Soup is a healthy, filling meal option that can help you manage your weight, says nutritionist Angela Dowden. Make it a little bit more fun with these healthy additions….

pimp-your-soup

Herbs

A quick sprinkle of fresh herbs adds instant life and flavour to any soup. Most, like parsley, basil and rosemary are providers of healthy antioxidants and immune-boosting vitamin C.

Greek yogurt

A swirl of Greek yogurt tastes great with spicy soups and bumps up protein and calcium content. Use 0% fat yogurt if you’re trying to lose weight.

Parmesan

Just 10g (a dessert-spoon) of grated Parmesan sprinkled over your soup adds an eighth of the daily requirement of bone-building calcium and only 42 calories. It’s lovely on butternut squash or French onion soup!

Leafy greens

Add extra fibre, Vitamin C and colour to canned vegetable or bean soups with spinach, thinly sliced chopped kale or rocket.

Egg

Try soft poaching an egg in Asian style soups or drizzle in a whisked egg simmering for egg-drop-style. Eggs add extra protein and vitamins, and they make the soup even more filling.

Meat

Leftover shredded chicken lamb or pork adds protein and bulk, turning your soup into a proper meal.

Seaweed sprinkle

Seaweed adds a boost of iodine (important for making thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism) and anemia-protective iron. Try Clearspring Green Nori Sprinkle, which adds a savory kick to green soups £1.99 for 20g from health stores or direct from clearspring.co.uk.

Whole grains

Leftover cooked whole-wheat pasta or brown rice, adds texture and fibre and makes your soup fill you up for longer.

Squeeze of lemon

Vitamin C-rich lemon juice lifts the flavour and adds delicious tanginess to bean, chicken or oxtail soups.

Spring onions

A quick and simple garnish of finely sliced spring onion tastes great on pea or potato soups. Spring onions provide folic acid (vital in pregnancy) and vitamin C.

Toasted pumpkin seed

Rich in iron and zinc (for healthy skin and a strong immune system), pumpkin seeds add a bit of crunch when used as a soup garnish. Use to garnish thick and hearty squash, carrot and tomato soups.

Read more…