I don't know if you've ever eaten at one of those restaurants which serve a soup before anything else. The local Chinese and Japanese restaurants all include soup as part of the meal. My favorite Japanese restaurant serves a wonderful miso soup before the rest of the meal.
When I'm sitting at the airport waiting for my flight, friends order a Chinese meal, they give me the soup because they don't like it. But have you ever wondered why soup is served first many places?
There are several reasons including some that are scientifically based. First off, when a person consumes a low calorie soup as the first course, they are more likely to eat twenty percent less than without it because it partially fills a person up. Low calorie is defined as not being creme based. The added cream adds calories and will not help a person lose weight. For the best results there should be about 15 minutes between when the soup is served and the next course so your body has a chance to begin digesting the soup.
There are other reasons to have soup as part of a meal. I love hot soup on a cold night because it warms me up. Soup is considered a comfort food. I don't know about you but when I was growing up and sick, my mother would serve chicken noodle soup to help us feel better. Now that I'm an adult, I enjoy a cup of miso soup whenever I'm sick because I am a vegetarian and don't eat meat or meat based stocks anymore.
Another good thing about soup is that it is a great way to increase your vegetable intake by adding tons of vegetables to your soup. If I want a creamed soup, I don't add milk or cream, I use my immersion blender to blend it all up for a creamed soup. I actually prefer the richer flavors.
As mentioned earlier, it helps you feel fuller so you eat less of other foods and lose weight. Its easy to make even for the person who can't cook. My mother was never a gourmet cook but she'd make soup over the weekend by throwing leftovers into a broth and serving it with hot bread and butter. She called it "Surprise Soup" because it could have anything in it from left over rice and stir fry to a few pieces of tongue and baked potatoes.
Another advantage to eating soup on a regular basis is that it helps people stay hydrated. The soup provides liquid in a easily used form so you don't have to drink each day to meet the minimum requirement. Furthermore, soups retain vitamins and minerals because you do not throw the cooking liquid out. It stays in the soup so you use the vitamins and minerals when you eat the soup.
In addition, most soups are low in calories but high in fiber which benefits your body. The best thing I like about soup is that it lasts a couple of meals and if I want, I can freeze the extra and eat it at a later date. I can also make a small bit of soup out of the little bit of veggies I have left over just before my new box of fruits and veggies arrive or I can make a huge pot for 32 people, it just depends.
Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.