You can’t go wrong with a vegetable soup made from scratch. Fresh seasonal veggies cooked in rich, flavorful stock make this a delicious choice for healthy eating.
Makes 8 servings
1 medium onion, sliced 1-inch thick, grilled, then diced
2 leeks, diced (white part only)
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 turnip and 1 potato, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
1 cup green cabbage, shredded
2 cobs of corn, grilled, then removed from cob
1 yellow squash, sliced into 1/2-inch strips, grilled, then diced
1 zucchini squash, sliced into 1/2-inch strips, grilled, then diced
1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, then diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. fresh parsley and thyme (each), chopped
Grill onions, corn, squash and zucchini until tender. Cook leeks, carrot, celery, turnip and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Add stock and bring to simmer. Add potatoes and cook until tender. Add cabbage and green beans. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add corn, squash and tomatoes. Cook until heated through. Season to taste.
Corn chowder is popular with kids (and other family members) for its deliciously creamy taste and texture. None of that gets lost when made with fresh sweet corn and broth, instead of using dairy products. This way you can cut out considerable amounts of fat. Purée half of the soup you’re making to maintain its creamy texture. Enjoy!
Makes 4 servings
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper
3 to 4 ears of corn, shaved
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 roasted red pepper, diced
Warm the stock over low heat. Heat butter in a pan. Add onions and garlic. Sauté both over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Add corn, potatoes and 2 cups of stock. Lower heat, cover the pan and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain a cup of the corn-potato mixture into a small bowl, stir in the red pepper and set aside. Place the rest of the corn-potato mixture in a blender and purée until smooth, adding the remaining stock with each batch. Pour through a fine strainer and return to the pan over low heat. Add the corn-potato and pepper mixture, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Cook over medium-low heat until heated through, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.
Lemon Chicken Soup
This is real comfort food. When it’s cold or rainy outside, it’s nice to feel the warmth of home-made soup filled with tasty ingredients. To keep fat content as low as possible, you should use only white meat chicken. Get low sodium and fat-free broths, or make your own. Add onion and garlic, but hold the oil.
Makes 6 servings
16 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast
7 cups chicken broth, low sodium, nonfat
1 lemon, juice and grated rind
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 cups frozen corn
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves or to taste
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Place chicken and bay leaf in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove chicken and chop when cooled down. In another pot, bring chicken broth to simmer. Add chicken, lemon juice and grated rind. Add chopped onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add corn, tomatoes, green onion and cilantro. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Skim off the fat. Season to taste. Serve hot.
Cream of Tomato Soup
Here’s a new twist. To make this popular soup lighter, you can replace the traditionally used cream with a low fat béchamel sauce.
Makes 6 servings
3 cups milk, low fat
1/2 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
2 28-oz. cans whole tomatoes with juice, puréed
Pinch of sugar (optional)
Combine milk, onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Then pour through a strainer. Return to saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Heat tomato purée in another pan. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and sugar (if desired). Melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in flour to make a roux. Cook over medium low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly mix 1 cup of seasoned milk and 1/4 teaspoon salt into the roux to make a paste. Add the remaining milk and tomato purée, a cup at a time, until all the different liquids are included. Continue cooking over medium-low heat until slightly thickened, for about 5 minutes. Serve hot.