Hot and Hearty – Soups and Stews!

Nothing provides comfort like a hot bowl of soup or stew as the seasons change and a chill returns to the air.  Soups and stews offer a variety of different tastes using good-for-you foods, such as vegetables, beans and lean meat, and are a healthy choice during the cooler months.  Soups are a great way to combine nutrients from a wide variety of food groups in one pot.  The healthiest soups, typically broth based, include combinations of fresh low-fat ingredients and a minimum of salt and extra fat. We all know the importance of getting our vegetables, but sadly few of us get the recommended amounts each day!

 

The American Heart Association recommends adults consume eight or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Soups and stews can easily contribute to that total. Vegetables mix well into a variety of soups and stews, from creamy tomato to vegetable beef or chicken vegetable soup. Vegetables in soup contain many vitamins, such as A and C.  Cream soups supply calcium and vitamin D.  Soups and stews can help you meet your protein needs too as those made with a variety of beans and lean meats provide lean protein. Most soups, if made with lean meat, are low in fat, making them a good choice. Use fat-free broths and lean meat to reduce the fat content of soups and skim milk for cream soups. To further reduce the fat content of your soup without sacrificing flavor, chill it and skim off the fat before reheating and serving.

 

Perhaps equally beneficial to the health benefits are the stress-reducing convenience benefits!  You can put a variety of ingredients into a slow cooker in the morning before you leave for the day, and return home to a delicious meal in the evening. Using leftovers in a soup pot or slow cooker can create new variations of favorite recipes since soup and stews lends well to experimentation.  If you prefer to purchase soups already made for you, add fresh or frozen vegetables to increase the servings of vegetables and add flavor, just be mindful of the sodium in the prepared soups!

 

Black Bean Soup with Veggies

Makes 8 servings

 

Ingredients:

3 carrots, thinly sliced

2 celery ribs, sliced

1 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, diced

20 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

28 ounce can low sodium vegetable broth

15 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

(Beef or chicken could be added to this recipe for extra protein)

 

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover.

Cook on low for 9-10 hours.

 

Nutrition Information per serving: 120 calories, 2 grams total fat, 20 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, 350 milligrams sodium, 0 milligrams cholesterol.

Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. For more recipes and access to the recipe’s full nutritional profile, visit www.cdc.gov.

Related Blog Posts

Crockpot Butternut Squash and Apples

Are you looking for a deliciously simple way to cook Butternut Squash? This recipe uses a time friendly, one pot method to cook squash and apples to perfection! Seasoned with warm spices like cinnamon, cloves and ginger this recipe is…...

Black Bean and Corn Chili

If you’re looking for a super simple chili recipe, look no further!  This recipe for Black Bean and Corn Chili requires no chopping; just combine six simple ingredients, heat and eat! Not only is this chili simple, it is power…...

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Chicken and wild rice soup is an easy, quick recipe you can get on the table for your family. Enjoy it tonight!   Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (makes 8 servings)   Ingredients: 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking wild rice Cooking…...

Simple Savory Snack Mix 

Simple Savory Snack Mix  A simple, quick-to-fix variation on the traditional cracker and nut mix. This snack mix requires no cooking or addition of extra oils. I like to make a large batch and keep on hand for snacking through…...

Salmon Patties: A Great Heart Healthy Recipe

We all know we should be eating more seafood for the heart healthy omega-3 benefits; but cooking seafood can be intimidating. This simple recipe for salmon is the solution! Starting with pre-cooked salmon and adding ingredients we typically have in…...
View More Posts