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A bowlful of nourishment

Last Modified: 5/22/2018

Julia Walker, RDN, CDE, CD, registered dietician nutritionist, Nutrition Services, shares seven outstanding soup recipes for a healthful cold-weather meal option.

Spicy Cauliflower Soup

4 cups cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons ginger, chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 pinch chili flakes
3 cups low sodium chicken stock
¼ cup nonfat plain yogurt
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Blanch ½ cup cauliflower florets until tender. Shock in an ice bath for 30 seconds. Reserve for garnish.
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add oil, onion, celery and the rest of the cauliflower.  Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add ginger and spices; cook until aromatic. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. 
  3. Stir in the yogurt and add salt, pepper and lemon juice, to taste.
  4. Place soup in a blender and blend until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add a little more hot chicken stock. Add reserved cauliflower as garnish and heat to warm.  Stir in cilantro. 

Serves 8

Wild Rice Chicken Soup

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½ cup wild rice
2 cups water
½ cup long grain brown rice
2 14–ounce cans chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or two 14½-ounce cans diced tomatoes,  not drained
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
1 cup finely chopped zucchini
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Madeira or dry sherry (optional)

  1. Rinse wild rice well; set aside. 
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add wild rice and brown rice. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes or until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; set aside. 
  3. At the same time, in a 4-quart oven, combine chicken broth and garlic. Bring to a boil, stir in tomatoes, chicken, zucchini and pepper. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in cooked rice, thyme and, if desired, Madeira. Heat through to serve.

Serves 6

(330 calories, 22g protein, 3.5g total fat, 30g carbohydrate, 400mg sodium)

Lentil Soup with Brown Rice

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or chicken stock
½ cup long grain brown rice
2 cups chopped tomato
¾ cup dry brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely shredded Asiago cheese
Fresh thyme sprigs, to garnish
Oregano leaves, to garnish

  1. In a 4-quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic and herbs; cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender. 
  2. Stir in broth and brown rice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.  Stir in tomato and lentils. Return to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes more or until rice and lentils are tender.
  3. Stir in lemon juice and pepper. Top individual servings with Asiago cheese and, if desired, thyme sprigs and or oregano leaves. 

Serves 6

(285 calories, 15.5g protein, 10g total fat, 36g carbohydrate, 140 mg sodium)

Manhattan-Style Chowder

1 tablespoon bacon, chopped
1 cup onions, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup green bell peppers, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
2 cups canned tomatoes, chopped
2 cups tomato puree
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 cup potatoes, diced into ½-inch pieces
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 10-ounce cans chopped clams and juice
1 dash Tabasco sauce
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

  1. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until browned and fat has rendered. Add onions, celery, carrots, green pepper and garlic.  Saute for 5 minutes or until the onions are tender. Add tomatoes, tomato puree, bay leaf and thyme, Bring to a simmer.
  2. Add potatoes and chicken stock; simmer until potatoes are tender. Stir in clams and juice; bring to a simmer to warm through. 
  3. Remove from heat; season with Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.

Serves 4

(400 calories, 44.5g protein, 6.5g total fat, 42g carbohydrate, 500mg sodium)

White Turkey Chili

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1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 medium Poblano peppers, seeded, white ribs removed, and finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
1 pound ground white meat turkey
2 15.5-ounce cans white beans (such as cannellini; preferably low sodium), drained and rinsed
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
¾ teaspoon dried oregano
1 15.5-ounce can hominy, drained and rinsed
¾ teaspoon salt (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion, celery, and Poblano peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Add the white beans, broth and oregano. Cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.

Serves 4

(490 calories, 11g total fat, 47g protein, 55g carbohydrates, 900mg sodium)

Beef Stew with Butternut Squash

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound stew beef (round or chuck), cut into chunks
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound peeled cubed butternut squash, cut into 1½-inch cubes (about 2½ cups)
1 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1 8-ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1½ cups low sodium beef broth
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups cooked whole wheat couscous
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted in a dry skillet over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes
4 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

  1. Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate, leaving the juices in the saucepan. 
  2. Add the onion and cook, stirring until softened and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring for 1 additional minute.  
  3. Return the beef to the pot and stir in the squash, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, cumin, cinnamon and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the beef is tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
  4. Spoon the stew over the couscous, and sprinkle each serving with almond and parsley. 

Serves 4

(480 Calories, 13g total fat, 34g protein, 56g carbohydrates, 150mg sodium) 

Tortellini Spinach Soup

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1 teaspoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced (1½ cups)
2 ribs celery, chopped (1 cup)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 14-ounce can low sodium diced tomatoes, with juice
6 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
3 ounces baby spinach, sliced into ribbons (3 cups)
1 9-ounce package fresh store-bought spinach and cheese tortellini (2 cups)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (1.5 ounces)

  1. Heat the oil in a 4- or 6-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent and the garlic is softened, another 3 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes with their juices and the broth and bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.  Add the tortellini and cook until cooked through, 6 minutes.  Serve topped with Parmesan cheese. 

Serves 4

(380 calories, 12g total fat, 24g protein, 45g carbohydrates, 770mg sodium)  


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