Warm up with soup for break­fast

The Taos News - - IN THE KITCHEN - By Pa­tri­cia West-Barker

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-toserve 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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