After the Holidays, we all look forward to eating less fancy foods that are low in calories but still good to taste. Hearty soups are ideal, because they have a low ‘caloric density‘ (fewer calories compared to their mass) and are therefore particularly suitable for those who wish to lose weight. Hearty soups are also inexpensive, which is particularly welcome at a time when the credit card statements for Christmas shopping start pouring in!
If you can, you should start by preparing a good chicken and vegetable broth, like the one that our grandmothers used to make, tasty, with a beautiful golden colour and perfectly transparent. This will give you broth and … boiled chicken, great comfort foods with an excellent reputation as “remedy” against colds and flu.
Do you know what is the secret of a good homemade broth?
The ingredients, of course: A whole chicken, some vegetables, a few cloves, a bay leaf, peppercorns; all this is covered in cold water and left to simmer for a few hours. But it’s the cooking that is crucial for a good clear broth: Boiling should be completely avoided, as it will disturb the liquid. If on the other hand you let it very gently simmer, the fat will remain on the surface and will be easily skimmed off once the cooking is over.
Our foolproof homemade chicken broth recipe can be found here.
For a soup to be a complete, well-balanced and sustaining meal, three elements must be considered:
For example you could make a traditional soup with barley and meat that can be tweaked by adding your favourite ingredients or just whatever is lying around in your fridge. You can prepare large quantities ahead and freeze, in which case, you should be careful not to fill the containers to the brim, because the liquid will swell up while freezing and could crack the lid.
After a long day at work, you’ll be glad to warm up the soup in less than 5 minutes. With nice bread and a simple salad you’ll have a complete meal that’s ready in a jiffy.
For more hearty soup inspiration, check out our TOP 10 Hearty Soup Recipes.