When lunchtime rolls around or afternoon hunger kicks in over winter, our bodies often crave something hearty and nourishing. A warming soup or toasted sandwich are two of my favourite cold weather meals. Here are my tips for packing soups and toasties with ingredients that’ll make your tastebuds and immune system happy.
A hearty soup is the perfect winter go-to, and with the right ingredients it can be a nourishing, immunity-boosting meal. Here are some essential elements to include:
- Lots of vegetables. Adding plenty of vegetables is an easy way to pack in the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Protein. Lean meats and bones are a great source of protein for aiding the immune system, muscle building and recovery, as well as for satiety (that comforting feeling of fullness and satisfaction). Satiety is particularly important over winter when we are indoors a lot more, and often eating for comfort or to keep warm. For a vegetarian option, try adding different legumes like chickpeas or lentils.
- Herbs and spices. Add warming herbs and spices like turmeric and ginger to your soups, and get more immunity-boosting benefits.
- Complex carbohydrates. Soups containing complex carbohydrates can be a great source of energy. Try adding barley, rice, pasta, legumes, corn, sweet potato or potato, or serve with a slice of wholegrain bread.
The liquid of soup and stock also helps keep us hydrated – we sometimes forget about hydration during winter but it’s still important, particularly if you work in a heated office where evaporation and loss of water through our skin occurs.