Temperatures are dropping and as a result we’re turning to warm, comforting foods. Before you turn to foods loaded with cheese, pasta and high fat meats, you may want to think again. These traditional comfort foods are loaded with calories, fat and refined carbohydrates. Instead, why not try some soup?! Soup is warm, filling and quite comforting.
Basic Soup Guidelines
- Avoid any soups with cream, instead go with a broth-based soup
- Choose vegetable, chicken or bean based soups rather than cheese or red meat (beef, meatball, pork, sausage) based soups
- Limit sodium – choose low sodium whenever given an option
- Read labels – watch out for monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Choose a soup with less saturated fat (if you avoid cream, milk and red meat this shouldn’t be hard!)
Some of my Favorites
- Tabatchnik frozen minestrone soup (100 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 320 mg sodium, 18 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, and 5 grams protein)
- Pacific roasted red pepper and tomato low sodium soup (110 calories, 2 grams fat, 360 mg sodium, 16 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 5 grams protein, 15% calcium)
- Amy’s low sodium lentil vegetable soup (160 calories, 4 grams fat, 340 mg sodium, 24 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams fiber, and 7 grams protein)
Make your Own!
- Soup is so easy to make, and freezes incredibly well.
- I love using my immersion blender for pureed soups that seem creamy without any cream! (ie: butternut squash, parsnip, asparagus, and leek). You’d be surprised how many vegetables puree up into a beautiful bowl of soup.
- You don’t need to follow a recipe; just sauté vegetables in a little olive oil (season with salt, pepper, herbs and spices) add low sodium vegetable or chicken broth. You can add in beans, whole wheat pasta, chicken, whatever you have in your fridge or pantry!
- Some of my favorite soups to make are lentil, butternut squash, vegetable, white bean and vegetarian chili.
Make it a Meal
- If it’s a mostly vegetable soup you will want to add some sort of protein to it. One of my favorite go to additions is a “healthy” grilled cheese. Take 2 slices of whole wheat bread and add 1 or 2 slices of low-fat cheese, place on a skillet coated with cooking spray and you have a delicious warm and filling lunch.
- If it’s a bean or chicken based soup then you most likely have enough protein. You can a side salad and some whole grain crackers for crunch.
- If you’re out to eat – pairing a cup of soup with a 1/2 sandwich is a great option too!
What is your favorite soup?