Like celebrity crushes, food trends come and go with each new season. It seems like every time we open our email we’re blasted with the latest and greatest food system that promises, if we follow their plan to a T, we’ll be granted glowing skin, shiny hair, endless energy and, of course, lose all of the extra pounds we’ve accumulated over a lifetime of not following their diet.
That’s not to say all food trends are bad or that there aren’t many we hope stick around! The increased interest in probiotics – live and active cultured foods – for one, is a trend we hope never dies (see what we did there?!). Or the trend in choosing whole foods, eating locally, buying sustainable, and being a conscious consumer overall. We hope those movements become permanent fixtures in the global food landscape.
But back to trends. While cruising through our inboxes, we clicked upon a new food trend that is supposedly sweeping the nation and is the next big thing in on-the-go eating. The trend is Souping.
What Exactly Is Souping?
Souping is quite simple in practice and exactly what the name says it is (sort of). Simply, in place of solid foods during meals, you consume soup. The number of meals you consume as soup each day varies depending on how strictly you’re adhereing to a “souping” diet – some people choose to consume only one meal (which sounds like a normal diet), while other choose to consume only soup for meals.
The origins of the Souping movement are typically credited to a café in Los Angeles called Soupure, shelf stable (re: available outside of LA) products are rapidly hitting the shelves. “But why,” we ask our selves?
The Power of Soup
Like juicing, one of the ideas behind a soup diet is that it give your body and digestive system a chance to rest and reset.* Souping is considered by some to be superior to juicing, because unlike juices, which are typically high in sugar and contain no fiber, soups are blended whole fruits and vegetables. This allows soups to be more satiating, and generally lower in calories, than juices.
Like so many other trends or fad diets, souping companies and brands promise glowing skin, better digestion, healthy weight and an overall sense of wellbeing from drinking their product. And while we totally stand behind the power of food to help you live a better life, we believe in balance. As such, here are our pros and cons of souping:
- Soups contain both fruits and vegetables and are often veggie heavy, meaning you get more nutrients in your diet
- Soups are full of fiber, which help keep you full and regulate your blood sugar (psst: our Kefir with Oats packs 3 grams of fiber per serving!)
- Soups often contain high-fiber vegan proteins (such as oats, lentils or beans), which provides more complete nutrition to the drinker
- With a soup diet, you might end up missing out on healthy fat sources. Consider adding nuts, seeds, heart-healthy oils or avocado to your soup blend
- You miss out on the “chewing effect,” and studies show that chewing can help you feel more satisfied and feel full longer (meaning you avoid the candy later)
- It’s expensive: many souping protocols cost between $55-80 per day for prepared soups. You can easily make your own soups at home for a week with that kind of cash!
Better for Your Belly
One of our favorite aspects of a souping diet, or a diet that includes soup, is the likelihood that more veggies will be consumed by the dieter. Veggies not only help you feel good, they also help you look good and keep your insides on track. In the warm summer months, nothing speaks to us, in terms of taste and ease, then a quick, no-cook, blended kefir soup. With the abundance of zucchini at our local farmers markets, plus the endless fields of cucumbers, we came up with a Probiotic Cucumber Basil Zucchini Gazpacho we were waiting for the perfect time to share with you. So here you go! Feel free to season and spice as you wish – the recipe is pretty foolproof!
Find more fresh probiotic soups, suitable for any season, in our Recipe archive (we’re especially fond of our Cucumber Avocado Soup and our cold Russian Okroshka). Even more, if you don’t have a blender but are looking for a savory treat that satisfies your hunger, check out our exclusive line of Veggie Kefir!
Probiotic Cucumber Basil Zucchini Gazpacho
Clean, light and completely refreshing, our Probiotic Cucumber Basil Zucchini Gazpacho is a cold summer soup that beats the heat. Made with fresh seasonal veggies, it’s packed with vitamins, minerals and, of course, belly-balancing probiotics.
- ¾ cup Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Kefir (sub low-fat, if desired), plus more for serving
- 2 zucchini, seeded and chopped
- 3 cucumbers, seeded and sliced
- 4 scallions, chopped
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2/3 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper, plus more for serving
Prepare all vegetables as directed. Add zucchini, cucumber, scallions, fresh basil, lemon juice, and olive oil to a blender. Blend until smooth.
Add ¾ cup Lifeway Original Kefir, one teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of pepper. Blend until just combined.
Pour mixture into bowls and top with remaining kefir, basil, salt and black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve cold and enjoy!
*While these claims aren’t generally supported by medical professionals or certified nutrition experts, there’s nothing wrong with going for a liquid meal here and there, providing you consult with your health practitioner before approaching a more strict souping regimen. In short, talk to your health care provider before making changes to your diet.