Healthy eating

How to make your standard soup a wholesome meal

Colder temperatures call for soup season. Not only are soups a great way to warm your body but they can also prove to be a means to get your vegetable intake as well as being a comfort food. To make a complete balanced meal, try to have 3 food groups in your bowl. Here are some examples of foods that you can include in your soup to make it a hearty balanced meal.

Proteins

Meats (Chicken, beef, veal, pork, etc.)
Fish
Seafoods (shrimps, mussels, clams, etc)
Legumes (beans, edamame, chickpeas, lentils, etc.)
Tofu (either firm tofu cut in cubes or soft tofu blended with the rest of the ingredients)
Other vegan options include adding nutritional yeast and sprinkling some seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds on top of the soup
Cheese on the side

Starch

A starchy vegetable such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnip, celery root
A cereal such as quinoa, barley, rice, pasta
Whole wheat crackers or bread on the side

Vegetables

One of the best parts about soups is that you can use pretty much any vegetable! Even frozen ones which are a healthy alternative to fresh ones during winter time when season vegetables are less readily available. 

Now this is how I applied all the guidelines above to make my butternut squash soup.

Ingredients

1 butternut squash (peeled, seeded and cut in cubes)
1 big onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp curry powder
300g or 10 oz of soft tofu
1 tbsp oil
32 oz or 1 liter of broth of your choice (chicken or vegetable)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the oil in a pot and add the onions and garlic. Sauté them for about 2-3 minutes until they are lightly brown.
Add the butternut squash and sauté for another 4-5 minutes.
Pour in the stock and simmer for about 30-40 minutes.
At the end of the cooking, stir in the soft tofu
Using a hand blender, blend the mixture until a smooth consistency is attained.
Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
To add extra proteins, I added a handful of roasted chickpeas that also add some crunchiness to this soup. And to add some carbs needed for a balanced meal, I served the soup with some slices of toasted whole-wheat bread.

So here are my tips for you to enjoy curling up to a wholesome piping hot bowl of soup!