When it comes to comfort food, few dishes are as satisfying as a warm bowl of soup. Two popular choices for a cozy night in are chicken noodle soup and tomato soup. While they may seem similar on the surface, there are several differences between the two. In this article, we’ll explore everything from taste to health benefits, as well as some of the history and homemade recipes for these classic soups.
Let’s start with tomato soup, which is a favorite among many soup lovers. This classic soup is made with pureed tomatoes and often features added ingredients like cream, basil, or garlic. The most popular tomato soup is the canned version, but it’s also easy to make from scratch.
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and fiber. This makes tomato soup not only delicious, but also a healthy choice. Additionally, tomato soup can be a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in many ways. It can be served hot or cold, as an appetizer or a main course, and can be paired with a variety of toppings like croutons, cheese, or even a dollop of sour cream.
Taste Test: Which Soup is Better?
So, which soup tastes better? That’s subjective, of course. Tomato soup has a tangy, smooth taste that’s hard to resist. And there’s something undeniably cozy about the creamy texture of chicken noodle soup, with its tender chunks of chicken, noodles, and veggies. Both soups can be savory, comforting, and soothing, but the taste experience is entirely different.
However, if you’re looking for a healthier option, tomato soup might be the way to go. It’s lower in calories and fat than chicken noodle soup, and it’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants. On the other hand, chicken noodle soup is a great source of protein and can help boost your immune system. So, it really depends on what you’re looking for in a soup.
Health Benefits of Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup has long been touted as a remedy for the common cold and flu. There’s some evidence to support this, as chicken noodle soup contains nutrients that boost your immune system. Chicken is a good source of protein, while carrots, celery, and onion provide essential vitamins and minerals. The noodles provide carbohydrates that provide energy for your body, and the broth can help to keep you hydrated.
In addition to its immune-boosting properties, chicken noodle soup has other health benefits. For example, the broth can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which can be beneficial for those with conditions such as arthritis. The vegetables in the soup also provide fiber, which can aid in digestion and promote a healthy gut.
Furthermore, chicken noodle soup can be a comforting and soothing food for those who are feeling under the weather. The warmth of the soup can help to ease congestion and sore throats, while the familiar taste and smell can provide a sense of comfort and well-being. Overall, chicken noodle soup is a nutritious and comforting food that can provide a range of health benefits.
Health Benefits of Tomato Soup
Tomato soup is also packed with nutritional benefits. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that supports heart health. It’s also low in calories, making it a good choice for those trying to maintain a healthy weight. The soup is often vegan, which makes it a great option for those who follow a plant-based diet.
In addition to its nutritional benefits, tomato soup has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. This is due to the presence of beta-carotene and vitamin C in tomatoes, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. Some studies have also suggested that consuming tomato soup may help lower the risk of certain types of cancer, such as prostate cancer. So, not only is tomato soup delicious and comforting, it can also be a great addition to a healthy diet.
Ingredients Comparison: Chicken Noodle Soup vs. Tomato Soup
When it comes to ingredients, the two soups are entirely different. Chicken noodle soup is made with chicken, noodles, carrots, celery, onions, and broth. Tomato soup, on the other hand, is made with tomato puree, spices, and sometimes cream. The nutritional value is also different, as chicken noodle soup contains protein, while tomato soup is often low in calories and fat.
Another difference between the two soups is their origin. Chicken noodle soup is a classic American comfort food, often associated with home-cooked meals and cold winter days. Tomato soup, on the other hand, has its roots in Europe, where it was first served as a light and refreshing summer dish.
When it comes to taste, both soups have their unique flavors. Chicken noodle soup has a savory and hearty taste, with the chicken and vegetables adding depth to the broth. Tomato soup, on the other hand, has a tangy and slightly sweet taste, with the acidity of the tomatoes balanced by the creaminess of the soup.
The History of Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup has been around for centuries and has been a popular dish in many cultures, from Asia to Europe. It’s believed to have originated in the 13th century, when it was used as a remedy for colds and fevers. Chicken noodle soup gained popularity in the United States during the Great Depression, when it was a cheap and nourishing meal that could feed a whole family.
Today, chicken noodle soup is still a popular dish and is often used as a comfort food. It’s also a common meal for those who are sick, as it’s believed to have healing properties. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that chicken noodle soup can help reduce inflammation in the body, which can help alleviate symptoms of a cold or flu.
