If you have ever been placed on a liquid diet, you may have been told to eat plenty of clear broth. To avoid accidentally consuming noncompliant foods on your liquid diet, it can be helpful to establish a clear soup definition.
There are many reasons why your doctor may suggest sticking to clear broth or consommé soup. For example, if you are preparing for a surgery or operation, especially related to the digestive tract, liquid food is less likely to interfere with the procedure. Following surgery, you may be advised to eat clear soup to allow your intestines to heal without the interference of too much solid food.
What Is Clear Soup?
Like the name suggests, clear soup is a fully liquid soup that does not contain any solid ingredients. Though many soups contain vegetables, meats and even noodles, a clear soup is simply clear broth that you can see through. The texture of clear broth is thin even at room temperature. If desired, you can drink clear soup rather than ladle it with a spoon.
The clear soup definition strictly forbids solid food from being incorporated into the soup. This means that blended soups, pureed soups and gazpachos do not fall under the clear soup definition.
Clear soup typically looks like broth. It can be made with vegetable stock or animal stock, such as broth made with chicken, beef or pork. While clear soup tends to be low in calories, it is not advised to follow a clear soup diet for more than a few days because it is also low in nutrients. According to the USDA, one can of store-bought consommé soup contains just 34 calories.
It is common for certain hospital patients to be prescribed a diet consisting heavily of clear soup, though this is usually short-term. Patients preparing for certain gastrointestinal operations, such as for colonoscopy preparation, may be advised to stick to liquids like clear soup.
Clear Broth and Soup Types
If you are on a liquid diet consisting of clear broth and other nonsolid foods, you may want some variety. Fortunately, there are several options under the clear soup definition.
Consommé soup is a classic example of a type of clear soup. While consommé soup is often referred to as broth or stock, there is a difference. This is a French type of clear soup. The main difference is that it is highly concentrated, so the flavor is stronger than a regular broth or stock. It is also clarified so it is a truly clear broth that you can see through.
A homemade vegetable or chicken broth can also be used as a clear soup. Some people may also make miso soup without solid ingredients as this yields a clear broth.
Some clear soups may contain small amounts of solid food, such as bite-size pieces of vegetables. However, you may need to check with your doctor to see if you can consume clear broth that contains some solids.
Benefits of Clear Soup
The main reason why patients consume clear soup is because it is part of their prescribed liquid diet. This is usually recommended to preoperative and postoperative patients with digestive issues.
According to Mayo Clinic, clear liquids are easily digested. They also clear the intestinal tract of undigested food and leftover residue from solid foods. This makes it easier for doctors and surgeons to perform operations without interference. This can also help patients recover since solid food can be difficult to digest following surgery.
Some patients with digestive problems may find relief following a temporary clear soup diet. The symptoms of Crohn's disease, diverticulitis and other conditions related to the digestive tract may be alleviated when easy-to-digest foods, such as clear soup, are consumed.
Clear soup can be made at home or purchased at most grocery stores. According to Harvard Health Publishing, colonoscopy patients should stick to liquid foods like clear broth the day before and the day after the procedure.