In a new series of blogs for 2017 we’re bringing food operators the latest trends for the on-the-go food market. From Acai bowls and Poke, to Bao burgers and rolled ice-cream – we’ll be taking a close look at the must-have dishes essential for any 2017 take-out menu; and we’ll be exploring why these dishes have risen to popularity so quickly.
The New York Times referred to souping as the ‘new juicing’. Instead of drinking fruit and vegetable juices to cleanse, detox or lose weight — people are now consuming blended soups for a set number of days instead. Hoping that it will help them lose weight as effectively as juicing did, but with the added perks of the soup being more filling and nutritious.
The concept is simple — instead of consuming mostly sweetened versions of the kale and carrot and beet concoctions, savoury ingredients are thrown into the mix, like chicken broth and cauliflower puree. In soup all the beneficial properties of pulses and vegetables, proteins, vitamins and the like are blended together to create an extremely healthy and economical meal. Unlike juice, the sugar content is provided by the complex carbohydrate variety and not simple fruit sugar.
Souping is different than juicing in that it doesn’t remove the fibre. Fibre is one of the things that help keep us feeling full longer, not to mention the benefits it provides like healthy digestion. Eaten slowly souping results in a pleasing sensation of fullness.
Souping also can include other ingredients like legumes and nuts, providing nutrients like healthy fats and protein. And because you’re consuming this all in the form of soup — the total volume of liquid alone will make you feel fuller on less calories.
Research published in the journal Appetite showed that subjects who ate a low-calorie soup ahead of their main meal consumed 20 percent fewer calories at that meal and in turn lost weight.
But not all soup is healthy, cream-based options tend to be loaded with saturated fat and calories, and these should be avoided. Likewise, it’s not healthy to consume too little in the way of calories; and a sustained period of souping, a 100% liquid diet – without any additional food intake, should be carefully planned ahead. There’s plenty of advice to be found online, and a plethora of books too – from Power Souping by Rachel Beller to Soupologie by Stephen Argent.
One piece of guidance, is that to keep a balanced diet, it’s recommended to try and vary the colours of your soup from day to day. For example, have a green soup one day followed by an orange soup another. That way you are more likely to get a healthy balance of unique vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Souping has been voted one of the most popular emerging diet trends, and it’s taking the nation by storm. With celebrities swearing by it and health professionals jumping on the bandwagon too.
Quick to respond to this opportunity, the restaurant sector has firmly grasped the spoon; launching menus with steaming, ready-to-eat bowlfuls of soup at centre stage. Soup is a great fit for the growing casual dining sector – where quick service meals, often eaten on the go, have a focus on health and wellbeing.
In the UK, Nincomsoup is a fast casual diner specialising in global soups, freshly squeezed juices, and speciality coffee. Founded by two brothers Ben and Tom Page-Phillips, they provide a healthy alternative to the usual fast food suspects. Their menu changes daily because they believe the key to a healthy diet is a varied diet. They have a rotational menu that pulls from more than 100 soup recipes including a fish soup – Lombok Fish Stew and a Pulse soup – Gypsy Chickpea.
Abel & Cole, who bring organic vegetable boxes straight to their customer’s door, currently offer a ‘Superb Souping Box, Organic’ for £15.25 – all the ingredients you’d need to make three seasonal, healthy soups each week.
In a quick service dining environment you’ll find soup being eaten from china bowls with ‘proper’ spoons, or deep card containers with plastic or wooden spoons, and always with a napkin on the side for little spillages. On-the-go demands for food packaging are a bit different; for a soup that can be slurped on the train or carried to the office desk, a more portable option is required.
Like traditional beverages, soup on the go requires good insulation (to keep it hot and the hands cool) and a snug fitting lid (to prevent liquid escaping that could result in a burn) – these properties are of the upmost importance. Souper containers, in popular Kraft colour, and DELIcious food containers, displaying the ‘delicious’ messaging, are ideal for presenting soup options to your customers.
At Bunzl Catering Supplies we are the experts in food packaging that travels well – if this blog has inspired you to put soup on your menu, why don’t you give us a call to discuss your packaging options first?