Soup = A Hug in a Bowl - Nikki Hart on the health benefits of soup

I have always really loved soup. It has this simple ability to provide comforting nourishment when you are cold, tired or unwell.

Soup has certainly come a long way since the discovery of fire back in Neanderthal time. Once these people learnt to submerge food in water it allowed food to cook and taste better and, be more digestible. 

Then as time moved on and food scarcity became problematic in the 10thcentury, research shows that soup was used to provide filling and nutritious meals for the poor and the hungry.

But soup gained popularity for all people from around the 16thcentury in France when it was promoted as ‘restoratif’ (to restore your vitality).

As a nutritionist passionate about sustainability it is a pleasure to endorse the Waste-Not-Kitchen soups. The repurposed meat not only helps to reduce food wastage but also provides 2-3 x more protein than found in other retail soups. Packed with vegetables & tasting like ‘home made’ you can really call these soups ‘a hug in a bowl!’

So why is soup ‘a hug in a bowl’?

Collectively vitamins, carotenoids, and other trace elements found in mostly plant foods make up dietary antioxidants that are shown to be beneficial to humans.

In some cases antioxidants are actually higher in cooked than raw vegetables because cooking makes them more easily absorbed by the body – hence why soup is truly ‘a hug in a bowl’!

Research has shown that the varied ingredients in soups helps dampen down inflammation, which makes a throat sore so this is great news when you’re fighting off winter colds and flus.

How this soup is helping to save the planet and your health

Methane (Green House Gas – GHG) traps and absorbs heat and causes environmental damage to our planet.

Methane gas is not only released from ruminant livestock (sheep and cattle) and accounts for almost 1/3 of New Zealand’s total GHG emissions but when you throw away food, methane is also produced as the food decomposes in landfill. The bad news is that the average NZ family throws away almost 3 trolley loads of food every year!

By Re-purposing the meat into these soups (that would otherwise go to food wastage) we are helping to reduce methane release and creating a product that is good for your health.

The protective ingredients in our soups

You are more prone to illness and infection if you have a low iron intake. Those most at risk are pre-school children, menstruating women, pregnant and breastfeeding women and older adults. The iron contained in the beef and lamb repurposed in two out of the four soups, can help guard against iron deficiency.

Iron absorption is also boosted when consumed with vitamin C – that’s why potatoes, tomatoes, spinach and lemon were also added.

Another important antioxidant for your immune system is vitamin E – its found as vegetable oil, dark leafy vegetables and whole grains in these soups. 

And did you know that the brighter the colour of a fruit or vegetable, the higher the carotenoid value?

Some carotenoids are converted into vitamin A, which help to look after your bodies cells. The carrots, tomatoes and spinach found in the WasteNotKitchen soups are great examples of this antioxidant.

And onion and garlic in all the soups was not just added for flavour, these potent vegetables contain a sulphur compound called Allium, regarded to be vital for prevention against many cancers.