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Your Health Blog

    Tips for Making Healthy, Savory Fall Soups

    Carolyn Burns, Clinical Dietitian Deaconess Weight Loss Solutions 11/07/2018
    Fall in the tri-state means cooler weather, and cooler weather makes me think about soup. Soup is warm and comforting, but can also be a convenient way to add vegetables to your diet. 

    Depending on what your family will eat, you can make a traditional vegetable soup and include potatoes, corn, carrots, peas, etc. You could stick with a meat-based soup like chili and load it up with beans and lean protein. You can even be a little adventurous and create a pureed soup from almost any vegetable. Try to incorporate as many healthy foods as possible into your soup recipes to maximize the nutritional value of your meal.

    Also, watch out for ingredients that can make your soup go from healthy to really fattening in an instant. (Think heavy cream, tons of cheese, or mountains of white potatoes). If you need some examples, I’ve listed several healthy soup recipes at the end of this blog.
     
    Leftovers and Freezing
    When discussing soup, “leftovers” play two different roles. The first is serving as key ingredients, i.e. use the leftover meat, grains and vegetables from your weekly meals to create a soup.

    The second role is future meals. Making soup in batches allows you to freeze extra portions for another fall day or a frightfully cold winter night.

    Freezing soup is a simple way to make the most of your grocery budget but there are a few things to note.
    • Not all soup freezes well. Soup made with a lot of dairy, seafood, potatoes, and/or thickened with cornstarch or eggs does not freeze well.
    • Don’t freeze the noodles or toppings that go with your soup. Add them later, when you thaw out the soup and are ready to eat it.
    • Bean soups, rice soups, broth-based soups, meaty soups and pureed soup (that isn’t dairy based) will freeze well and taste good once re-heated. Learn more about the best types of soup to freeze. 
     
    Friends of Soup
    Not all soups are as hearty and filling as a bowl of bean soup or chili. If you make a pureed or broth-based soup, you might want to include some side items. Listed below are examples of healthy options to accompany your soup.
    Vegetables: celery, baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers or a small tossed salad
    Protein: peanut butter, low fat cheese stick, lean meats or cooked beans
    Starches: Whole grain crackers, whole grain bread, small whole grain roll, corn muffin
    Fruit: apples, oranges, pears, grapes, cherries or melon
    Dairy: Low fat cheese, low fat cottage cheese, yogurt, sugar free pudding or skim milk
     
    Tweaking Grandma’s Recipe
    A lot of families have recipes for soups and stews that have been passed down through several generations. Grandma’s cheesy bacon potato soup may taste delicious, but odds are, it’s extremely high in fat and calories. Try substituting a few original ingredients with healthier versions to create a soup that’s both delicious and easy on the waistline. Learn more from Mayo Clinic; one of my colleagues also shares a great recipe substitution chart in her Thanksgiving recipe blog.  
     
    Whether you make chicken noodle soup for a friend feeling under the weather or a giant pot of stew for the big football game, take advantage of soup season!

    Sonte’s Slow Cooker Potato Soup
    Spicy Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
    Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
    Low Fat Taco Soup (Weight Watchers)
    Healthier Delicious Ham and Potato Soup
    Creamy White Chili
     
     
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