Healthy soups for the winter


Food usually becomes the centre of attention with winter whetting your appetite.  When the ambient temperature drops, the body generates heat by increasing its basal metabolic rate in order to keep up the body temperature.  There are two ways in which this metabolic feat is achieved —— by increasing the breakdown of the body’s stored fat and by providing the body more fuel to burn in the form of food.  Thus, in cold weather, the feeding centre is stimulated, increasing the food intake.
Another important reason for a noted increase in hunger, is a marked drop in water intake during colder days. When the temperature is low, you don’t feel the need to drink more often, as you don’t feel thirsty again and again.  As the fluid intake decreases, you tend to confuse thirst with hunger, which leads to increased consumption of food and thus, a bigger appetite.  Less hydration has man disadvantages.. It is the underlying reason for cold sores, dry and flaky skin, itching, cracked lips and lacklustre hair.
If gulping down glasses of water doesn’t appeal to you, try increasing the intake of other fluids like milk, juices and caffeine-free tea like jasmine, chamomile and other natural flower extracts.  Soups are a healthy and delicious way to stay hydrated and warm during winter.  Soups need not be loaded with cream and grease; opt for recipes that contain chicken or vegetable broth and a variety of vegetables, beans and lean meat. Soups are a great way to incorporate nutritionally-rich foods in your diet.  Plus, they work as a wonderful option for picky eaters.
CHICKEN / TOFU LEMON CORIANDER SOUP
3037Ingredients : 1tsp olive oil ; 2 garlic cloves ; 1 green chilli (small, crushed) ; 1/2tsp oil ; 500ml vegetable or chicken stock ; 2tbsp coriander (finely chopped) ; 2tsp corn flour ; 1/2tsp fish sauce  ; 50g boneless chicken or tofu (small pieces) ; 50g carrots and beans (finely chopped) ; 1egg ; salt and lemon juice to taste
Method : Take 1tsp olive oil and sauté garlic and green chillies in it for 1minute.  Add tofu / chicken pieces and sauté further for 2mins Add stock and boil for 10mins.  Add salt.  Turn off the gas and add coriander leaves.  Just before serving, bring to a boil and add fish sauce.  To thicken the soup, take 2tsp corn flour in a bowl and dilute it in a little water.  Add this diluted corn flour to the soup. Add the beaten egg as well.  Add lemon juice as per taste.  (Vegetarians need to do away with fish sauce and egg, the soup tastes delicious without them too)  It is a healthy nourishing soup that tickles the taste buds with chillies and garlic and hydrates the body.
POTATO & MUSHROOM SOUP
exps27684_CW914167D37BIngredients : 2 boiled potatoes (medium, grated) ; 50g mushrooms (sliced) ; 1 to 2 garlic cloves (crushed) ; 2cups vegetable stock ; 1tsp celery (finely chopped) ; dash of butter ; salt and pepper taste.
Method : sauté garlic in a dash of butter.  Add grated potatoes, 1cup water and boil it till it becomes smooth.  Add the vegetable stock and sliced mushrooms.  Boil for 5 to 7mins.  Add salt to taste and coarsely-ground pepper.  Garnish with finely chopped celery.  This thick smooth soup is very filling and warms you on cold winter nights.
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