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How To Nourish Your Body With Homemade Soups (and save money)

Janette deVries RHN, B.ed, H.BA

Homemade soup was a staple in my life, and it was a strange concept when my friends talked about soup in a can. I remember my best friend down the street talking about her after school snack being 'Bacon & Bean' soup. I was interested because my mom never made this type of soup for me. She told the story moment by moment, from opening the can to the mold on top! I was shocked twice because soup was in a can and canned food had mold. The company sent them a replacement case of the soup. The biggest take away from this story is we had soup after school as a snack. Later, my boys would have soup as a snack after a cold winter day playing outside. I enjoyed soup so much that I got my mom to teach me from boiling bones to chopping the ingredients at different times. I went on to create award recognized soups during my cooking career.

I place soup as high on the value ladder in anyone's diet. I always include soup for my clients dietary plan for a couple of reasons:

  1. Bone broth or stock soups to improve digestion, stimulate appetite and stimulate the flow of digestive juices

  2. Puree, bisques, chowder, cream or stews to increase a variety of nutrients in the meal

Stocks are made from scraps that might otherwise be thrown away. Bone broths lack in flavour when they are boiled, but simmering enhances the flavour.

There are different ways to make soup as a puree, bisque, chowder, jellied, broth or stew. Things you might not know is a cold fruit puree is a hot weather soup that was served cold in glass cups with a piece of fruit floating on top. This appetizer would be a modern day version of a sherbet that is consumed at the end of the meal. Purees are made the same way as creams soups, but are a little thicker. Many times they are served under the name of 'cream soup'.

Raspberry Puree

1/2 cup granulated tapioca (gluten free)

6 cups water

1/2 currant juice (antioxidant, eye health, anti-inflammatory)

2 cups raspberries (fiber, antioxidant, potassium)

Sugar (coconut, maple or any kind)

Boil tapioca in water and currant juice. When the tapioca is transparent, add raspberries and sugar to taste. Set aside to cool and serve in glasses.

Puree of Peas & Tomatoes

1/2 pound dried yellow split peas (fiber, magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium)

2 cups diced tomatoes (lycopene antioxidant for skin & heart health)

2 cups water

1 medium onion, diced (fiber, B6)

2 celery stalks, chopped (vitamin K, fiber, iron, calcium)

4 cloves garlic, whole (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, LDL lowering)

Salt & pepper

1 tbsp arrowroot, tapioca or wheat flour

1 tbsp butter or coconut oil

Soak peas over night in water, drain and put into pot with tomatoes, water, onion, garlic and celery. Cook until peas are tender. Mash through a sieve or use a hand blender to smooth everything out. Add salt & pepper to taste. Bind with the roux (flour & butter or oil cooked on low heat to form a soft dough) and serve.

Cream soups made by combining a thin white sauce with cooked vegetables and/or meat. You can use evaporated milk instead of white sauce for the food value. White sauce has a more enhanced flavour. Bisques is usually given to a cream soup made with fish, which is mashed or diced. Chowders are more historic with an origin based on the community. Each neighbor would contribute something to the caldron; milk, potatoes, milk, fish, pork, seasonings, crackers. Everything was cooked together, and each contributor withdrew their share of the soup. Fish stew are made of milk and juice of the fish to flavour the soup. They differ from the cream soups that they don't need to be thickened, and differ from chowders by being less complex in composition.

Corn Chowder

3 slices of salted pork (or bacon) (B6, magnesium, selenium, vitamin D)

1 medium onion, sliced

4 medium potatoes, sliced (potassium)

2 cups water

6 soda crackers

2 cups milk

2 cups cooked corn (fiber, copper, iron, manganese)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Cut pork and brown in pot with sliced onions until brown. Add potatoes and water, cook until tender. Soak crackers in milk. Add corn, salt, pepper and soaked crackers and milk to the pot. Brind to a boil and serve.

Onion Stew

6 onions (glutathione - liver antioxidant, betters congestion, quercetin)

5 tbsp butter

3 cups cold water

3 tbsp flour

2 cups scalded milk (more digestible, protein)

Salt & pepper

Chop onions and cook in butter for 5 minutes in pot. Then add flour and cook for 1 minute. Add water and cook for 30 minutes. Add scalded milk, salt & pepper. Place into bowls and place 1 tbsp grated cheese on top.

Barley Soup

1/2 cup barley (iron, B6, magnesium, potassium, fiber)

1 tsp salt

4 cups boiling water

8 cups soup stock

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced onions

1/2 cup diced carrots (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A)

1 red or green pepper, diced

Rise barley in cold water and cook in salted boiling water. Cook until tender (2 hours) and adding stock when water has evaporated. Add veggies 1/2 hour before soup is done.

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