Is soup healthy? Let’s figure it out with an expert

Is soup healthy? Let's figure it out with an expert

First, second and compote is a gastronomic formula developed in Soviet times by the head of the Institute of Nutrition, Manuil Pevzner. But even today, some people cannot imagine a full meal without a first course. What is this – an established habit or a truly useful product that helps the body in general and the gastrointestinal tract in particular and warms you up on cold frosty days?

There are about 150 types of soups in the world. Almost all countries have their favorites. In France these are onion and bouillabaisse, tafelspitz in Austria, kalakeitto in Finland, gazpacho in Spain, kharcho in Georgia, tom yam in Thailand. In Europe, this is, of course, borscht, solyanka, rassolnik and cabbage soup. Europe is in second place in soup consumption after China. According to Roskontrol, about 30 billion servings of soup are eaten in our country every year (1).

European classics also respected first courses. Pushkin preferred potassium with cucumber pickle (the prototype of modern pickle), which his nanny prepared for him. Chekhov loved soups with meat broth. And Turgenev spoiled his loved ones with soup with giblets.

A nutritious and satisfying first course becomes especially in demand when autumn sets in: it’s getting colder outside, and everyone is heading to home kitchens or restaurants to warm themselves up with a bowl of hot soup.

Soups and health maintenance

Rich meat soups are useful for people who are recovering, and vegetable soups are recommended for those who are seriously ill. But it is not at all necessary to introduce soups into your diet: “It is much worse for the body if a person eats dry food, overeats, or gorges himself at night, than if he does not eat soup,” says Sergei Perfilov.

Season of hot soups in restaurants

With the onset of autumn, restaurants are updating their hot soup menus, in which you can find both completely new and everyone’s favorite items. Restaurateurs note that soups are among the items that are constantly popular among guests, but demand increases with the onset of the cold season. Most often, soups are ordered for lunch, even if it is a business meeting or negotiation.

“The two most popular soups are classics of the genre: homemade borscht with beef and sea bass and salmon soup. They were ordered more than 250 times in a month,” says Alexandra Mikhalkova, PR director of the Vanil restaurant. — This season, two new autumn soups have appeared on our menu, seemingly opposite in everything. For the lentil soup, chef Alexey Belikov took duck broth as a basis – a rich smoked dominant, and spicy lentils along with root vegetables are responsible for making the soup, on the one hand, hearty, and on the other, light. The secret of corn soup is in the variety of the central ingredient. Alexey prepared three versions of this creamy cream soup until he found the ideal sweet version that would successfully complement stracciatella and Far Eastern crab meat.”

Pumpkin cream soup,  "Bread factory No. 1"

Pumpkin cream soup, “Bread Factory No. 1”

The menu at LILA Restaurant includes artichoke soup by brand chef of the gt holding Regis Trigel, which has been popular for several seasons. A delicate cream soup based on vegetable broth is prepared from pickled artichokes, Jerusalem artichoke and shallots. When serving, pour into a plate containing cheese mousse, decorated with truffle slices. Crispy brioche with aromatic truffle cream is served on a separate plate, which is decorated with watercress and flowers.

Artichoke soup, LILA Restaurant

Artichoke soup, LILA Restaurant

How to use soups to help and not harm the body

Chefs are always on the move, trying, studying, inventing something new, but they also have their favorites among soups. “My heart belongs to French onion soup,” says Alexey Belikov. “Several years ago, I spent my entire vacation in Paris tasting this particular dish in different establishments in the city: figuring out what the ideal taste should be. And I calculated, judging by the fact that this is not the most classic dish in our country in third place in terms of the number of orders.”

“I love soups, I try them with interest in other establishments, and I enjoy cooking them myself, experimenting, and inventing original dishes,” says Ivan Mikhailov. “In our house, soup is always on the table, it’s been that way since childhood.” So I would call my favorite soup homemade soup, cabbage soup made from young nettles, which my mother prepares according to her own family recipe. It is based on beef broth made from meat and bones. You need to add potatoes, onions, carrots, but the character of the soup is created by young nettles. It replaces both herbs and spices in this dish. It has a special characteristic aroma and a fantastic taste, which gives the soup its originality.”

Truth or Myth: 7 Questions for a Doctor

Eating the first is necessary for the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Truth or myth?

This is most likely true, since first courses stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and prepare the digestive organs for effective digestion of the main and second courses, accelerate intestinal motility and the absorption of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Soups are good for the stomach. Truth or myth?

Most likely true, but subject to their variety and compliance with the temperature regime of the dish. The speed at which we eat also matters. Remember that the slower we eat, the more thoroughly we chew, making the work of the gastrointestinal secretion organs easier.

However, given the huge number of first courses and the variety of recipes, first courses can also be a provocateur of secretory disorders.

If you don’t eat the first, gastritis will develop. Truth or myth?

Rather a myth, since the causes of gastritis are varied. However, the truth is that the risks of developing gastritis with a regular, proper and balanced diet are significantly reduced, and first courses can safely be attributed to just such a diet.

Soups help in losing weight. Truth or myth?

This is most likely true if the soups are dietary, vegetable, and if they are prepared in second broths using low-fat varieties of fish and poultry.

During the cold season, it is better to warm up with hot soups. Truth or myth?

Rather a myth, since eating hot soups is not very healthy, and this recommendation does not depend on the time of year. However, there is some truth in this expression, since soups based on fatty meats and fish have high energy value and are therefore most in demand during the cold season. Such broths are, of course, consumed warmer than summer soups.

The power is in the soup. Truth or myth?

Most likely true, since this is the most balanced dish. It is important that the soup recipe, and therefore the ingredients, can be selected taking into account the individual needs and current needs of a person. Moreover, soups can be attributed to the very strong national and cultural traditions of our people, and in traditions lies all the strength.