With every new year, eating better is something New Jammies can really get behind as a resolution. One easy way to eat healthier without the pressure of a resolution commitment is to make a warm batch of soup for the family using fresh, vitamin-packed vegetables and nutritious, low-fat ingredients. Light a fire, stay warm, dress the kids in comfy New Jammies, and enjoy these soup recipes to feel great in the new year:
Hearty Greens Soup with Bowtie Pasta and Tomatoes
With only 200 calories, 5 grams total fat and 7 grams of protein, this vegetarian soup recipe from Whole Foods incorporates hearty greens such as Swiss chard or kale, escarole, garlic and fresh tomatoes for a low-sugar protein punch for an easy dinner with leftovers for a quick lunch. Serves 6 to 8.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
4 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard (about 3/4 pound), roughly chopped (and/or kale)
1/2 bunch escarole (about 1/2 pound), stemmed and roughly chopped
1/2 pound dried bowtie (farfalle) pasta
1 (3-inch) Parmigiano-Reggiano rind, plus grated Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish
1/4 pound baby spinach
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes and cook until most of the liquid is released and absorbed, about 5 minutes more.
3. Add carrots and 8 cups water and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
4. Stir in chard, escarole, pasta and Parmigiano-Reggiano rind.
5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until broth is flavorful and greens and pasta are tender, about 15 minutes.
6. Stir in spinach and season with salt and pepper.
7. Remove and discard bay leaf and cheese rind from soup then ladle into bowls, garnish with grated cheese and serve.
Rustic Italian Tomato Soup
As part of its Go Red for Women campaign, the American Heart Association offers this low-calorie, low-sodium soup to help beat heart disease. It’s often called the Silent Killer because heart disease victims often don’t even know they have it, so they aren’t treated or make healthy lifestyle changes. The AHA reports that 80% of heart disease in women is preventable, and more women are beating heart disease than ever before. So fix this heart-healthy soup for the women you love in your life. Serves 4; 1 cup.
16 ounces frozen mixed bell pepper strips (may be labeled stir-fry mix)
1 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 3/4 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 15.5-ounce can no-salt-added navy beans, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin preferred)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. In a food processor or blender, process the bell pepper strips, tomatoes with liquid, broth, beans, basil, parsley, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes until slightly chunky or smooth.
2. Pour into a large saucepan.
3. Bring to a boil over high heat.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until the flavors are blended.
5. Remove from the heat.
6. Stir in the oil and salt.
California Avocado Spiked Corn Soup
Using fresh California avocados, and a kick from white and cayenne peppers, this corn soup from the California Avocado Commission is low in sodium and a great source of potassium, fiber, protein, Vitamins A and C, calcium and iron. Serves 4.
1 medium onion, chopped
2 small celery stalks, diced
1/3 cup coarsely shredded carrot
1 Tbsp. canola oil
8 oz. yellow corn kernels
3/4 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 cups water
As needed Salt, to taste
As needed Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
As needed Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, peeled and seeded
As needed Carrot threads*, as needed for garnish
1. Sauté onion, celery and carrot in oil until soft, about 10 minutes.
2. Stir in corn, thyme, water and a little salt; simmer 20 minutes.
3. Coarsely puree mixture; return to pot.
4. Stir in salt, white pepper and cayenne to taste.
5. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice.
6. Dice half of the avocados and stir into soup. Slice remaining avocado.
7. Divide soup among warmed soup bowls. Garnish with avocado slices and carrot threads.
Stir in diced roast chicken or turkey for a main-meal entrée. To make carrot threads, pull a zester down a large carrot. Try with a glass of Pinot Noir.
*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.
Sweet Coconut Tapioca Soup with Bananas (Che Chuoi)
Cooking Light, myrecipes.com
Photo by Karry Hosford
This traditional dessert soup called Che Chuoi, made healthy with low sugar, tapioca, light coconut milk and fresh bananas, is a favorite for kids of all ages as a feel-good soup after dinner or a tasty after-school snack. According to myrecipes.com, it can be eaten hot, at room temperature, or chilled, and the cooler it gets, the thicker it becomes. Serves 4.
2 cups water
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 cup uncooked granulated tapioca
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large ripe bananas, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
1. Bring water and coconut milk to a boil in a medium saucepan.
2. Stir in sugar, tapioca, and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Stir in bananas. Remove from heat; cover, and let stand 15 minutes.
4. Serve warm, or chill 3 hours. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired