Fight Winter Colds by Warming Up with an Over-sized Cup of Soup
Winter is cold and awful, even in Barcelona I’m wrapped up coat, hat, and scarf while walking past palm trees. Well of course one of us got sick. While I was taking care of my patient, I started looking up articles about curing the cold. This reminded me of all the reasons I LOVE soup.
The most important thing in relation to this blog is that, soup. saves. money.
Which is great for the Cheap Vegan.
The first thing you need to remember about soup, is you can make soup out of anything! You can make sweet soup, spicy soup, bean soup, potato soup, mushroom soup, “shrimp ka-bobs, shrimp gumbo…” you get the idea.
Not only does this mean you don’t have to leave the house to buy ingredients, but it also stops food waste. I’ve used a plate of left over restaurant pasta, half-bad tomatoes, some wilting spinach, and an onion and with the help of some herbs and spices made some sweet minestrone. Any food in your kitchen can become soup and its a great way to keep from wasting food that may go bad soon. Not only that, but because once you use a vegetable in your soup, you can create a large amount of nutritious, low-calorie, food that due to the cooking process and the added salts, can last much longer than if you had just let that half a chunk of cabbage sit on the bottom of your crisper 1…or 4 more days. This means you can enjoy your left over soup throughout the entire week!
Besides practical reasons, soup has a number of great health benefits and is an essential part of my number one force against fighting the cold: hydration. If my college room mate taught me nothing else, she taught me that you really DO need to pump liquids when you have a cold. That rule and the fact that breakfast was the most important meal of the day were the 2 old food adages I refused to believe. But after much stubbornness, and a little desperation due to flu symptoms, I gave in.
Now I go on a hot liquid detox whenever I start coming down with a cold. Soup is a way to eat “real food” with high nutritious value packed with vitamins that help fight your cold, while still receiving the essential hot liquids my body needed to flush out my sickness. (In between soup meals, it’s good to drink herbal teas or even hot water)
But soup isn’t only good for your health when your sick. Soup is filled with the same great nutrients when you’re in sickness and in health. Eating a cup of soup before a meal not only stops you from eating as much of your entre, but gives you more nutrient dense food early in the meal so you don’t fill up on free bread instead.
Certain soups have been linked to preventing cancers such as Miso Soup on the macro-biotic diet, while vegetable and tomato soups are considered to help against heart disease.
Add heartier foods or broth and make a meal out of your soup, serve with a small salad or a slice or 2 of Ezekiel bread.
Here are some of the most nutritious ingredients you can add to your soup:
Cabbage, carrots, onions, mushrooms, garlic, kale, sweet potato, bell peppers, tomato, garlic, black beans
It is important to remember to cook soup slowly. This is one of the main reasons soup is so good for you. The process of slow cooking keeps ingredients from losing nutrients. Simmer your base for at least 30 minutes to an hour.