In the Kitchen

Warm up with soup for breakfast

By Patricia West-Barker
For The Taos News
Posted 1/3/19

That’s right — soup! And there’s no better time to take a new look at your morning ritual than at the start of a new year.

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In the Kitchen

Warm up with soup for breakfast

Posted

It’s cold and dark out there, and sometimes snowy too. What better way to start the day than with a fragrant, warming bowl of — soup?

That’s right — soup! And there’s no better time to take a new look at your morning ritual than at the start of a new year.

While eating soup for breakfast may sound strange here in North America, we are, in fact, one of the few countries in the world that does not have a breakfast soup tradition.

In the Andes and some other parts of South America, people break their fast with caldo de costilla, a chunky stew of beef ribs, potatoes and onions; in Tunisia, chickpea-based lablabi flavored with spicy harissa starts the day. Turks like a hearty bowl of bulgar and red lentils called ezogelin corbasi while nothing hits the spot in Burma like a serving of mohinga, a soup rich with rice noodles and fish.

In Japan, miso soup plays a key role in a traditional Japanese breakfast while pho is a favorite in Vietnam. In China, congee — a savory porridge made from rice or millet that’s been cooked in a rich broth and topped with bits of pork, tofu, veggies or pickles is a morning favorite.

Here are three good reasons to have a warming bowl of soup for breakfast:

It’s fast. You can prepare pot of soup over the weekend, divide it into individual portions, and let it sit in your refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to serve it. Breakfast will be ready to go within minutes — a soup always tastes better when the flavors have had a chance to mellow. At its most basic, breakfast soup can be a simple mug of nourishing bone broth — homemade or picked up ready-to-serve at the market.

It’s adaptable. Typical American breakfasts are based on cereals, such as oats or wheat, found in toast, pancakes, muffins, bagels or waffles. But soups can fit nicely into a grain or gluten-free or a low-carb diet by leaving out the beans, noodles and rice. For a keto or paleo eating plan, you can up the protein and fat ratio with a rich, meaty broth, meats or sausage and cheese.

Or, if you would miss your morning eggs, you can drop a fried egg on the top of the bowl, poach an egg in the same pot or beat a raw egg and stir it into the simmering broth to create the fine ribbons that thicken a Greek avgolemono soup.

Short on time? Can’t face food first thing in the morning? Fill a thermos with hot soup and take it with you. Breakfast will be ready when you are.

It’s nutritious. Soup can wake you up and kick-start your nutrition for the day by increasing your intake of protein, veggies or fiber. Whatever nutrients you are usually lacking can be incorporated into a pot of soup. For more healing power, add restorative spices, such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, chile or chile oil.

North America may not have a soup-for-breakfast tradition, but Mexico and Northern New Mexico do: menudo helps many people start the day after a long, hard night. If you can’t face tripe in the morning, try a breakfast posole, made vegan-, vegetarian- or carnivore-style, with or without pork or beef, maybe topped with an egg and freshened with a sprinkling of freshly chopped radish, onion or cilantro.

So why not plan ahead and make a resolution to try a fast, light bowl of soup for breakfast sometime this month? You have nothing to lose but an old breakfast habit.

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