There is nothing as comforting as sipping a steaming soup on a cold winter night. It not only warms your body but also helps keep your calorie intake in check.

Research has shown that soup for dinner is a sure-fire method of healthy weight loss. Since soups take longer to eat, your brain gets more time to register that you are full. Plus, they are packed with fibre and essential nutrients that raise your immunity to fight the flu viruses that float around this season.

But you don’t need to stomach the tasteless concoctions made by mixing hot water with the soup powders available on the market. Combine these two simple recipes with crusty wholemeal bread for a filling and healthy meal.

Pumpkin soup

hearty and hot soups - Pumpkin SoupThe good old kaddu lends itself beautifully to the soup. It’s mildly sweet flesh contains one of the richest supplies of carotenoids (anti-cancer agents) known to man. It is also among the few vegetarian sources of vitamin B12.

Ingredients

1 onion (coarsely chopped)

1 tomato (coarsely chopped)

2 cloves garlic

200 gm red pumpkin (diced)

1 bay leaf

4/5 peppercorns

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

Method

Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add the bay leaf and peppercorns. Put garlic, onions and tomato. Sauté for two minutes. Add pumpkin pieces and sauté for 30 seconds. Add four cups water and pressure cook until one whistle is given out. Strain excess stock and set aside Puree the vegetables in a mixer Add the reserved stock to the puree to make a thick soup. Add a dash of fresh cream if you like before serving.


Chunky vegetable souphearty and hot soups - Chunky Veg Soup

The vegetables in this soup give you a healthy dose of fibre, vitamins and minerals. You are also tricked into believing you have “eaten” something without added calories.

Ingredients

One cup of diced vegetables (carrots, beans, peas and cauliflower)

One tablespoon olive oil

One and a half teaspoon wheat flour

Half teaspoon grated ginger

Three-four tablespoons of toned milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Heat the oil in a pan. Add ginger and cook for a few seconds. Put in the flour and stir till it turns golden brown. Add the vegetables and sauté for a minute. Add two cups of water. Let the vegetables cook in the water for the next ten minutes on low flame. Add salt, pepper and milk. Continue to cook for two-three minutes. Serve with whole wheat toast for a complete meal.

Pair your soup with sides to make it a filling meal. Try baked potatoes, roasted beans, pan-seared veggies, grilled fish, couscous/quinoa salad or a light sandwich.

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Written by Alpa Momaya

Alpa Momaya

You are what you eat, believes Alpa Momaya. So with the right diet, anyone can achieve optimal mental, physical and spiritual health.

Alpa has first-hand knowledge of this – she battled various issues with her own health and weight, but by incorporating good eating habits and regular exercise, she has reclaimed her fitness levels today. She offers the advice she took to HealthifyMe users — make the right lifestyle choices daily, sticking to a nutritious diet, regular exercise and adequate sleep. Don’t think of it as having to solve a problem, instead see it as a way to achieve long and happy life.

After a PG diploma in dietetics from Mumbai University, Alpa did a diploma in holistic nutrition in Canada and is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner today. Along with having worked in various weight-loss clinics and as a consultant for a natural pharmacy, she’s helped her family control ailments like diabetes and hypertension, and hopes to help her HealthifyMe clients do the same. “I can proudly say my daughter happily eats any vegetable or fruit without ever making a face,” Alpa claims, and she is determined that those who consult her will go back similarly impressed.

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