Fuel Your Body
It’s no surprise to find that almost every culture has a specific soup for which it is recognised: Malayan laksa, French bouillabaisse, Russian borscht, Spanish gazpacho, Mexican tortilla soup, Ecuadorian peanut soup – I could go on.
Needless to say, the benefits found in a bowl of soup transcend the simple, “it tastes good”! Besides providing fluids combined with nutritious elements, soup is digested rapidly which means it can satisfy a hunger more quickly than if the vegetables and protein were to be eaten in separate servings.
Thus, after a dance performance, or simply a good workout, soup is a terrific ‘meal’ to provide immediate replenishment to your body.
On its own, chicken soup has a reputation for providing great medicinal benefits and not just in western cultures. (Nobody need be reminded of the publishing industry’s plethora of self-help/humour “Chicken Soup for the -------- “ titles). There is some merit for its medicinal values, as research has shown there’s an amino acid released when chicken is cooked that chemically resembles a drug commonly prescribed for bronchitis and other respiratory problems.
Remember to spice up your chicken soup with plenty of pepper! It’s traditionally been used as an ancient remedy for respiratory illnesses because it thins the mucus and can make breathing easier. Then of course, there’s the steam coming from the soup which can also help clear congestion.
There are whole websites dedicated to soup: its history, recipes, facts, tips – try Souphoopla
– it will even give you the story on the difference between chicken stock and broth – yes, there is a difference.
However, with Fall and nasty cold season arriving, here’s a selection of recipes
for chicken soup that can inspire and motivate you to get the soup pot on! For non-meat eaters, I’d recommend a family favourite: lentil soup. Providing all the protein needed with red lentils and some delicious spicing with cumin, ginger and turmeric this is an equivalent winner. Find recipes for various versions here
- as you’ll see, lentil soup recipes can be found also to come from a multitude of cultures.
By Joanna Gertler
(Published October 05, 2010)