What another beautiful day folks and what a great day to eat some soup! I did just say that, and I'll give you a little history on why. The word "restaurant" comes from the french word restaurer, which means to restore. Beginning in the 16th century the word "restorative" was used to describe rich and highly flavoured soups or stews capable of restoring lost strength and vitality. In other words our modern day restaurant industry was born from sipping soup. Restoratives were the first items on restaurant menus since Boulanger's Restaurant in the 18th century. Broth (Pot-au-feu), bouillon and consume all began in 18th century restaurants, and it was classic French cuisine that generated many of the soups we love today. So in a way, you can think of every soup you sip today as sipping the founding part of our culinary history.
If you're not convinced yet about downing a bowl of soup on a hot summer day then here are a few more things to consider;
1) Soups are very easy to digest and aid in healing of the digestive tract. The ample amounts of nutrients found in soups, due to their usually larger varieties of vegetables, are readily absorbed and assimilated in the body.
2) Soups save you money. Unless you're eating lobster bisque on a regular basis, soups generally cost significantly less than other meals, and you can make so many different combinations. Soups are one of the best ways to utilize leftovers in the fridge or use your fresh seasonal garden vegetables. So take this into consideration; if you or your family plan on taking a vacation this summer, why not add soup regularly to your meal plan in advance and save yourself some money to go towards that sweet vacation.
3) Soups are convenient. If you make a large batch, it's so easy to portion and freeze so when those unexpected family members call you 30 minutes out of town to tell you they're coming over, you whip out the soup, toss in a pot and in less than ten minutes you impress your guests with your home cooking skills. Plus if your house is not smelling so fresh because you weren't expecting company, the aromas of the soup will cover that too.
4) Soups are an easy way of utilizing all those wonderful nutritional seasonal veggies. If you're like me, your garden sometimes produces more fresh veggies than can be eaten in a day. Usually I give some of them away, but you can easily use your over-abundance to make health hearty, whole food soups.
5) Soups help you feel cool. Sorry I don't mean that they will help you in your coolness level with your friends, but ever wonder why your mom told you to drink hot tea in the summer? Well, hot soup has the same effect. It helps your body feel cooler. If it's just way too hot out, don't worry, you can always have a chilled soup, like gazpacho, too.
So there you go, that is why I love to make and eat soup.
Tanya is a whole foods chef and business owner of a whole foods catering service - Artisan Food Co. She is currently completing holistic nutrition and is an advocate for whole body living.