Two summers ago, I started doing a little bit of meal prep on Sundays. I spent an hour building a salad bar in the fridge (hat tip to David Burtka for the brilliant idea). My process went a little like this: I washed a couple of heads of lettuce and mixed them together, tucking them into sealable bags with paper towels to wick away moisture. I shredded beets, carrots and radishes in my food processor. I made a homemade dressing or two (my fan favorite recipe for Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette was frequently shaken up). It made assembling salads at lunchtime a cinch—and both my husband and I dramatically increased our intake of vegetables. But when it started snowing, we craved something warm.
That's when my husband, Dan, said, "Why don't we start making a big batch of soup on Sundays?" And that, my friends, is when Soup Sunday was born.
I'm sure we're not the first people to do this, but, boy, is it a good idea. I make a giant batch of soup almost every Sunday afternoon. Sometimes we eat it for dinner that same night but sometimes we don't. Since I make such a big batch, there's always enough soup to eat for lunch for a few days. And on particularly busy nights, we might even have it for dinner. If there's a lot still in the fridge by Thursday or Friday, I'll tuck a jar or two in the freezer, which my future self is always grateful for.
And guess what? I make a lot of EatingWell recipes on Soup Sunday. I worked in the EatingWell Test Kitchen for more than a decade so I've tried my fair share of soups, and even developed a lot of the recipes myself. What I like about our soup recipes is that they frequently lean heavily on vegetables, so it feels like a good swap for our summer salad habit. Plus many of our soups are bean-based, which means we're getting a dose of filling fiber midday—which helps keep us full.
Slow-Cooker Spiced Lentil Soup with Vegetables is a favorite at our house. And since it's made in a slow cooker, I'll sometimes make it during the week since I don't have to attend to it. Lemony Lentil & Chard Soup is one I created, based on a soup that was served in the Lebanese restaurant I used to work in. We have a big garden, so each year I use our bounty of carrots or butternut squash to make a batch of Thai-Inspired Curry Carrot Soup (I even have some in my freezer from this past fall). I often make a really simple chicken soup, very similar to our Classic Chicken Soup recipe. Pro tip: If you make a big batch, cook your noodles separately. That way they don't get super mush-tastic (i.e. absorb all the broth and start to fall apart) while the soup sits in your fridge.
I understand that Soup Sunday isn't for everyone, but making soup on Sunday is always a good idea. Maybe next time, you'll make an extra-big batch.