Slurpy Soup May Lower Your Grocery Bills

Soup doesn’t get the attention it deserves. In fact, many of us hardly think of soup at all. But serving slurpy soup before the main course helps to fill you up. Over time, this can reduce your grocery bills because family members eat less. If you serve a big bowl of tomato soup, for example, you can serve a smaller hamburger.

Notice I said “slurpy soup.” This doesn’t include pricey cream soup like lobster bisque. Grocery stores carry hundreds of kinds of soup, but they tend to be high in salt. They may also contain additives you won’t want to eat. When you make homemade soup you can control the salt and other ingredients.

The Weight Watchers “Fast and Fabulous Cookbook” contains a large section on soup. “Clear Soups can also form the basis of a hearty soup,” it explains. “To make a filling and delicious soup, simply add barley, meat or poultry, pasta, or rice to plain boullion.”

According to Weight Watchers, high quality ingredients are the key to delicious soup. While leftovers add flavor to soup, a soup based entirely on leftovers won’t be as flavorful. Soup is one of those foods that tastes better the next day. But you need to be cautious about freezing soup thickened with flour, Weight Watchers cautions, because the ingredients may separate when you heat it.

The US Government recommends seven servings of fruits/vegetables a day. I am trying to meet this recommendation with soup. I have made spinach, artichoke, broccoli-cheese, fresh tomato, and mushroom soups. All of them are delicious and filling. For me, making soup is a way to experiment and some of the best soups I have made come from ingredients on hand.

“The Healthy Cook,” published by “Prevention” magazine, contains many variations for tomato soup: cream of tomato with low-fat milk and non-fat sour cream, spicy tomato with chili, cumin, tumeric and cardamom, tomato-rice, and tomato-pasta. Instead of adding cream for a thicker consistency, “Prevention” says you may puree some vegetables (not all) in a food processor and add this creamy mixture to the soup.

There are three basic kinds of soups, clear, cream and chowder. Clear soup is made with meat., fish or vegetable broth. Cream soups contain milk, cream and butter. Chowder is actually a cream soup, with chunks of fish, meat or vegetables. Cold soups are in a separate category.

I live in Minnesota and when the thermometer drops below zero, the house gets drafty and food cools off quickly. Before I serve hot soup, I warm the bowls in the oven on the lowest setting. I also warm dinner plates. If family members don’t come to the table right away, I cover food with aluminum foil. These tips will help you make slurpy, delicious, filling soup.

  • Use the freshest ingredients you can find.
  • Make your own broth or use salt-free commercial broth
  • Contrast hot soup with something cold–a cold sandwich or salad.
  • Refrigerate soup for a day to allow the flavors to marry.
  • Experiment with soup recipes.
  • Flavor soup with herbs instead of salt.
  • Turn soup into a meal by adding bread and a salad.

Alicia D. Walker

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