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Diet Detective: Get through winter with nutritious soups

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Saturday, January 28, 2017 03:21 am
Here are some healthy winter soups. Carrot Soup with Garam Masala

Healthy Recipe From Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016). Makes 4 servings.

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 small red onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon, plus 1 pinch garam masala

3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth

5 medium carrots, coarsely chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons raw unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1/4 cup light sour cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Add garlic and ½ teaspoon of garam masala and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, carrots, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove saucepan from the heat; let cool 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place pumpkin seeds on small baking sheet, spray with nonstick spray, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining pinch of garam masala and toss to coat. Spread on baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.

Puree soup, in batches if needed, in food processor or blender. Ladle soup evenly into 4 bowls; top evenly with sour cream and pumpkin seeds.

Nutritional Information: (Serving size: 1 cup soup, 1 tablespoon sour cream, 1½ teaspoons pumpkin seeds): 131 calories, 7 g total fat, 2 g sat fat, 540 mg sodium, 15 g total carbs, 7 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein.

The Quickest Tomato Soup

Healthy recipe from Kathryn Bruton, author of Skinny Soups: 80 Flavor-Packed Recipes of 300 Calories or Less (Kyle Books, 2016). Makes 4 servings.

2 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

2 celery ribs, halved

1 carrot, halved

1 small onion

1 garlic clove

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/4 pounds mixed tomatoes, such as beef, plum, and cherry, coarsely chopped

1 (14-ounce) can plum tomatoes

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


Salt and pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Place the celery, carrot, onion, and garlic in a blender or food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a medium saucepan with the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of water and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Add the canned tomatoes and stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the red wine vinegar and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Information: (Serving size: 1 cup) 69 calories, 10 g carbs, 9.5 g sugar, 2 g total fat, 0.3 g sat fat, 0.1 g sodium, 1.7g protein, 2.7 g fiber.

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Healthy recipe from Charles Platkin, Ph.D., M.P.H., author of Breaking The Pattern, Diversion Books, 2015 and editor of Dietdetective.com. Makes 20 servings.

6 large carrots

4 parsnips

2 turnips

8 cloves garlic

4 large onions

10 large stalks celery

4 leeks 1 bunch broccoli

1 bunch Italian parsley

1 bunch fresh dill


2 whole chicken breasts with skin and bones

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts

2 cups fat-free, low-sodium, no-MSG chicken broth

3 tablespoons garlic powder

3 tablespoons onion powder

3 tablespoons salt

3 tablespoons pepper


Wash and clean all vegetables and herbs. Peel and cut off the tops and bottoms of the carrots, parsnips and turnips. Peal the garlic and onions (or use already peeled garlic). Cut all the vegetables into 3 or 4 pieces. Wash the chicken breasts.

Fill a 12-quart, lidded cooking pot with all the ingredients (except the salt and pepper), then fill the pot with water (leaving a bit of room so it doesn't overflow during boiling). Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer. After about 2 hours, carefully remove the chicken breasts. Place the breasts on a large plate and remove and discard the skin and bones. Return the chicken to the pot and continue simmering.

After 1 more hour of simmering, turn off the heat and let the soup sit, covered, for 2 to 3 hours. Add pepper and salt to taste.

Nutritional Information: (Serving size: 2 cups) 129 calories; 1 g fat; 20 g carbs; 834 mg sodium; 5 g fiber; 11 g protein.

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

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