Thursday, October 18, 2018

'Tis The Season To Be Soupy

Summer is over. Let’s make the most of Fall.

It’s more easily said than done. Most households will get to struggle with the first few signs of fall – or pre-winter as some people like to refer to it. The decrease in natural daylight affects everyone. One day, you woke up feeling the first ray of sun on your face, and the next, you’re leaving to work in total darkness. Needless to say, you can expect to feel a little cranky about it! Long hours of darkness can make you feel as if you were spending most of your day at work — or school, for kids — and ultimately you can’t help but worry that you’re missing out. Additionally, rainy and windy days become gradually more frequent. Before you know why you begin to feel tired and a little low. Even the pretty leaves that fly in the park can’t really put a smile on your face. Yes, you know what we’re talking about. You’ve got a bad case of fall-aversion! Don’t worry, it’ll soon pass, once you stop mourning the death of summer. But in the meantime, you can switch healthy and bright summer salad for equally healthy and bright fall soups.

Now is the perfect season for homemade soup. And here’s a little list of the best recipes around, if you don’t know where to start.

Stop everything and eat soup

Soup might sound like the kind of boring food that your kids would reject, but in reality, it’s full of goodness. If your family fails to understand your love of soup, you will need to find the most direct way to win them over: Through the stomach! A bowl of soup is hugely gratifying when the temperatures drop outside because it has the ability to warm you up rapidly. For someone who doesn’t like to consume their food in liquid form, you can keep a comfy soup in chunky bites that fall apart in the spoon. It might look messy at first in the bowl, but it’s guaranteed to keep you warm and happy! Besides, if you’re worried about getting back in shape for the Christmas holiday, relying on light broth with plenty of vegetables can help you to achieve your goal weight. And finally, you can prepare your soup in advance and reheat it when needed. Homemade, warming, healthy and practical, what’s not to love about it?

Chicken soup for everyone

The colder and rainy months tend to be associated with chicken soup, and with good reason: It is the preferred soup to fight a cold. The fact is that scientists agree that homemade chicken soup can indeed help to ease your symptoms, hopefully before you pass it on to the rest of the family! The recommended recipe includes plenty of goodness from vegetables too. Testing grandma’s recipes, scientists have managed to demonstrate that the soup could boost your immune system to fight off the flu. However, you might want to keep some soup for later, especially if you find your baby coughing too – before assuming it’s a cold, you need to know how to diagnose and care for your baby’s cough. Your baby’s immune system can benefit from chicken soup too when they’re old enough to have a more diverse diet – you can blend it to make it easier to consume.

Freak everyone out with a pumpkin soup

With Halloween just around the corner, pumpkin spice is everywhere. In fact, you have been missing out if you haven’t yet had your first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. But you can surprise your family with a savory recipe instead – which is healthier than the traditional pumpkin pie. Add a few decorative elements, such as fake bugs and rodents to keep some seasonal fun. You can even plan a spooky evening for the kids and tie it in with the Halloween themes you’ve chosen. You can bake your own fake bones, for instance, with a mix of flour, grated cheese, butter and milk – prepare your dough like cracker dough and shape each bone before baking. Happy spooked kids guaranteed! For a fearsome blood effect, you can make a beetroot consomme to pour into the soup just before serving.

The healthy Japanese pick-me-up after a long day

You haven’t lived if you haven’t tried ramen noodle soup. Stay away from the noodle pack you can buy in shops, as these lack essential nutrients and can contain addictive. The abundance of easy recipes on the go has caused ramen soup to develop an unhealthy reputation. In reality, the Japanese recipe is hugely healthy when done properly. If you want a proper taste, head over to your local ramen restaurants to try the real thing. Here’s a hint: The soup contains more than just noodle. And here’s the secret to making it work: A good ramen soup gives you the right level of pick-me-up energy and smoothness. They’re even better if you can make the stock from scratch, but you can use stock cubes if you’re in a hurry. Traditional ramen soups include spinach, sweetcorn, soft boiled eggs, spring onion and a nori sheet as well as sliced meat or fish.

For the rustic feel in the kitchen

If you love French cuisine, and the rustic taste of simple food, you can’t let the fall go by without making your own onion soup. Contrary to a lot of typical French recipes, this one is dead easy! The secret to the French recipe is to caramelize the onions – but if you don’t want to spend ages in front of the stove, you can pop them in the oven at a low temperature. Combine with slices of grilled bread with melted cheese on top – Cheddar and Monterey Jack are excellent choices, but you can try oven-grilled camembert for a twist!

The result: A delicious bowl of soup that will transport to into the center of France from the first spoonful!

No more seasonal affective disorder: Make place for the tomato soup

Who says cold weather, says seasonal affective disorder, a.k.a. SAD. You might not be aware of it, but a lot of people struggle with SAD when the days grow shorter. Feeling of apathy, lack of motivation, and generally low interest are typical symptoms. Not everyone experiences severe depression as a result of the weather! But the lack of direct sunlight can have a significant impact on your well being. Don’t let it drag you down, though. You can bring some sun directly onto the dinner table with a delicious homemade tomato soup recipe. Why tomato soup? Because it’s filled with all the vitamins, you need to feel better in your skin. If that soup doesn’t put a smile on your lips, nothing will.

The unexpected sweet soup from Scandinavia

Norway has a favorite soup in winter, and it’s called the Sotsuppe, or sweet soup if you prefer. The soup is best eaten as a dessert or as part of a breakfast selection, but you can also make it the main meal of a particularly cold and rainy day if you want to cheer up your family. The typical ingredients consist of dried apples, raisins, dried apricots, prunes and a cinnamon stick. You can also add a tablespoon of pearl tapioca for texture. Simmer it slowly to retain the shape of the fruits. By cooking most of the liquid, you obtain a compote, which is equally delicious but better used as a dessert only. For an extra treat, you can use cookie floaters to decorate.

Who said soups were old-fashioned and dull? There is so much to love with soups and so much you can do that it’s impossible not to give it a go this season.

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