Judy E. Buss
Soup’s reputation of being comfort food does not do complete justice to this remarkable and versatile dish. In addition to making eaters purr, wholesome, freshly cooked soups play an important role in a healthy diet. Weight control: Soup consumed as a first course takes up “parking space” in the stomach and prevents overeating during the rest of the meal. It can also be served as part of a light meal accompanied with a salad, and whole or multi-grain bread, pita or a healthful (lean) sandwich. This is greatly preferable to having two “main meals” per day.
Other health benefits: A home-cooked soup made from scratch with fresh, whole foods such as vegetables, beans, seafood or lean meat, boosts daily nutritional intake. The human body is made up of 75 – 80% water (not soda…) In addition to drinking pure water between meals; consuming health-promoting soups can be a significant component of a hydration strategy.
Cookbook recipes often call for the addition of broth, presumably to enhance flavor or nutrition. This is like saying: “A tomato is not red enough; it is necessary to add more red color to the dish…” The fact of the matter is that if a soup is made with nutritious ingredients, including herbs and spices, it does not need “assistance” from a commercial broth, replete with harmful additives, namely, MSG, food color, sweeteners, artificial flavors, preservatives, and mountains of sodium. Even a home-cooked broth is superfluous, not always fresh when used, and creates more work. Broth prepared in advance takes up space in your fridge or freezer with no justification.
One of the main reasons why there is a severe shortage of home cooks in our country is because folks are overscheduled and have gradually squeezed cooking out of their daily routine. If cooking followed the KISS method: (Keep It Simple, Stupid), the number of cooks would increase in short order. Most healthy cooking, including soups, is quick and easy to make. Preparing a double batch and consuming the “leftovers” a day or two later saves time as well. So dive into one of life’s great pleasures and nourish your body and soul with home cooked soups!
CELERY AND POTATO SOUP
3 large red potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed clean, diced
4 celery stalks, sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2-1/4 cups water
1/2 cup low fat milk or unsweetened soy milk
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
In a large saucepan mix all the ingredients, except the milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook, covered, 20 minutes. Add the milk and simmer 5 more minutes. Remove from the stove, and with a hand masher, briefly mash the veggies in the soup, allowing some lumpiness to remain for a more robust soup.
“Mission Nutrition” Tips and Recipe from Judy E. Buss, Health Columnist, Nutritional Cooking Instructor.
Excerpted from Judy E. Buss’ article, first published in the “Feeling Fit” Magazine, Sun Coast Media Group newspapers, Florida.
Stay tuned for more Judy E. Buss’ “Mission Nutrition” words of wisdom and recipes.