When it is 33 degrees in Florida, it is officially winter! Finally…soup season! As someone who grew up in Illinois, I miss having seasons and am enjoying this break in weather. (I still find it completely unnatural to be wearing shorts during the Holidays). Here are three healthier soup alternatives to try, hope you enjoy!
CHICKEN SOUP (The Remix)
THIS SUMMER REMIX OF CLASSIC CHICKEN SOUP IS LOADED WITH FRESH VEGETABLES AND FLAVORS INSTEAD OF NOODLES.
- 1 lb. (450 g) boneless skinless chicken thighs (Can use breast if you prefer)
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
- 1 medium leek, green top removed
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 qts. (2 L) low-sodium chicken broth
- 8 oz. (250 g) green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 small zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 pkg (5 oz./150 g) baby spinach (about 5 cups/1.25 L)
- 1 cup (250 mL) loosely packed fresh basil
- Zest from 1 lemon
- Optional: Lemon wedges
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with the salt.
- Heat the oil in the 6-qt. (5.7-L) Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven over medium heat for 3–4 minutes.
- Add the chicken to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken has browned, 5–6 minutes (the chicken will not be fully cooked). Remove the chicken.
- Meanwhile, slice the leek on the No. 3 thickness (I use a tool called the Rapid-Prep Mandoline) and clean the leek in a bowl of cold water (see cook’s tips). Once the chicken has browned, drain the leek and add it to the Dutch oven. Cook the leek, stirring occasionally, until it has softened, 3–4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook it until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the broth and green beans. Bring to a simmer, covered, over high heat (covering helps speed the time it takes for the soup to come to a simmer).
- Meanwhile, slice the zucchini into half-moons on the No. 3 setting of the mandoline. Once the soup has come to a simmer, return the chicken to the pot and add the zucchini. Continue to simmer until the zucchini is just tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach.
- Just before serving, stir in the basil and lemon zest. Serve with lemon wedges, if you’d like.
- 6 servings
Nutrients per serving:
U.S. nutrients per serving: Calories 190, Total Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 1.5 g, Cholesterol 60 mg, Sodium 570 mg, Carbohydrate 10 g, Fiber 2 g, Sugars 2 g (includes 0 g added sugar), Protein 23 g
Sometimes leeks hold dirt within their layers. By washing them after they’re sliced, you make sure that they’re clean.
The bright, delicate flavors of basil and lemon zest can become dull when cooked for too long. By adding them just before serving, you’ll keep those flavors vibrant.
PRESSURE COOKER THAI COCONUT SOUP
GINGER AND LIME JUICE ADD JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF TANGINESS TO THIS PRESSURE COOKER VERSION OF TOM KHA GAI, WHICH IS A TRADITIONAL THAI COCONUT CHICKEN SOUP.
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
- 8 oz. (250 g) baby bella mushrooms, washed
- ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 onion
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 2″ (5-cm) piece fresh gingerroot, peeled
- 1–1½ lbs. (450–700 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1½ cups (375 mL) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce
- 2 cans (14–15 oz./13.6 oz/ or 398 mL each) full-fat coconut milk
- 1 lime
- Optional: Cilantro and jalapeño for garnish
- This step could vary slightly depending on the appliance you use, so adjust as necessary. Set the Quick Cooker (I use this one, which I carry in my online store but it is completely sold out right now) to SEAR and press START. Heat the oil in the inner pot for 3 minutes.
- Slice the mushrooms with a Quick Slice (I use this tool to make it easy, but you can slice by hand the old-fashioned way). Add the mushrooms and salt to the inner pot. Saute for 6–8 minutes, or until the mushrooms are well browned and most of the liquid has cooked out.
- Cut the top off the bell pepper. Remove the seeds and veins. Cut the pepper and onion into chunks. Coarsely chop the pepper and onion in the Manual Food Processor (again, I use this for convenience and to save time, but you can do it by hand). Transfer to a bowl.
- Cut the jalapeño in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and veins, and cut it into chunks. Slice the ginger into thin slices. Finely chop the jalapeño and ginger in the Manual Food Processor. Transfer the jalapeño mixture and vegetables to the inner pot and saute for 3–4 minutes, or until softened. Press CANCEL.
- Add the chicken, broth, and soy sauce to the inner pot. Lock the lid and select the SOUP/STOCK setting. Adjust the time to 7 minutes and press START.
- Pour the coconut milk into a medium bowl; whisk until smooth.
- When the timer is up, press CANCEL. Press the steam-release button to manually release the pressure. Remove the chicken to a bowl* and chop with the Salad Chopper. Add chicken back to the inner pot.
- To temper the coconut milk, add ¼ cup (60 mL) of the hot broth at a time to the coconut milk until it is warm. Stir the coconut milk into the pot. Juice the lime with the Citrus Press into the inner pot and stir well. Garnish with cilantro and jalapeño, if desired.
- 6 servings
Nutrients per serving:
U.S. nutrients per serving: Calories 430, Total Fat 34 g, Saturated Fat 26 g, Cholesterol 90 mg, Sodium 640 mg, Carbohydrate 9 g, Fiber 1 g, Total Sugars 2 g (includes 0 g added sugars), Protein 24 g
Make sure to cook the mushrooms long enough for most of the water to cook out. This will ensure that the soup becomes rich and creamy.
*The stainless steel inner pot will be hot during and after cooking. Use a long-handled utensil when stirring and removing food
SPICY ROASTED VEGETABLE SOUP
LIGHTLY ROASTING THE VEGETABLES PROVIDES THIS SOUP WITH A ROBUST FLAVOR. FOR LOWER CARBS, OMIT THE POTATO IF DESIRED AND INCREASE ANOTHER VEGETABLE OF CHOICE.
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large red potato (about 1 cup diced)
- 2 medium zucchini or yellow squash (about 3 cups diced)
- 1 carton (32 ounces) vegetable broth
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
- Lime wedges, warm tortillas and sour cream (optional)
- Preheat broiler. Chop bell pepper and onion into 2-in. pieces. Place onto a Medium Sheet Pan; spray with oil. Broil 5-7 minutes or until lightly charred and softened. Place roasted vegetables, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, chipotle pepper and salt into blender. Blend until smooth.
- Meanwhile, dice potato and zucchini into 1/2-in. cubes. Place potato and broth into a stove top safe, (4-qt.) Casserole or regular soup pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook 6-8 minutes or until potato begins to soften. Add roasted vegetable mixture to Casserole or Soup Pot. Cook 7-8 minutes or until potato is tender, skimming often using a Skimmer. Add zucchini and beans. Cook 4-5 minutes or until zucchini are tender. Serve with lime wedges, tortillas and sour cream, if desired.
- 8 cups
6 servings of 1 1/3 cups
Nutrients per serving:
Calories 90, Total Fat 1 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrate 20 g, Protein 4 g, Sodium 920 mg, Fiber 5 g
U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving:
1/2 starch, 2 vegetable (1/2 carb)
For best flavor, use an all-natural vegetable broth that does not contain mushrooms.
Stay warm my friends! Cheers!!!