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3 Delicious Calorie-Conscious Soups

Collage of various soups You’ve heard how soups can help weight loss. Not so fast. Not all soups are light and low in calories. Down one cup of clam chowder and you may have easily ingested 163 calories and...

Collage of various soups
Collage of various soups

You’ve heard how soups can help weight loss. Not so fast. Not all soups are light and low in calories. Down one cup of clam chowder and you may have easily ingested 163 calories and 6 grams of fat. On the other hand, a cup of homemade clear vegetable soup contains only 34 calories and zero fat. Those are moderate estimations. One thing remains clear, to make calorie-conscious soups, it’s all in the ingredients. What ingredients should you use to ensure low-calorie healthy soups? Consider these ingredients the next time you want to whip up a low-calorie, nutrient-dense soup:

Fresh Vegetables for Soup
Fresh Vegetables for Soup

Vegetables and Plenty of Them

Vegetables are generally low in calories and fat, high in fiber and nutrients. Colorful vegetables yield plenty of anthocyanins, a potent group of antioxidants to promote health. Certain vegetables are endowed with a high water content such as cucumber, celery, zucchini, squash, jicama, among others. These voluminous vegetables, so called due to its high-water content, make good choices when it comes to soups. Chop up any assortment of vegetables and use them to beef up the soup. For instance, a tomato-based vegetable soup can include a can (16 oz) of tomato juice and plenty of vegetables such as onion, celery, carrots, fresh tomatoes, peas, corns and spinach. Season with salt, pepper and a dash of spice (oregano, thyme, basil, cumin). Soups loaded with vegetables fill you up without a high calorie count.

Beans Peas and Lentils
Beans Peas and Lentils

Beans, Peas, Lentils

When it comes to adding carbohydrates without raking up calories, consider beans, peas and lentils. Broadly classified as legumes, they’re powerhouses of nutrients and minerals, loaded with fiber and low in fat. According to Harvard Health,  legumes have been linked to reduced risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon health, certain cancers and weight loss. They also make great vegetable protein sources and have a way of making the soup hearty and interesting without adding a lot of calories. You can use canned beans or soak the dried form in water (for at least 12 to 24 hours to reduce the flatulence factor) before cooking. You can also puree beans to thicken soup.

Soup Broth
Soup Broth

Soup Base

How do you like your soup? If you love creamy soup, made from heavy cream, milk or butter, you may want to reconsider that option. Using light soup base from low-fat chicken broth, vegetable broth, water or low-fat milk may be the way to go when it comes to producing calorie-conscious soups. For instance, instead of thickening your soup with flour, cream or egg yolk, you may opt to puree vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, cauliflower (see this recipe for cauliflower mash) to help thicken soup.

These ingredients are by no means exhaustive. You may opt to use lean protein such as chicken, turkey and seafood. Before using a certain ingredient you're not sure of, be sure to check out its calorie profile. Of course, using a good quality soup pot will make your cooking endeavor a pleasure and a breeze. Contact us for more information about making low-calorie soups. Visit our website for all your culinary needs.

Soup can sometimes get a bad rap. Despite including many vegetables, some people consider soup to be not all that healthy when one takes into consideration the calories and sodium content. However, there are many Calorie-Conscious Soups out there. In fact here is a list of soups that are all 100 calories or less!

Here are three fun and tasty examples that show that soups don't need to have lots of calories:

Chicken Salsa Soup

(recipe from fatsecret.com)

This recipe proves that healthy doesn't equal boring! A short preparation time and some simple ingredients can give you a spicy and delicious dinner treat!

Chicken Salsa Soup
Chicken Salsa Soup

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • 1/2 pound of boneless chicken breast
  • 8 oz. jar of salsa (pick your perfect hotness)
  • 14.5 ounces of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1 cup of corn
  • 14.5 oz. of water

Directions:

  1. Combine the chicken, broth, water, and chili powder in a large sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots and corn, and bring it back to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat again, cover, and simmer.
  6. Once the chicken is no longer pink, and the corn is tender, add the salsa, and be sure to heat the mixture up well.

Tips:

  • For additional fiber and body, feel free to add in some black beans or even potatoes.
  • Using low sodium broth can be a good choice to make it healthier.
  • Adding some sour cream can be a nice touch (but will increase the calorie count).
  • You can adjust the spiciness of this soup by picking your salsa or adding more or less chili powder as necessary.
  • This can be a great way to use up left over chicken including chicken from chicken tacos, fajitas, or even barbecue chicken.

All-Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup
Vegetable Soup

This soup contains so many nutritious vegetables. It is super tasty and super easy. Best of all, it allows for complete customization. If you don't like some of these vegetables, you can always give them a shot. Sometimes you may find you like them in a soup. However, you can also cut out the ones you don't like or substitute veggies that you do like! This is a perfect way to use all those extra vegetables growing in your garden.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 fl. oz. of lemon juice
  • 2 cups of shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of table salt
  • 2 cups of chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups of chopped broccoli (small florets recommended)
  • 2 medium sized carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups of chopped cauliflower (small florets recommended)
  • 1 medium size stalk of celery, diced
  • 2 cups of chopped swiss chard
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 small diced zucchini
  • 1 medium sized red bell pepper, chopped

Directions:

  1. In a large soup pot combine the thyme, broth, vegetables, and garlic.
  2. Cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the parsley, salt, and lemon juice. These are all optional so you can add in however much you would like in order to get the taste you prefer.
  5. Only takes about 13 minutes to fully cook.

Tips:

  • This soup can take over half an hour to prepare because of all the chopping! Plan ahead.
  • You can save time by using frozen vegetables, but they may not taste as good as fresh ones!
  • Remember you can cut back on some vegetables or substitute for ones you like.

Onion Carrot and Ginger Soup

(recipe from fatsecret.com)

This soup only takes five minutes to prepare and requires very few ingredients. However, keep in mind that it does take approximately 45 minutes to finish cooking. Best of all, this soup only contains 46 calories per serving.

 

Carrot Ginger Soup
Carrot Ginger Soup

Makes 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 10 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 cups of chopped carrots
  • 2 teaspoons of ginger
  • 2 cups of chopped onions

Directions:

  1. Slice the onions.
  2. Peel the carrots.
  3. Chop the ginger.
  4. Add all of the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil for 30-40 minutes.

Tips:

  • Be cautious with the ginger. Some people don't like a strong ginger flavor. Also, if you are using fresh vs. what you get in the spice section your soup may need more or less!
  • Look for lower sodium chicken stock or make your own in order to make this meal even healthier.
  • If you do not like chunks in your soup, you can puree the soup in a blender to make it smoother.
  • For some extra fun sprinkle with feta cheese or garnish with herbs.

Please contact us for more delicious calorie-conscious recipes!