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Recipe Rehab: Healthier Soups

January is Soup Month, and a great time of year to warm up with a bowl of your favorite soup. Or try a new recipe this month. Many soups are packed with protein, veggies, and grains, making them a great one-pot meal option on a busy night. You can easily adapt your recipes to make a healthier soup too.

1. Choose reduced-sodium or salt-free broth or stocks. Broths and stocks in soups add a flavorful base liquid, but can also add a lot of sodium. Starting with a lower-sodium liquid is helpful in making a healthier soup. Using more herbs and spices in the soup adds flavor without salt.

2. Add more vegetables. Some recipes for soup may say to use a certain amount of vegetables, such as one cup of chopped carrots or one stalk of celery. If you feel comfortable going off the recipe, add more. Maybe three stalks of celery, instead of one. Not only does this add more vitamins, minerals, and fiber, it fills up the soup and makes it feel heartier.

3. Use evaporated milk in place of cream. Whereas broth-based soups tend to be high in sodium, creamy soups tend to be high in fat. With less water, evaporated milk provides a familiar flavor and thickness to soups with less fat.

Zesty Tomato Soup (serves 4)

1 can (14.5 ounces) no-salt added diced tomatoes
1 cup roasted red peppers, drained
1 cup evaporated milk, fat-free
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh basil, rinsed and chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried)

1. Combine tomatoes and red peppers in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.
2. Put tomato mixture in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
3. Add evaporated milk, garlic powder and pepper. Return to a boil, reduce heat to low and gently simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add basil and serve.

Nutritional analysis per 1 cup: 94 calories, 0g fat, 231mg sodium, 5g protein

Recipe from University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension, Zesty Tomato Soup
Source: SNAP-Ed Connection

Today's post was written by Caitlin Huth. Caitlin Huth,MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator serving DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties. She teaches nutrition- and food-based lessons around heart health, food safety, diabetes, and others. In all classes, she encourages trying new foods, gaining confidence in healthy eating, and getting back into our kitchens.