Soup it up
It seems only fitting that one of the coldest months of the year would be named National Soup Month, since soup has the coziest way of warming you up from the inside out.
Because it was so easy to prepare with whatever was on hand, and because it was the perfect choice for both traveling cultures and those that never strayed far from hearth and home, historians tell us that soup is probably as old as cooking itself.1
Different regions developed their own unique take on the comforting meal based on what ingredients were readily available. Soups like Boston Clam Chowder, Borscht from Eastern Europe, French Bouillabaisse, and Callaloo from Trinidad and Tobago are cherished by the cultures that created them and loved around the world.
In celebration of this warm and comforting meal, we’ve compiled recipes and ideas to keep you swimming in delicious bowls of goodness all month long!
Soups for sharing
Soups are one of the easiest kinds of “big batch” meals to make, which means you can create enough to share with friends and neighbors. It’s a particularly comforting gift to take to someone who is ill, lonely, or in need of a little extra comfort. Because soups are very freezer-friendly, big batch cooking means you can keep a supply on hand at all times for quick, nutritious meals.
Try out a few of these:
- Big Batch Vegetable Soup
- Big Batch Lentil Soup
- Big Batch Bean Soup (this one makes 100 servings!)
- Ten delicious big batch soup recipes from Yummly
If you do plan to cook big batches for freezing, make sure to cool the soup down safely before storing. Visit University of Minnesota for tips on safe cooling techniques.
If you’re taking soup to a sick friend and you want it to arrive hot (and safe to eat), make sure it never drops below 140F. Wrap it well and place it in an insulated container during transport. Check the temperature upon arrival and if it isn’t in the safe zone, toss it out.2
Healthy soup options
Chances are that whatever you’re cooking from scratch in your own kitchen is still healthier than processed foods you purchase ready-made. But there are certainly some soup recipes that are healthier than others, like those that don’t rely on heavy cream, bacon or other notoriously fatty options.
Check out these better-for-you soup recipes:
- 100 healthy soup recipes from Cooking Light
- 50 healthy soups and stews from All Recipes
- 30 healthy soups from Good to Know
- Healthy winter soup options from Eating Well
Big appetites might need a little something extra to go with soup, so plan to have some crusty bread, simple homemade buns like Martha Stewart’s no-knead dinner rolls or a fresh and crispy salad to go along with your comforting bowl of soup.