Just as the seasons change here in the Midwest, one's desire for certain flavors and foods often change as well.
As fall sets in, I find myself scanning through recipes and getting a favorite pot of soup simmering away. The aromas penetrate and warm the kitchen. The flavors soothe and satisfy not only the body but the mind and spirit as well.
Whether broth-based or thick and creamy, soups are a fabulous way to incorporate fiber and many nutrients into one's diet. A variety of vegetables, whether fresh, frozen, canned or leftover from a previous meal, are perfect additions to any soup. Sodium can be reduced to levels much lower than commercially canned or dried soup mixes.
I like to keep some basic soup-making staples on hand. These include low-sodium soup base, fresh onions, garlic, a variety of herbs as well as canned legumes (Great Northern white beans, kidney beans and black beans).
Rinsing and draining the canned legumes will decrease the sodium. Dried legumes may be used as well, but take a bit more time. Follow package instructions for
A method I often use when making soup is to puree white, kidney or black beans and add them to the soup stock. This provides a rich, creamy texture without any added fat, plus its boosts the fiber content. Another bonus is that finicky eaters will not be able to pick them out.
I'm sharing two favorite recipes that are quick to make, good sources of fiber and will keep you cozy as the temperatures drop. Enjoy them with a crusty hard roll, a tossed salad and a mug of hot apple cider.
White Bean Chicken Chili
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 (4-ounce) cans green chilies
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cans Great Northern white beans
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
In large sauce pan, heat oil. Cook onion in oil until tender. Add the green chilies, flour and cumin. Stir to combine. Slowly add 2 cups of the chicken broth, stirring as the mixture thickens. Drain and rinse 1 can of the Great Northern white beans. Puree them along with the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth.
Combine this with the other mixture in the sauce pan. Drain and rinse the second can of beans and add to the mixture along with the diced chicken. Heat while stirring over medium heat.
Garnish with a dollop of low-fat sour cream and salsa if desired. Makes
12 (1-cup) servings.
Per serving: 163 calories, 5 grams fat, 17 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 10 grams protein and 275 milligrams sodium.
Spicy Bean Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cans black beans
1 can kidney beans
1/2 cup red wine (may
substitute with water)
3 cups low-sodium chicken
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring until soft. Stir in the cumin, cayenne pepper and oregano.
Puree the black beans and kidney beans. Add these along with the wine and chicken broth to the other ingredients. Mix well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve hot with a dollop of low-fat sour cream and chopped cilantro if desired. Makes 12 (1-cup) servings.
Per serving: 148 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 22 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 8 grams protein and 533 milligrams sodium.
Joanne Hutson is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse.