Friday, January 7, 2011

Hot Soup on a Snowy Day

Nothing fits a nice snowy day better than a hot bowl of soup. Soup is the ultimate winter comfort food. When prepared with the right ingredients soup can also be a healthy meal option. What is the best way to stir up a healthy soup? Well, start with a homemade version. Canned soups are convenient, but they are loaded with sodium. Homemade soup is simple to make and the sodium content can be controlled.
Start homemade soup with a simple broth. Make sure the broth is low fat and low sodium. Add vegetables to the broth. Tomatoes, beans, corn, carrots, potatoes and peas work well for a vegetable soup. Use your imagination. Some soups add kale, spinach, or event butternut squash. To increase the flavor of your soup, add aromatic vegetables such as onions, peppers, garlic and celery. Other ingredients that can increase the flavor and fiber are grains such as barley, brown rice or whole grain noodles. Because of the sodium concerns mentioned earlier, avoid adding salt to season soup. Herbs and salt-free seasonings such as black pepper, bay leaves, and basil add flavor without sodium.

Turkey Soup with Sweet Potatoes

1 cup cooked wild rice or brown rice
2 cups peeled, diced sweet potato, canned or fresh
1 14-ounce can low-sodium vegetable broth
1 32-ounce box low-sodium chicken broth
1 15-ounce can white beans, drained & rinsed
¾ lb. cooked turkey meat, chopped (chicken can be substituted)
1/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
¾ tsp. black pepper
Cook rice according to package directions. Place sweet potato in medium pot and add vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, stir, lower heat and gently boil until sweet potato is cooked, about 18-20 minutes (if using canned, heat only 2-3 minutes). Add chicken broth, beans, turkey, and rest of ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, until soup is 165 degrees F. Makes 6 servings. Per serving: Calories 386; Total fat 3g; Sat fat <1 g: Carb 59g; Fiber 5g; 381 mg Sodium. Source: National Cancer Institute,

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