When I was growing up in the south of France, my mother would always cook a lot of food. Every single meal started with a first course (out of 4!), which was always either salad or soup.
Starting with a “first-course” soup is great. It brings much-needed water to your body and whets your appetite for the rest of the meal. Soup is often vegetable-based, or at least vegetable-rich, which adds necessary fiber to your diet. In the winter, it is also a great comfort food, warming up your body and soul. There is a reason why soup is often recommended when you’re sick. It’s healing.
My mom would make “greens” soup (any in-season leafy greens), leek soup, vegetable soup, mushroom soup, chicken noodle soup (with whole-grain pasta and a lot of veggies) and an awesome garlic soup that is also a hangover remedy. Yes.
But beware. Soups are not always healthy. I received this question from a reader this week:
QUESTION: Are soups healthy? I often choose a soup when I eat out, but a friend of mine told me restaurant soups should be avoided. Why?
Mark W. of Nebraska
ANSWER: As always, there’s soup. And then there’s soup. Let me clarify this. You always hear me say that cooking at home is the very best way to control what you put into your body temple, and the key to losing a ton of weight, all while enjoying great food.
Make your homemade soup from scratch with healthy, wholesome ingredients and you’re ABS-O-LUTE-LY on your way to the sexy body of your dreams. Eat More, Burn More, if you will. And trust me, making fat-burning soup is a 15-minute deal.
But restaurants don’t care about your body temple.
That’s why they rarely make soup from scratch. They buy soup already made (a processed, high-carb sodium bomb!), or they load it with unhealthy ingredients such as white flour or cornstarch. Nobody wants to eat that.
The average cup of soup at a restaurant contains 800 milligrams of sodium.
If you want to eat soup in a restaurant, ask them these 2 questions:
#1 Do you make your soup from scratch?
#2 Do you use flour or cornstarch in it?
If the answer is “yes” to #1 and “no” to #2, just go for it, but avoid cheesy or creamy soups. In any other case, choose a salad or just walk out.
But again, the very best is to make soup from scratch in the comfort of your own home, and there are plenty of recipes in my book Eat More, Burn More. I encourage you to make your own.
This is Chef Gui, looking out for you so that you can reach your most ambitious weight loss goals.
PS: (Yummy Food Photos Alert!) Did you see my new, flashy website?