Hydrate with Healthy Soups this Winter

Ms. Nasim Ara    17-01-2016 Consult

Soup is a wonderful food. It is comforting, easy to prepare and filling. It can warm the chill of a cool winter day. The chilly winter demands the need for something hot and soups are a wonderful option to indulge in.

In winter our appetite increases and food usually becomes the centre of attention. When temperature drops, the body generates heat by increasing its basal metabolic rate in order to keep up the body temperature. This metabolic deed is achieved in two ways: by increasing process of body's store fat to breakdown, and by providing the body more fuel to burn in the form of food. Hence, in winters, the feeding centre is stimulated, increasing the food intake. Another important reason for increased hunger is due to the drop in water intake during cold days. When the temperature is low, we do not really feel the need to drink more often, as we don't feel thirsty. As the fluid intake reduces, most of the people tend to confuse thirst with hunger which leads to increased consumption of food, and thus a bigger appetite. So, focus on keeping the fluid intake constant throughout the year and not just in summer. Less hydration has many disadvantages. It is the main reason for dry and flaky skin, itching, cracked lips, cold sores and lustreless hair.

If drinking too many glasses of water does not appeal you, then try increasing the intake of other liquids like milk, juices, caffeine free drinks etc. Do remember that too much caffeinated beverages are never counted as liquid intake; instead they dehydrate water from the system.

Soups are a healthy and delicious way to stay hydrated during winter and simple way to ingest generous amount of health-promoting vegetables. Soup doesn't have to be rich and creamy to be satisfying, though. Soups are often full of nutrient-dense vegetables, legumes, and other fibre-filled ingredients that combine to deliver appealing textures and great flavours. Most soups help you obtain a variety of nutrients and the many health-promoting compounds found in vegetables in one bowl. The most healthful, nutrient-dense soups are those that use a basic broth/stock, a lean protein source (lean meat, fish, or beans/legumes), and a variety of vegetables. Limit cream-based soups, or cheese-topped soups, which are calorie-laden and are not considered as healthful.

Chicken Clear Soup - This recipe makes 2 servings.


1 bay leaf, 2 cinnamon, 2 cardamom, 3 cloves

1 tsp peppercorns

1 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp ginger paste, 1 tsp garlic paste

3 - 4 No. Green chillies

1 No. Onion, 1 No. Carrot

1/4th cup cabbage

Chicken bones - 150gms

Salt to taste

Boneless chicken pieces - 100gms

Coriander leaves - a bunch

Lemon juice - 2 tsp


- In a pressure cooker take bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, pepper corns, coriander seeds, ginger, garlic, green chillies, onions, carrot, cabbage, chicken bones and water.

- Also add salt and pressure cook for 5 whistles.

- After the whistles remove the lid and strain out the water after removing the chicken bone.

- Switch on the flame and keep this for cooking by adding few boneless chicken pieces.

- Boil for another 5-10min then add coriander and lemon juice.

- Switch off the flame and serve hot in a soup bowl.

Mixed Vegetable Clear Soup - This recipe makes 4 servings.


1/4 cup finely chopped cauliflower

1/4 cup finely chopped carrot

1/4 cup finely chopped cabbage

1/4 cup finely chopped tomatoes

1/4 cup finely chopped capsicum

1 tsp oil

2 tsp finely chopped garlic (lehsun)

1 tsp finely chopped ginger (adrak)

1 tsp finely chopped green chillies

Salt and freshly ground black pepper (kalimirch) to taste

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves (phudina)

2 tbsp finely coriander (dhania)

2 tsp lemon juice


- Heat the oil in a wok or a deep non-stick pan; add the garlic, ginger and green chillies and saute on medium flame.

- Add all the vegetables and saute on a medium flame for 2 minutes.

- Add 3 cups of hot water, salt and pepper, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 3 minutes, while stirring occasionally.

- Remove from the flame, add the mint leaves, coriander and lemon juice and mix well.

- Serve immediately.