Cooking Demo Soup Is Up

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Creamy, luxurious soups without the fat calories? Very possible! Potatoes and sweet potatoes, rice, cream of wheat, vegetable purees and low fat tofu can serve as the “cream” in decadent-tasting soups.

Cooking Demo Ideas: Soup’s Up!

Creamy, luxurious soups without the fat calories? Very possible! Potatoes and sweet potatoes, rice, cream of wheat, vegetable purees and low fat tofu can serve as the “cream” in decadent-tasting soups.

Clue your clients into the health benefits of soy. Explain that silken or soft tofu can be used to replace some or all of the milk added to condensed soups, such as tomato or cream of mushroom. Simply stir and mix tofu into soup or puree tofu (in a blender or food processor) with a small amount of soup, adding this mixture to the total amount of soup after pureeing. Tofu can also be used as a base for cream-less cream soups.

Demonstrate a fast tofu chowder by blending tofu, tomato puree, chopped canned tomatoes, diced cooked potatoes and cut corn in a soup pot; allow it to simmer until a creamy tomato-potato chowder is borne. If the mixture is too thick, it can be thinned with water, tomato juice, vegetable juice cocktail or soymilk.

Root vegetables have lots of starch and fiber, which leads to a lot of body for soups. Cook carrots, sweet potatoes, white potatoes or turnips with vegetable or chicken stock or water until vegetables are soft enough to puree. Puree in a blender or food processor until the texture is creamy and smooth. Season with fresh or dried herbs (we like potato with dill and rosemary or sweet potato with ginger and thyme) and garnish with chopped vegetables.

Have a “stone soup” party. Stone soup is an old tale about building soup with magic stones and water. Of course, after the magic stones had simmered for a while, they needed the enhancement of some carrots, celery, onions, peppers, mushrooms- you get the picture. You provide the “cream” in the form of tofu or mashed potato mix. Ask everyone to bring one nutritious item to add to the stone soup. Record the creation and give all participants the recipe.

Show your clients that chicken or vegetable stock can be made to look and taste creamy with the addition of cream of rice cereal; the same effect can be achieved by cooking rice right in the stock (rather than cooking rice separately and then adding). A good example of this is Greek Chicken and Lemon soup (avgolomono), which looks creamy but contains no dairy products. Rice is cooked right in chicken broth; lemon juice adds a flavorful tang and helps to “cloud” the broth. Garnished with shredded chicken, this can be low fat soup that looks and tastes as if it was cooked with lots of cream.

“Cream of” can be achieved with a mashed potato mix (or leftover mashed potatoes). Demonstrate this by stirring potatoes into heated broth or stock and then add your “cream of” flavor, such as sliced mushrooms; cooked, diced celery; chicken or turkey; asparagus tips or cooked, minced onion. Garnish with chopped vegetables, fresh herbs or croutons.


“Creamy” Carrot Soup

This vibrantly colored soup has everything going for it: bright orange color, smooth mouth feel, elegant appearance and lots of nutrients

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup chopped yellow onions

2 cloves minced garlic

1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger

2 pounds peeled and diced carrots

1 medium-sized (about 6 ounces) peeled and diced baking potato

3 cups water or low sodium broth

½ teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon dried parsley

Heat oil or margarine in soup pot. Add onions, garlic and ginger and saute until onions are soft (about 8 minutes). Add carrots and potatoes, cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add stock, pepper and parsley, cover and allow to cook until carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes. Place soup in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Return to heat and allow to cook until hot, about 5 minutes. Adjust consistency if needed with more broth. Serve as is or garnished with chopped green onions and fresh parsley.

Serves 4. Each 1-1/2 cup serving: 176 calories, 4 g fat, .5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 87 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 4 g protein. Diabetic exchange: 2 bread, 1 veg.

Who needs cream?

The following ingredients added to soup gives the taste, appearance and mouthfeel of cream without the fat calories; they can be blended in by mixing or pureed in a food processor:

• Low fat tofu

• Prepared mashed potatoes or mashed potato mix

• Pureed root vegetables (such as carrots, turnips, parsnips)

• Mashed sweet potatoes

• Cream of rice or cream of wheat cereal

• Nonfat milk powder

• Rice (cooked right in the soup)

• Pureed corn

By Nancy Berkoff, RD, EdD, CCE.

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