The Skinny on Slimming Winter Soups | chelseanow.com

The Skinny on Slimming Winter Soups

BY CARLYE WAXMAN RD, CDN | Who wants to eat a cold salad or fruit and yogurt when it’s chilly out? The best way to stay warm and skinny this winter is with SOUP!

Making healthy soups is a surefire way to lose weight during the winter months, when we tend to gain. Soups can be great as a lunch item with a hot slice of whole grain bread, as a midday snack before you hit the gym or at dinner, accompanied with a lean protein and vegetable.

Just because I said soup makes you skinny doesn’t mean your soup has to be boring or limited to familiar recipes like tomato soup, chicken soup or just plain vegetable soup from a can.

Try making a huge batch yourself. It takes less than an hour, and you can get four to six future meals from it! Don’t want the same soup all week long? Portion the finished, cooled soup into individual Tupperware (8-10oz portions) and freeze it, then go back to that soup when you’re ready a few weeks later. You can also bring it to work for lunch and use your “frozen soup” as your ice pack if you’re also bringing along other snacks for the day.

If you haven’t invested in a handheld blender, I strongly recommend it. It’s small, cheap and fits in the drawer. You can whip it out and puree any of these soups or lightly puree them for a thicker consistency.

Before I give you my favorite winter soup recipes, here are some tips on how to prepare any soup healthily:

• If your recipe calls for heavy cream, use pureed cooked potatoes. It will give the soup that thickening consistency without the calories.

• If you want your soup to taste like cream, good tip is to use a few tablespoons of heavy cream when the recipe calls for one cup. You can fill the rest of the cup with low-fat milk.

• Instead of using olive oil or butter to sauté vegetables and meat prior to making it into a soup, try investing in a slow cooker. Most recipes will allow you to just throw all the ingredients into the pot without having to cook them individually (this will also cut down on your clean up time.)

• Use low-fat cheese when the recipe calls for cheese. Since you’re probably adding the whole package, you can really save on calories this way.

Below are some of my go-to staples for the winter. These recipes are easy, and can be prepared by my fellow friends who live in studios with six-foot kitchens, one pot and maybe a few utensils.

HEARTY GARDEN MINESTRONE
Ingredients:
1 garlic clove, minced or chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 can white beans or chick peas
2 cans of Hunt’s low-sodium stewed tomatoes
3 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
½ cup of uncooked pasta shells
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat the oil and garlic in a medium-sized sauce pan. After it sizzles, add onion and celery and cook until tender (about five minutes). Add zucchini and squash and cook for approximately 3-5 minutes, stirring. Add canned beans, stewed tomatoes and stock. Bring the pot to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Simmer and cover. After about 30 minutes, add uncooked pasta shells and cook for another 20 minutes. If your consistency is too thick, simply add water and continue cooking until the desired consistency is achieved. Then add the basil, oregano, salt and pepper!

CINNAMON-SPICED PUMPKIN AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH STEW
Ingredients:
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon butter
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 pound of butternut squash, peeled and cubed (can buy pre-packaged)
1 can Libby’s pure pumpkin
3 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:
Melt the butter, ginger and garlic on medium heat in a medium-sized sauce pan. After it sizzles, add onion, celery and butternut squash. Cook for approximately 3-5 minutes. Add canned pumpkin. Cook for 2 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, then simmer and cover for 15 minutes.

Take the pot off of the burner. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to taste. Puree half of this with your handheld blender and keep the other half chunky.

Meet Hearth Garden Minestrone soup, your new winter comfort food.  Photo by Carley Waxman RD, CDN

Meet Hearth Garden Minestrone soup, your new winter comfort food. Photo by Carley Waxman RD, CDN

RED LENTIL SOUP WITH CARROTS AND SMOKED PAPRIKA
Ingredients:
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 white onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup of baby carrots
1 cup of red lentils rinsed and drained
4 cups of water
1 mushroom, chicken or vegetable bouillon cube
1 tablespoon smoked paprika

Directions:
Add the olive oil and garlic to a medium-large pot cooked on medium heat. After it sizzles, add onion, celery and carrots. Cook for approximately 3-5 minutes. Then add the lentils, bouillon cube and tomato paste. Cook for 2 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute, then simmer and cover for about an hour.

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