Most packaged soups are low in unrestricted vegetables and high in starchy ones. Adding chunky greens such as broccoli, green beans, celery, cauliflower, spinach not only adds more fibre but the act of chewing starts the digestion process and adds to our feeling of fullness.
Remember if there are enough starchy vegetables you won’t need to add a bread roll as well.
Again this can be lacking in many soups. Soup is often a go-to winter lunch as its warming and nourishing. Ensuring there is enough protein is important for that sense of appetite satisfaction. Many of the vegetable soups (e.g. pumpkin) will need to have protein added – in fact often store bought meat /chicken ones may also be low in protein and will need more added. Beans, lentils, meat, chicken or fish will all boost the protein content BUT try and keep the added protein to your portion size.
- Watch out for fats!
Beware of creams or coconut milks in soups as they tend to be high in saturated fats which are not good for either our heart health or our weight.
Often store bought soups can be high in sodium – either dilute slightly with water or drink a big glass of water with it.
- Make you own!
Making your own soup is ideal as you can tailor it to your nutritional needs. A stock or tomato base is preferable with lots of chunky greens and small starchy vegetables and some protein. A dollop of yoghurt is a better option than a dollop of cream or cheese.
Making a large pot means you can freeze some.