A bowl of goodness

A bowl of goodness

Healthy trend

A bowl of goodness

A bowl of hot soup is something one would associate with being sick. Slurping on the hot liquid in the dense spoon is just what one needs to recover from a dreadful cold. However, the warm, comfortable bowl is not only a ‘food during sickness’ but also is high in nutritional value.

Jyothi Rajesh, an entrepreneur, loves making different types of soups at least once a week at home. But while growing up, she was convinced that soup is to be consumed only when one is sick or as a light palate cleanser before a grand meal. She says, “My notion has definitely changed after I started making an array of them at home. Now, I love experimenting with seasonal produce and enjoy a hot bowl of soup for dinner at least once a week.” She has the soup with garlic bread. But if she is having it for lunch, she prefers to follow it with the main course.

“This one bowl of soup has a lot of nutritional value to it. Even though my daughter is not a huge fan of soup, she doesn’t mind eating it if I add a bit of cream. My son, on the other hand, enjoys it thoroughly. I’m more than happy to send them to bed with just a bowl of soup because the vegetables added in it have the vitamins and calcium a child needs,” she says confidently.

At Ellen Buckler Jose’s house, soup has a different purpose. She says, “My five-year-old son, Aiden, is not a huge fan of most of the vegetables. But when I make it in a soup format, mixed with a colourful vegetable, I get to watch him lick the bowl clean. But I have to make a non-vegetarian soup if my husband must also consume it.” She recently experimented with a cheeseburger soup which was a hit at home.

The homemaker says, “Though that didn’t seem so healthy to consume, it was a wonderful way to enjoy the dish. I make various other soups like beetroot soup, carrot soup, broccoli and cauliflower soup and anything else I can find in the refrigerator. Add it with a bit of chicken or vegetable stock with some seasoning and the soup is ready!”

Like Ellen, many make use of the leftover vegetables they have at home to make the soup. Even though these items are perishable, by cooking them in a pressure cooker and adding them to the hot liquid helps turn the whole dish around.

Swapna Venkatesh, a food blogger, says, “It’s not so hard for us Indians to enjoy a bowl of soup because we grew up with ‘sambhar’ and ‘rasam’. Even though you’re supposed to only have a bit of rice with it, we consume it the other way around. I enjoy the different types of stew and soups I make at home — makes for a quick dinner  as well.” She prefers adding a bit of pasta or barley to the hot soup for the flavour.

“There are plenty of soups available in other cuisines too. ‘Pho’ (a Vietnamese dish) is great to fill your stomach. So is a Thai soup which has a coconut base. One can turn their favourite or new ingredients into this hot bowl of liquid and enjoy it any
way they want to,” she adds.

Nandita Iyer, a nutrition consultant, also enjoys making soups for dinner at home. She says, “It’s a healthy dish if it is not loaded with cream, refined flour, fried noodles or croutons. It is low in calorie, high in fibre and fills one up very quickly. It’s the best way to use vegetables that you would not use otherwise, such as bottle gourd.” 

While many  may consume it at restaurants, some health- conscious people prefer to make it at home. “The soups available at some restaurants are full of cream and flour, thereby having a lot of hidden calories, not to mention sugar too. That’s why homemade soups are always healthier.” says Nandita.

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