Stay fighting fit this winter with a hearty soup. Dietitian Lisa Renn explains why these ingredients will hit the spot.
Known for its curative properties, homemade chicken stock is loaded with minerals from the bone, marrow and cartilage, including calcium and magnesium. To make it, boil a whole chicken or the carcass, and flavour with herbs. Or look for a reduced-salt, ready-made stock.
Adding a diced onion to your soup will add flavour and nutrients. Along with potassium and folate, onions are a good source of vitamin C, which supports immune health, and quercetin, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.
A root vegetable, parsnip is packed with immunity booster vitamin C and niacin (vitamin B3), vital to energy production. Use cubed parsnip as an alternative to potato in a soup. It is lower in kilojoules and higher in dietary fibre than potato. Sauté the parsnip, onion and some garlic in a little olive oil, before adding stock and other vegies.
Tomatoes contain a powerhouse of phytonutrients including lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, which have all been shown to benefit heart, eye and bone health. Tomatoes are also a great source of vitamins C, K and A, which help fight viral infections.
Dark, leafy greens
Spinach and silverbeet are often overlooked as soup ingredients, but they’re high in dietary fibre, rich in vitamin C and folic acid, and a good source of iron and calcium. Regular consumption has been linked to lower rates of heart disease and shown to protect against some cancers.
Adding legumes, such as kidney beans or lentils, to a soup will keep you fuller for longer. Legumes are a good source of protein and soluble fibre, plus they are good for cardiovascular and bowel health. Try a soup mix to benefit from the different types of beans. Rinse canned beans well before use.
For more nutrition tips pick up the August issue of Good Health magazine or subscribe at magshop.co.nz.