and give you that high-fiber punch needed to boost satiety and curb cravings) but their low-calorie bases (water, veggie broth, chicken stock) make soups one of the least calorically dense meals you can eat.
To get you started, try one of these 5 heathy soup recipes, supplied by Vitamix. For now, here are some helpful tips.
Tips for meal-prepping soup
- Prep Batches:
Many soups share the same ingredients, so take a look at some of your favourite recipes and do the prep work all at once. This will cut down on everything from shopping trips to wasted ingredients
- The Freezer is Your Friend:
Once you’ve chopped your soup ingredients, simply roast or sauté them, place on a sheet pan in your freezer, and stir every 10-15 minutes until frozen. Then, divide into freezer bags and store. When you’re ready to use, pull them out, add stock, and heat everything up.
How to thicken your soup
Craving something heartier than your average broth? Play with these ingredients to thicken up all kinds of soups and stews:
- Cornmeal: Helps to blend broths. To use, mix equal parts cornmeal and water. Add to Mexican-style soups for the best results.
- Silken Tofu: Adds thickness and protein. To use, blend tofu until smooth and then add to hot soup. Add to the cream of vegetable soups for the best results.
- Roux: Thickens without clumping. To use, mix equal parts flour and fat (butter or oil) over heat until you reach the desired colour. Add to soups that need a thickener and additional flavour for the best results.
- White Beans: Thickens while adding protein and fibre. To use, purée drained, rinsed beans, then stir into hot soup. Add to hearty soups like vegetable or minestrone for the best results.
- Potatoes: Adds extra body. To use, mash sweet or russet potatoes (or use potato flakes), then whisk into soup. Add to chowders and stews for the best results.
- Cauliflower: Adds extra body with fewer calories than potatoes. To use, blend cooked cauliflower until smooth, then add to hot soup. Add to chowders and stews for the best results.
How to enhance the flavour of soup
Creating complex flavours is all about layering. Here are some ways to add flavour to soup:
- Roast it: Roast or sauté your aromatic ingredients. The sugars will naturally caramelise to help layer flavours in your recipe.
- Brown it: Those little brown bits at the bottom of your pan will add intense flavour to soup or stock. So the next time you brown meat, deglaze your pan with water, wine, or broth for a boost of flavour.
- Purée it: Toss your delicious ingredients into your Vitamix container, then purée until smooth. You’ll keep all of the nutrients from the ingredients, and dinner couldn’t be easier.
- Season it: Add herbs after you’ve put your stock in the pot. This ensures the herbs will have sufficient time to enhance flavour but won’t burn. Be careful when using dried herbs; their flavour is more concentrated than fresh herbs.
- Finish it: Add the finishing touches by sprinkling some fresh herbs or a special spice blend on your creation. It can be as spicy (think cayenne and paprika on chilli) or as subtle (fresh mint on pea soup) as you like.
- Chill it: Soups can stay hot for a long time. If you want to chill yours quickly, give it an ice bath by placing the soup in a metal pot. Set the metal pot in a sink filled with lots of ice and a little water. This will safely chill your soup so it can be served again later.
Head to vitamixaustralia.com.au for more recipes.