Friday, February 11, 2011

Can soup be a complete meal?

Most of us consider soups as appetizers or as the first dish in a series of courses to come. We also relegate soups to sick days, or when the weather is very cold. But did you know soups can be a complete meal by itself?
What does a good and healthy meal constitute of? A meal has to have the perfect blend of carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber, along with the necessary nutrients and vitamins. This translates to the “dal-roti-chaval” or the “roti-subji-dal-raita” meals in the North, and the “idly-sambar” or the “rice-curry-sambar-yoghurt” meals in the South. These meals have the time and tested ingredients – dals, vegetables, wheat/grains, and fresh curd – that is perfect for anyone, at any time of the day.
So how can soups become a complete meal by itself? It can, and it should. As Indians become more obese, and are faced with more options, and bigger serving sizes in restaurants, the need of the hour is to make our meals more simple. And healthy.
Soups are the perfect solution to today’s housewife who has multiple responsibilities inside and outside the home for her family, kids, career, friends and related social activities. Whether you are strapped for time, or need to lose weight, or even maintain a healthy lifestyle, soups are the perfect solution for meal times.
By adding fresh vegetables, herbs and spices, vegetable stock, and basic seasonings like salt & pepper, a healthy, fat free meal is ready for you and your family. Into this mix, if you add dal, or cooked channa or rajma, you end up with a soup that has all the essential ingredients for a complete meal. Toast a couple of slices of wheat bread, cut it up into small bits, and add it to your soup to make it more hearty and healthy.
It is time to change our attitude towards soups. It is time to consider soups as a complete, perfect meal by itself.

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