Health Challenge: The Hot Soups of Winter, Nourishment of Body and Soul

Published by Monday, November 28, 2011 Permalink 0
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by Tamar Chamlian

There are many reasons to love winter. For some, it might be gorgeous change of colors as the new seasons ease in; for others it’s festivities that bring celebration and lots of activity. I like both the colors and the festivities, but most of all I like the abundance and versatility of vegetables available that can be used in endless combinations to make hot soup.

I will not make this into a long post saying why I love soups, but here are a few health factors to be considered as well. Soups made from vegetables retain a large portion of vitamins and minerals, so the nutritional aspect nourishes the body and the heat the soul. On especially harsh winter days, when sunshine is sparse and the chances of catching a common cold are higher, this is important.

Another great advantage is that you do not need many ingredients or even any fancy ones to make soup. It can be made from almost any vegetable in no time and every ingredient in the soup contributes to proper functioning of systems in your body.

Most soups have similar bases. In the Mediterranean, it might entail frying some onions and garlic in a very small quantity of olive oil, then tossing this with fresh vegetables. Soups allow a myriad of choices: by flavoring the classic French base, which is a combination of leek and potatoes, to which can be added endless varieties of other vegetables, or by simply mixing vegetables and fruits such as celery and apples, a classic flavor combination. Just cover with water, and boil gently, just until tender.

When cooked, just purée the ingredients, season with salt, black or cayenne pepper, and a small drizzle of olive oil, and add a few sprigs of thyme or oregano.

I am a big fan of soups and make a different flavor combinations almost every night in winter. They keep me warm, fill my body with nutrients that are essential to fighting common coughs and colds in the winter, and serve as a natural system of detoxification.

It’s easy; you can start tonight. Pick any vegetables — ones you buy or ones you already have in the vegetable bin at home — and follow the instructions above. Keep warm, stay healthy, and bon appétit!

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