If you’re struggling to find an easy low-fat, low-cost lunch that’s going to be comforting and warming in the cold winter months, then may I suggest soup?
I used to think I hated soup, and then had a moment last winter when I really fancied it, so bought some and realised that I don’t hate it at ALL. I’m not that keen on how my mother makes it, sure, and I've got incredibly lazy and hardly cook any more, but the fresh pots that you can buy from supermarkets, Covent Garden Soup Co and Marks & Spencer are brilliant. They’re also an AMAZING lunch if you’re dieting, so if you work somewhere with access to a microwave, get some soup down you!
Here are some of the benefits of soup…
It keeps you fuller for longer.
Science has spoken! Tests were carried out on two groups of people – the first ate a meal with water, the second ate the same meal & water turned into soup. The second group took twice the time to get hungry.
This is because when you eat a meal with water, the water leaves your system first, taking your stomach from full to half-full. When you eat soup – which has a lot of water in it – your system is forced to process it differently. Because the water is combined it can’t just remove that instantly, so the body has to work harder to digest the entire meal at once – meaning that your stomach physically does stay fuller for longer. Here is an article about it!
It’s REALLY low calorie and low fat.
There are very few soups on offer in the supermarkets that are over 5% fat, and most are under 200 calories for half the carton. There are even some that are 200 calories for the whole carton – such as Covent Garden Leek & Potato which is really filling. So if you know you’re going to have a naughty dinner, or are making up for overeating the day before, it’s a brilliant, saintly lunch that still tastes good. It even has CREAM in it – and it still under 5% fat.
There are loads of varieties.
Flipping LOADS. My favourites are the soups with lots of bits in them – I love M&S Moroccan Chicken, Covent Garden’s Thai Chicken & Rice, Sainsbury’s Chicken Laksa. Look out for ones that include potatoes or other carbs as they’ll be thicker and more filling – Leek & Potato, Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash, etc.
A carton of soup typically costs around £2-3 which should cover lunch for two days. A lot of places do offers at this time of year – Covent Garden is £1 in some places, or 3 for 2. This basically means you can get lunch for the week sorted for less than a fiver. Bargain!
Soup is even cheaper to make, of course! Check out some of the recipes we've posted here in the past...