Stay away from flu with… soup

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By Tony Cheong

Soups are all the rage this season and if you are like No Baloney Tony, you enjoy a chill in the air and crisp nights, but you could do without the flu, blues and blahs that come with the change of season.

My medicine: Soup for everyone.

Soups can be healthy treats and decadent at the same time. They’re a quick,-filling, hot meal that offer plenty of benefits. 

The great thing about soup is that anything goes. You can throw in the kitchen sink.

By Tony Cheong

Soups are all the rage this season and if you are like No Baloney Tony, you enjoy a chill in the air and crisp nights, but you could do without the flu, blues and blahs that come with the change of season.

My medicine: Soup for everyone.

Soups can be healthy treats and decadent at the same time. They’re a quick,-filling, hot meal that offer plenty of benefits. 

The great thing about soup is that anything goes. You can throw in the kitchen sink.

Too busy?  Add a variety of ingredients into a slow cooker in the morning before you leave for work or school and return home to a delicious meal in the evening.

The healthiest soups include fresh, low-fat ingredients and a minimum of salt. Leave your leftovers in a pot and you might be surprised as you create new variations of recipes, since soup lends itself to experimentation.

The American Heart Association recommends adults consume eight or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. If you eat four and one half cups of soup, you will contribute to your veggie intake.

Almost any vegetable goes – creamy cauliflower, broccoli, squash, and you also have one of the highest antioxidants with tomato-based soups and let’s not forget beef or chicken for texture and taste.

Soups made with beans and lean meats such as fish provide lean protein and beans give you fiber.  Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces the risk of cancer, particularly prostate cancer, at least from what I have read over the years. 

Obviously, vegetables in soups contain a wealth of vitamins, such as A and C.  And, creamy soups provide calcium and vitamin D.

Advice for those eating out of the can: add frozen or fresh vegetables to increase your servings, and add more nutrients and flavor.

Soups are great meals if you are weight-conscious; you get lots of nutrients with minimum fat. 

Use lean meats to contribute to fat-free broths.  And, instead of using cream, use skim milk or my favorite alternatives: pureed cauliflower or white beans.  Another trick to further reduce the fat content in soup:  chill it.  Then, skim the fat off the top before reheating and serving.

 

My all-time favorite:  wonton soup. I have yet to find a wonton soup in Southern California meets my high standards, but I’m open to suggestions. 

I’m including a picture of my mom’s wonton soup.  Mama Cheong loads it with ground pork and chicken, and adds bok choy, carrots, baby corn, scallions, bamboo shoots and anything else she finds in the refrigerator and cupboards.  The flavor of the broth comes from the juices of the vegetables, a bit of soy, five spice and meats.

If you are looking for the best hot and sour soup in Orange County, you might want to Google “Thainakorn.” There eateries in Garden Grove and Stanton. I will continue to rave about that restaurant’s phenomenal recipe that blends sweet and sour with veggies to create a party in your mouth.

If you have questions, comments or restaurant suggestions for No Baloney Tony, email nobaloneytony@ymail.com.