FOOD & FITNESS / APR. 14, 2014
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How To Beat The Cold And Amp Up Nutrients: Homemade Soups For Work

Spring has sprung, and there is no doubt that they'll be a few wet days to come. Nothing is better on a cold, wet day than soup. Soup is healthy, easy and versatile; no wonder it's a great lunch to bring to work. Ditch the instant noodles. Explore all your homemade soup options. 

Why Soups Are Great For Work

  1. Versatility: Soups come in all different flavours, consistencies and varieties. This is why soup is great for work, you can change it up all the time. A creamy broccoli soup is so different compared to a spicy butternut squash soup. With such a wide variety, it's hard to get bored.
  2. Nutrition: It is so easy to pack tons of nutritional ingredients into one meal. One soup may have ten different vegetables, five spices and loads of benefits. It is crucial that your nutritional needs are being met, especially when you're working hard all day. Having the proper nutrients will allow you to stay focused and obtain your high energy levels.
  3. Convenience: Nothing is more convenient, than a lunch that can be made well in advance. You can make your soup the day before, which is great for people who are pressed for time in the morning. You can even use leftovers, or ingredients that need to be eaten from the fridge. If you have carrots and celery that need to be used, perfect. Make a soup.
  4. Comfort: Soup can be so comforting, especially on a cold day. A comforting food at lunch, can set you up for the afternoon.

Tips For Bringing Soup To Work

When it comes to your containers you have options. These two are your best bet:

  • Glass canning jar: These are great if you have somewhere to heat your soup at work. They are inexpensive and re-useable. The best part is, you do not even need to transfer your soup to another container for heating purposes. This glass is safe against high temperatures. They can also be put in the freezer. Some of these jars even have a line that you can use as a guide for filling purposes. Soups are great to make in larger batches; fill a few jars and freeze them. That way, you can take them out the night before, and bring them into work.
  • Thermos: If you do not have a place to heat your soup, invest in a good Thermos. This will keep your soup insulated and hot. By the time lunch rolls around, you can twist the lid off and enjoy some comforting nutrients.

Tomato Soup

32/365:Tomato soup by Magic Madzik, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  Magic Madzik 

This is definitely a classic in the eyes of many. This recipe will make about four servings. You can either scale down the recipe, or fill multiple jars. As mentioned above, freeze some jars of soup. That way, they're ready. The following week, you can pop one out one out of the freezer the night before. 

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots (roughly peeled)
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 onions 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 5 whole tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomatoes (400g)
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes (chicken stock will work as well)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil

Method

  1. Slice your garlic, celery, carrots and onion.
  2. Heat your olive oil in a pan; add the above four ingredients. Took for around ten minutes. The carrots will begin to get soft, but they will still have their shape.
  3. In a seperate pan or jug, add 1 litre of boiling water (use the kettle) to your stock cubes. Stir until completely dissolved. 
  4. Once cubes are dissolved, add your stock to the carrot/onion pan. Throw in your canned and whole tomatoes (your fresh tomatoes do not need to be chopped, just toss them in whole).
  5. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then simmer for fifteen minutes. 
  6. Remove from heat. Add your sea salt, pepper and basil. 
  7. Using a hand blender, pulse the soup until smooth. 

*If you'd like, you can make some homemade croutons. Take some bread that is a couple days old, and cube it up. Toss the cubes in olive oil and salt. Turn your oven on to 350 degrees and bake for around ten minutes (shaking them half way through). If bringing croutons to work; put them in a separate bag and add them, once your soup is re-heated. 

Turkey and Bean Soup

DSC_0166 by I Just Love My Apron, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  I Just Love My Apron 

*This soup is perfect when you've made a turkey the night before. If you don't have leftover turkey available, you can always get some turkey breasts. Again, this is making four, good-sized servings. 

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions 
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil 
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of ground chili powder
  • 2 cans of white beans (drained and rinsed well)
  • 3 cups of cooked turkey 
  • 3 cups of chicken broth (cubes and hot water, store-bought or homemade. If making homemade; if you have leftovers, you can use the turkey carcas to make the stock).
  • 2 whole tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

 Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan, add onions and cook for about ten minutes.
  2. Add your chili powder, cumin and garlic. Cook for another three minutes. 
  3. Add your beans, cooking for a minute or so. Then add your broth (you can make this with a cube and hot water, you can buy chicken stock or make homemade).
  4. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for twenty minutes. 
  5. Pulse your bean mixture a few times with a hand blender. You still want a somewhat chunky consistency. 
  6. Add your chopped turkey and heat through (around five minutes).
  7. Remove from heat, add cilantro, lime juice, chopped tomatoes, sea salt and pepper.

*When bringing to work, don't be afraid to add some more fresh cilantro and lime juice. If it's been frozen, this will re-lift the flavours.

Beet Soup

beet soup by stu_spivack, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  stu_spivack 

Ingredients

*Chilled soups are great for summer days. They're fresh and nutritious.

  • 2 medium onions (diced)
  • 2 beets (peeled and cut into cubes)
  • 2 red peppers (seeds removed and sliced)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 cups of chicken or vegetables stock (this can be cubes, store-bought or homemade).
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Sprinkle of goat cheese (optional)

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan, add your onions and cook for about five minutes. 
  2. Add red peppers and beets. Stir to coat them. 
  3. Add your water and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. You should be able to pierce the beets with a fork. 
  4. Remove from heat and slightly cool. Add lemon juice, sea salt and pepper. 
  5. Then with a hand blender, pulse the soup until smooth. 
  6. Cover and place in the fridge overnight. You can spoon out a helping in the morning. Add goat cheese if you like. 

Are you a fan of bringing soup to work? Do you have any recipes of your own? Your comments below please...

 

Photo credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/7927684@N03/10598921744

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