It’s just about soup season and I’m pretty excited about it – for a couple of reasons. First of all, soup can be one of the healthiest meals you can eat, especially if it is vegetable based. It’s true that soup can also be very unhealthy – by using lots of butter, using cream as a base, or loading your bowl with cheese – but everything is good in moderation. Soup is also very affordable. The main ingredients are vegetables, stock, and beans, all of which you can find at very low prices in your grocery store (especially when buying in bulk). And finally, despite popular opinion, soup is really, really easy to make.
Healthy, cheap, and easy – sounds perfect for CLK! So, as we embark on soup season, here are four tips to help you make the most of it!
1. Buy storage containers with twist on lids. These are essential for transporting soup for lunch. Snap on lids are too risky and may result in soup spilled all over your bag. It’s also preferable if these are freezer safe (see tip number 3).
2. Stock up on stock, broth, or bouillon. Healthy soups use these as a base rather than cream. When you’re at the grocery store, check to see if anything of these are on sale. Before you decide what to use, check out this article from Real Simple magazine about the difference between the three options. I used to buy bouillon cubes but now stick to reduced-sodium chicken broth.
3. Break out (or invest in) your blender. Having a blender opens up a lot of possibilities when it comes to soups. You can blend pretty much any vegetable into a soup very easily. If you don’t already have one, I suggest purchasing a hand blender. They are perfect for blending soups and save you from having to transfer the soup from the pot to the blender.
4. For every soup you make, freeze at least one portion. This is my favorite part of soup season. I usually make one soup per week, freezing at least one portion each week. In the coldest, darkest week of winter – when it’s dark at 4PM, freezing cold, and the last thing I want to do is go to the grocery store – I have a soup week. All week I eat the soups that I have in my freezer. I might pick up some cheese to top it off or bread to dip in, but generally I save myself a trip to the grocery store!