There are many variations of chicken noodle soup, with different cultures and regions adding their own unique twist to the dish. For example, in Japan, chicken noodle soup is often served with udon noodles and a soy sauce-based broth. In Italy, chicken noodle soup is known as brodo di pollo and is often served with tortellini or other types of pasta.
The History of Tomato Soup
Tomato soup can also trace its roots back hundreds of years but was not popularized in the United States until the 1800s. The canned version of the soup, which is now a pantry staple, was first introduced in 1897 by Joseph Campbell and quickly became a household name.
Tomato soup has been a popular dish in many cultures throughout history. In Spain, a similar soup called gazpacho has been enjoyed for centuries. In Italy, tomato soup is often served with pasta or rice.
Tomato soup has also been used for medicinal purposes. In the early 1900s, it was believed that tomato soup could cure a variety of ailments, including indigestion and even tuberculosis. While these claims have not been scientifically proven, tomato soup is still considered a comfort food by many and is often served to those who are feeling under the weather.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
If you’re craving a warm bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup, here’s a simple recipe to follow.
- 1 pound chicken breast or thighs, cut into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup egg noodles
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned. Remove chicken from the pot and add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened. Add broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the carrots and celery are tender. Add noodles and thyme and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the noodles are cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Chicken noodle soup is not only delicious, but it also has some health benefits. The broth is rich in minerals and vitamins, and the chicken provides protein. The vegetables in the soup are also a great source of fiber and nutrients.
If you want to make this soup even more nutritious, you can add some extra vegetables like spinach, kale, or broccoli. You can also use whole wheat noodles instead of egg noodles for added fiber.
Homemade Tomato Soup Recipe
If you prefer a creamy tomato soup, this recipe will hit the spot.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened. Add diced tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. Add cream and basil and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Canned Chicken Noodle Soup vs. Canned Tomato Soup
When it comes to canned soup, you may be wondering which is healthier, chicken noodle or tomato soup. The answer is not straightforward, as it depends on the brand you choose. Some canned chicken noodle soups can be high in sodium and preservatives, whereas some tomato soups can be high in added sugar. Be sure to read the labels and choose a brand with minimal additives and preservatives if possible.
Vegan and Vegetarian Alternatives to Chicken Noodle and Tomato Soups
Vegetarians and vegans can also enjoy the comfort of soup with plenty of options available. For a vegetarian alternative to chicken noodle soup, try a vegetable soup with chickpeas or lentils for added protein. For a creamy tomato soup, use coconut milk instead of cream. You can also try adding plant-based proteins like tofu or tempeh to your soup for extra nutrition.
The Best Pairings with Chicken Noodle and Tomato Soups
Whether you’re enjoying classic canned soup or a homemade version, there are plenty of delicious pairing options. For chicken noodle soup, pair with a crusty bread or a side salad. Tomato soup pairs well with a grilled cheese sandwich or a side of crackers. Don’t be afraid to get creative with toppings, like a dollop of sour cream or crumbled bacon on tomato soup.
How to Make Your Own Broth for Soups
If you’re looking to take your homemade soup to the next level, consider making your own broth. It’s surprisingly easy and adds an extra depth of flavor to your soups and stews. To make chicken broth, start with a whole chicken or chicken bones, cover with water, and simmer for several hours. Add aromatics like onion, garlic, and bay leaves for extra flavor. For a vegetarian broth, use vegetable scraps like celery, carrots, and onion cooked in water with herbs and spices.
Top Brands of Ready-to-Eat Chicken Noodle and Tomato Soups
Not everyone has time to make their own soup, and that’s okay. There are plenty of quality ready-to-eat soups on the market. Some top options for chicken noodle soup include Campbell’s, Progresso, and Knorr. For tomato soup, brands like Amy’s, Pacific Foods, and Muir Glen have great options that are flavorful and healthy. Just be sure to read labels and choose brands with minimal preservatives and additives.
In conclusion, whether you prefer the creamy texture of tomato soup or the tender noodles and savory broth of chicken noodle soup, both are classic dishes that are comforting and satisfying. With homemade recipes and ready-to-eat options available, soup lovers can always indulge in their favorite soup.