An Ode to Soup

A love letter to the Iconic Winter Warmer

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that soup was the first “dish” we learnt to cook as a species, at about the same time as we discovered fire 20,000 years ago. It’s the kind of meal anyone can make, but its ease and accessibility – it’s almost part of our DNA by now – means that we sometimes underestimate this remarkable broth. Dressed up or down, soup is the ultimate comfort food, and there’s no shortage of reasons why it should get more love.

It’s affordable

Soup is the ultimate quick and frugal comfort food to whip up, especially when you’re like me and trying to reduce food waste in the kitchen. There is no better way to use up all your leftovers and ingredients that are reaching the end of their life span and would otherwise end up in a bin. If you amp up the liquid and vegetables in your soup ratio, you can use smaller amounts of the more expensive ingredients like chicken, fish and beef, or you can just go veg all the way!

They’re healthy (usually)

True, not all soups are good for you (I’m looking at you cream-based concoctions), but most soups are an easy and tasty way to incorporate more protein and vegetables into your diet. There’s also a direct correlation between incorporating more soup in your diet and a boost in immunity since most are packed in nutrients, and a heated dish is a great way to soothe a sore throat, as well as to keep you hydrated. Chicken soup for a cold isn’t the urban legend you might think it is, in fact, studies show that chicken soup can help prevent the common cold if it includes vegetables like fresh garlic, onions, celery and carrots.

They’re so easy to make

Soups and stews don’t require a large amount of hands-on time and slaving away in the kitchen, in fact most of the time once you’ve got all your ingredients in the pot you can leave it alone to do its thing. There’s no meticulous timing involved here, and if you leave it bubbling for an extra twenty minutes by accident, odds are it will taste even better. The possibilities are also endless when it comes to your ingredients. You can substitute roots for carrots, rice for noodles, vegetable broth for an animal protein broth, and kidney for black beans. The list goes on and on!

They’re even better the next day

The flavour of a soup is usually even better the next day, so it makes for great leftovers. They also freeze well so are a nifty dish to incorporate if you want to do some meal prep and make your week a little easier.

They’re so versatile

Whether you’re craving a light, broth-based soup or a filling, meaty dish, there’s a soup for every occasion. From creamy and smooth to chunky and rustic, plain or spicy, hot or cold, there’s just so much room to play!