In general, adults should try to consume at least 8 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Consuming vegetable rich soups can greatly contribute to reaching this goal. Tasty options include tomato, butternut squash, pumpkin, vegetable beef and chicken vegetable soups.
Many varieties of soup contain beans and lean meats which are excellent sources of protein. As an added benefit, beans provide fiber! Vegetable soups are great sources of vitamins, especially vitamin A and vitamin C, which are both needed for proper immune system function. Cream- based soups, while sometimes higher in fat and calories, provide calcium and vitamin D for bone health. To reduce the fat content in cream-based soups you can use low fat or skim milk or even substitute pureed beans for milk.
Finally, soups are a source of hydration for us. Yes, we can get fluids though food! Soup contains a great deal of water and/or other liquids which can help us stay hydrated in the cold, winter months during which most people do not consume enough water. To maximize hydration through soups, consume those that are broth-based.
Perhaps as a child you remember your parents taking out a can of “condensed tomato soup” and throwing it on the stove with some water mixed in. Bring back memories? While this is still a viable option, why not try to create your own jazzed up version of classic tomato soup? By preparing it yourself, you can control the salt content of the soup and avoid consuming too much sodium (as most canned soups contain a great deal of sodium).
Additionally, tomatoes are a good source of the antioxidant lycopene which may help reduce the risk of cancer. We invite you to try this fun take on the classic tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich. Enjoy!