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Charles Platkin

The Diet Detective 

Here are some wholesome soups for chilly fall days that will fill you up without loading you up with calories.

Golden Lentil Soup

14 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth, or water, plus additional, if needed

2 cups dried red lentils

½ cup uncooked long grain white rice

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups medium-diced carrots

2 cups medium-diced celery

2 cups medium-diced onions

½ teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon seasoned salt

1 tablespoon lemon pepper

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Juice of 1 lemon

Italian parsley for garnish

1. In a large pot, bring the broth to boil on high heat. Add the lentils and rice; stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer 35-45 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery and onions; sauté 10 minutes to soften the vegetables.

3. Add the cooked vegetables to the simmering broth mixture. Add the cumin, salt, seasoned salt, lemon pepper and black pepper; simmer uncovered for an additional 20 minutes. If the soup is too thick, dilute it with more broth or water. Stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust flavor as needed.

4. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish each with a sprig of Italian parsley.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 105.4 calories, 1.3g fat, 16g carbs, 3.4g fiber, 7.4g protein. Makes 10-12 servings

Spaghetti Squash Apple Soup

16 ounces chicken stock

1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks

1 spaghetti squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Dash of ground nutmeg

Dash of ground cloves

Salt to taste

1. Pour the chicken stock into a large pot and set over high heat.

2. Add the apple and spaghetti squash chunks into the pot and cook until the squash is very tender.

3. Use an immersion blender to puree the squash and apple. (If you don't have an immersion blender, remove the squash and apple pieces from the pot and puree in a blender or food processor, then pour back into the pot.)

4. Mix in the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt to taste.

5. Reheat the soup as necessary.

Nutrition Information: (per serving, 1 cup) 153 calories. 3g fat, 15g carbs, 4g fiber, 7 protein. Makes 4 servings.

Chunky Corn Chowder with Kale and Sweet Potato

Corn chowder packed with fabulous flavors and good nutrition; all in one bowl.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 cup chopped celery

1 teaspoon minced garlic

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 cups skim milk

2 cups low sodium fat-free vegetable or chicken broth

1 (16-ounce) package frozen corn

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

Salt and pepper to taste

1½ cups chopped kale

1. In large nonstick pot, heat the oil and sauté the onion, celery and garlic until tender, 5-7 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute.

2. Gradually add the milk and broth; bring to a boil, stirring for several minutes or until the mixture thickens. Lower the heat and add the corn and sweet potato, cooking until the potato is tender, 6-8 minutes. Season to taste. Before serving stir in the kale and cook several minutes.

Nutrition information (per serving): 186 calories, 4g fat, 34g carbs, 4g fiber, 6g protein. Makes 8 servings.

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Charles Platkin PhD is a nutrition and public health advocate and founder of DietDetective.com. Sign up for the free Diet Detective newsletter at www.DietDetective.com

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