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Almost everyone knows that a hot bowl of chicken soup is the go-to food when you’re ailing.

But if you want to try other nourishing soups to soothe you when you’re under the weather, there are many options to try.

“We do lots of different soups, but on the healthy side we have lentil soup, split pea soup, a 10 bean and ham, and we have fagioli soup which is very good,” said Vicky Beshara, who co-owns Colonial House with her, husband Kevin. All of the soups are made from scratch — with no preservatives or artificial flavoring.

One nutritious soup that was recently featured on Colonial House’s menu is the Ten Bean & Ham soup, which is chock-full of all kinds of beans including lentils, pinto beans, black beans and split peas.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, legumes, which include beans, peas and lentils, are vital to a healthy diet. The library reports that beans, lentils and peas are rich in plant protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, folate, calcium, potassium and other vitamins.

Most beans also are low in fat and calories, but they fill you up, according to the library, which also reports that beans are high in carbohydrates, which provide energy for your body, brain, nervous system and can help lower blood pressure and blood sugar. Beans also are high in fiber, which is beneficial to the digestive system and they provide antioxidants to help prevent cell damage and help fight against diseases and aging, according to the Library.

Whether you prefer a hearty bean soup or a light veggie soup, many of them are loaded with sustenance and flavor.

Known for its tasty soups, Beshara says Colonial’s chicken noodle soup has been in demand since the restaurant opened 36 years ago. However, the restaurant offers an array of wholesome soups including a garden chowder, which is vegetarian, or if you want a more meaty soup, they offer buffalo barley, which is a lean meat.

The soups are so popular that Colonial House features a soup calendar so customers know what day a particular soup is served, such as on a typical Friday, when they serve beer cheese soup.

“That’s an expected soup, so every Friday is the same,” Beshara laughs. “Saturday and Sunday is usually chef’s choice, but the rest of the month we rotate our soups,” she said.

Travis LaBine, manager of The Sandwich Shop — Nummie’s on 2nd and Main, says they also offer a selection of nutritious soups. They serve two soups each day.

“Every day we’re open, we serve veggie quinoa and then we also have a soup of the day, like Thursday is chicken and wild rice or Friday we serve sausage, bacon, potato and kale,” says LaBine, explaining that all of their soups are gluten free, and are made fresh at the shop.

“The veggie quinoa is a daily soup and it’s a very popular soup, it’s just full of vegetables, it’s a thicker tomato-based soup,” LaBine said. “A lot of people love that soup, and it’s quite healthy for you because it’s just full of veggies, and without gluten,” he said.

Vicky agrees that soups made from scratch are a plus. “It’s a totally different flavor when you do things yourself,” she said.

If you want to make your own 10 bean soup at home, Beshara shares a simple recipe for her 10 Bean & Ham soup.

Ten Bean & Ham

Serves 4

1 package 10 blend of beans (or use any variety of beans you want)

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1/2 pound smoked pork hock shank

1/2 garlic clove

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1 cup diced potatoes

1/2 red onion

1 box chicken soup broth

White pepper to taste

Soak beans overnight. Boil the smoked shank and use the ham from the smoked shank for the soup. Sauté garlic, onions and celery. Add chicken broth, potatoes, carrots, ham and beans and let it simmer. Serve with fresh bread.

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