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THE DIET DETECTIVE, A COLUMN BY CHARLES STUART PLATKIN

Get cookin’ with four healthy soups

Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 12:01 am

Here are a few healthy soup recipes.

Red lentil and black bean stew

Healthy recipe by Jessica Girdwain, from the Runner's World Cookbook — “150 Ultimate Recipes for Fueling Up and Slimming Down While Enjoying Every Bite” (Rodale, 2013)

Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 tablespoon tomato paste

3/4 cup red lentils

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed, half mashed with a fork

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add garlic, chili powder, paprika and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and tomato paste. Raise heat to high and bring mixture to boil. Add lentils. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 25 minutes, or until lentils are tender.

Add black beans, lime juice, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until heated through. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cilantro.

Nutritional information: (Serving size: 1 cup): 248 calories

Indian spiced carrot soup with ginger

Healthy recipe from the Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts (www.naturalepicurean.com) in Austin, Texas

Makes 9 servings

4 cups carrots chopped into 1/4 -inch pieces

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

3 tablespoons sesame oil (optional)

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger

2 cups chopped onion

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 cups vegetable broth

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest

3/4 teaspoons garam masala, for garnish

To cook carrots, bring medium pot of water to boil. Add carrots, reduce heat to simmer and cook about 8 minutes until soft. Drain and set aside.

Grind coriander and mustard seeds in spice mill to fine powder.

Heat oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. (If not using oil, heat a tiny amount of vegetable broth.) Add ground seeds and curry powder; stir 1 minute. Add ginger; stir 1 minute. Add onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add cooked carrots and broth. Bring to boil. Remove heat and allow to cool.

Puree or mash soup to desired consistency. Stir in lime juice and zest and season with salt pepper.

Garnish with pinch of garam masala.

Nutritional information: (Serving size: 1 cup) (no oil): 58 calories

Healthy New England clam chowder

Healthy Recipe by Dr. Janet Brill, author of “Prevent a Second Heart Attack: 8 Foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease” (Three Rivers Press, 2011)

Makes 10 servings

1/2 head cauliflower (to make about 2 cups of puree)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour*

1 cup water

2 (10-ounce) cans baby clams in water, with their liquid

2 cups 1 percent milk

3/4 pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

Smoked paprika, to garnish for a smoky flavor

*Use garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour to make this soup gluten-free

Chop and steam cauliflower, then puree in blender until smooth. Set aside. In large pot, combine olive oil, garlic and onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Add pureed cauliflower, water, clams, milk, potatoes, 2 thyme springs and bay leaves. Bring soup to a boil, stir and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are soft and soup thickens. Stir every 5-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish each serving with thyme and smoked paprika.

Nutritional information: (Serving size: 1 cup): 114 calories

Fall country vegetable soup

Healthy recipe from Jackie Newgent, RDN, “1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes?” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012)

Makes 9 servings

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium red onion, finely diced

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste

2 medium turnips or 1 large rutabaga, peeled and cut into 3/4 -inch pieces

1 large carrot, unpeeled, scrubbed and cut into 3/4 -inch pieces

1 medium parsnip, unpeeled, scrubbed and cut into 3/4 -inch pieces

1 medium sweet potato, unpeeled, scrubbed and cut into 3/4 -inch cubes

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste

6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

2 cups chopped fresh kale leaves

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat oil in large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and saute until slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.

Add turnips, carrot, parsnip, sweet potato, rosemary, hot pepper sauce, black pepper, cinnamon, broth and remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 12 minutes. Add kale and simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 12 additional minutes. Adjust seasoning.

Stir parsley into soup, ladle into individual bowls and serve.

Nutritional information: (Serving size: 1 cup): 70 calories

Charles Stuart Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate and founder of DietDetective.com.