Not only is homemade soup downright delicious, but often it’s healthier than the stuff you buy in the store. Read on for more benefits of homemade soup.
For around the same price as a single can of soup that feeds one, you can cook up a big batch of tasty soup to feed the whole family for days! Soup is ideal for using up whatever is lingering in the vegetable drawer, such as carrots, cauliflower, squash, zucchini and leafy greens. Once cooked you can always freeze batches of soup for later too, significantly reducing your food waste!
Add in dried beans, lentils or chickpeas that have soaked overnight and soon you will have a hearty, healthy homemade soup high in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Just be sure to cook the legumes or pulses for the right amount of time.
Lower in Sodium
It can be a shock to see how much sodium is in an average can of store-bought or deli soup. Skip the sodium and support healthy blood pressure already within the normal range by making soup at home. Using a low-sodium stock, or even a salt-free homemade stock, you can skip the extra sodium found in most pre-made soups. Another benefit of making your stock is knowing that it’s suitable for the whole family, even infants and those with high blood pressure who need to limit sodium intake.
No Added Sugar
Store-bought soup also can be pretty high in sugar. That’s because food manufacturers often rely on adding both salt and sugar to entice our taste buds. While the soup itself might not taste sweet, the effect on your blood sugar may be pronounced.
Ditch the dextrose by making a low glycemic index (GI) bean and vegetable soup at home. Use whole foods that are naturally high in fiber, as well as other nutrients, that support healthy blood glucose metabolism. Make sure to include a protein-rich plant food like lentils, chickpeas, or mung beans to further lower the soup’s GI.
One of the best things about making soup at home is that you can pick your own ingredients! Local, seasonal, fresh foods that have just been harvested are more likely to have higher levels of nutrients that are at risk to be lost during storage or processing, especially water-soluble vitamins and those destroyed by exposure to air and light.
Many store-bought cans or packets of soup are lined with bisphenol-A (BPA), a known endocrine disruptor. The reason for this is to prevent the natural acids in the soups (especially those containing tomato) from degrading the packaging.
Storing homemade soup in glass jars and BPA-free containers is best, just be sure to leave a little extra room in the container for the soup to expand if you’re freezing it.
Quick and Tasty
Another benefit of soup? It often takes less than 20 minutes to rustle up a bowl! It’s also a super quick and tasty leftover that can transport easily in a thermos to take on a hike or to the office. Cooking batches of beans and grains in advance make it easy to put together a delicious and healthy soup in minutes. Just sauté some vegetables, add a little stock, throw in the frozen or refrigerated beans, and cook through.
Of course, choosing a healthy store bought vegetable soup that is low in sugar and salt and that uses fresh, local ingredients is still a good option for lunch on the go! Overall, though, homemade soup is hard to beat.