There is something incredibly wholesome and satisfying about homemade soup both for the cook and the recipient. A large pot on the stove simmering away with that welcome aroma floating through the house is a scent encompassing the feeling of warmth and cosiness on a cold night. Equally satisfying, open a flask at work, school or out in the cold and you have instant tingly home cosy warmth to wrap your hands around. If this isn’t enough to get you heading to the kitchen and peering in the fridge for possible soup ingredients, then see below for 7 reasons why it is worth making your own soup!
In a rush…don’t need the reason just want some recipes? – Scroll to the bottom of this post!
- You know exactly what is in it!
- Low Calorie & Filling
- Easy to make
- Low Cost
- Environmentally Friendly
- Easy to Freeze
You know exactly what is in it!
Hate to state the obvious but the reality is, you make it, you know what’s in it! Equally goes for any homemade food you’re creating from scratch. Ready made soups, do tend to have a higher salt and sugar content, so something to check on the ingredients breakdown label. I do not need to add sugar to my soups, and may not always add salt, if I feel it tastes fine without. Some items being added for example in my Broccoli & Stilton Soup the Stilton being cheese, will already have salt in it. As will ready made stock cubes and other ready made stock options. You can get reduced salt or (reduced sodium) stock. If you are worried or need to limit your salt intake, you can also just either use water, or make your own stock without any salt. For my recipe on How to make stock click here.
As most soups have plenty of plant based ingredients and meat based soups only usually have small amounts of meat as well as vegetables. The vitamin and mineral content of this meal is usually high depending on the ingredients, also, nothing is lost by throwing it away during cooking, everything remains together. It is also an excellent way of hiding specific unfavourable nutritious items that won’t be eaten normally by some family members (especially little ones) but are acceptable in soup.
Low Calorie & Filling
This won’t be the case for all soups, but with the richer soups avoiding them or ditching the cream, milk and cheese and the calorie count will significantly reduce. Having soup in place of other alternative quick meals, especially on the run is likely to be healthier and keep you fuller for longer. The beauty of soup is its versatility. Swapping items for alternatives or leaving them out altogether, either because you don’t like them or because of the calorific content doesn’t mean that you won’t have a tasty soup. So don’t be afraid to experiment.
Easy To Make
For most soups all the equipment you need is a big pot or saucepan, a chopping board and knife. Chop it up, throw it all in. It’s your ultimate one pot meal. Easy to prepare and easy to clean up whilst it simmers. You can’t get easier than that!
Although some of my recipes involve baking the veg first, (I like it for the flavour) you don’t have to, and when in a rush I have been known to ditch the baking and throw everything in the pan instead!
As soup often doesn’t take much ingredients, it can really stretch and often you are making another meal, or the soup is a result of leftovers. Either way making more than one meal with some basic ingredients is cost effective. For soups that are likely to be more expensive, for example meat based or those that include cheese, you can reduce the cost by using a small amount of meat as a flavour enhancer rather than the main basic ingredient. If cheese, perhaps sprinkling a little of the cheese on top to enhance instead of a larger portion in the body of the soup.
According to the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, an incredible 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally each year. As food waste is such a huge problem, anything we can do to minimise it, is advantageous. As homemade soups and stock is frequently produced from leftovers, soup becomes environmentally friendly! Add in the fact that we are frequently advised to increase our plant based foods and decrease meat and dairy, both for health and environmental reasons; and many soups are plant based, predominantly plant based or at least use small amounts of meat, then the environmental points are stacking up. Not only that, as soup is frequently made in a single large pot, this saves on fuel for cooking. Create a batch for now, the rest freezing for another day and you have just saved both financially and environmentally…..it just makes sense!
Easy To Freeze
This really is a no brainer! From the delicious soup you will now be making… if you have any left! It’s worth freezing. Just leave to cool, once cooled place in your usual freeze proof container or a glass jar (remember to leave space at the top between the top of the soup and the rim/lid). Put in the freezer standing if possible. Use within 3 months.
So hopefully I have sold you the great benefits of making your own soup. Of course soup doesn’t have to be for winter, there are plenty of cold soup recipes around. Personally I am hot soup person, as soon as the autumn nights start to get a bit chilly my soup pot is on the stove and I pretty much don’t stop making it till late spring!
Click on the links below to see some of my other favourite soup recipes you may like.