Soup’s On!

Try these savory soups to warm your family on cold wintry days

Nothing beats a chill in the air like a hot bowl of soup. Here are three of our hearty-yet-healthy faves to try during this, National Soup Month:
Creamy Split Pea Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
9 cups water
1 package (16 ounces) dried green split peas
2 cups cubed, peeled sweet potatoes
1 bay leaf
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
In a large saucepan coated with cooking spray, cook onion and celery until tender. Stir in water, peas, sweet potatoes, bay leaf, salt, thyme and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 70 to 80 minutes or until peas are tender. Remove from the heat; cool slightly. Discard bay leaf. In a blender, puree soup in batches. Return to the pan; heat through. Serves 10.
Nutritional Analysis (1 serving equals 1-1/3 cup): 191 calories, 1 g fat, 0 cholesterol, 375 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate, 13 g fiber, 12 g protein
Fresh Tomato Basil Soup
8 ripe plum tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch ground red pepper
1 tablesoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups skim milk
In a large pot of boiling water, blanche ripe tomatoes for 10 seconds. Transfer to colander; cool slightly and peel off skin. Cut tomatoes in half; remove seeds and chop. In a medium saucepan, cook the onion in olive oil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown (about 4 minutes). Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. And the chopped tomatoes and cook uncovered over medium heat for 20 minutes.
Spoon 3/4 of mixture into food processor or blender; puree until smooth. Return to saucepan, and add red pepper, basil and milk to the soup. Heat until hot, but do not boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh basil leaves (optional). Divide the soup into two warms bowls and serve immediately. Note: For vegan version, substitute 2 cups soymilk for skim milk. Serves 4.
Nutritional Analysis: 73 calories, 73 g fat, 17 mg cholesterol, 67.4 mg sodium, 13.6 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 5.5 g protein
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 slices bacon, cut in half
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-1/2 pounds medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and diced
4 cubes reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup snipped chives or finely chopped scallion greens
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel to drain, leaving the oil and bacon drippings in the pan. Add onion to the pan and cook, stirring, until starting to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer about half the potatoes to a bowl and mash until almost smooth, but still a little chunky. Return the mashed potatoes to the pan along with sour cream, 1/4 cup cheese and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the cheese is melted and the soup is heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve garnished with crumbled bacon, the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and chives (or scallion greens). Serves 4.
Nutritional Analysis: 304 calories, 13 g fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 737 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 13 g protein
These are our favorites. Share yours in the comments section below.

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