Soup-er Bowl

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Kick off a meal with a bowl of soup and score a touchdown of your own this winter!

Have a real soup-er bowl when you serve this delicious soup. Just add a salad and it becomes a great meal after the big game.

Easy Black Bean Soup
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup carrots (2), chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups water
2 tsp vegetable broth powder
1/2 cup bottled salsa
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
3 cups cooked black beans, undrained
Saute onion in oil. Add carrots, bell pepper and garlic and saute a minute or two more.
Add water, salsa, cumin, oregano, vegetable broth powder and black beans. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until veggies are tender, about 15 minutes.
Puree soup in blender in batches (or use a handheld blender and puree it right in the pot). Return to pot and adjust seasonings.
Serves 6. Each 1 cup serving: 175 calories, 3 g fat, 1/2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 357 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber, 9 g protein. Diabetic exchange: 2 bread, 1/2 lean meat.

Soup-er Nutritious
• Choose ‘no salt added’ varieties of canned beans, vegetables and tomato products. Salt-free seasonings and a dash of lemon juice or vinegar added to soup just before serving will liven up the flavor.
• Add extra nutrition to canned soups by adding frozen or leftover vegetables, beans and cooked grains or pasta.
• Start your meals with soup. You’ll be less likely to overeat when the main course is served.
• Remove excess fat from soup by laying a clean paper towel over the top to soak up the grease. Or make soup ahead of time, chill it over night, and lift off the hardened fat before reheating the soup.
• Give soups a creamy texture by using pureed white beans, evaporated skim milk or instant potato flakes instead of high-fat cream.
• Soup makes a tasty snack! It fills you up and lowfat bean or vegetables soups are more nutritious than most snacks. Keep it on hand at home and at work.
• Eat a cup of soup before going out to a late dinner or party. It will take the edge off of your hunger so you make better choices and don’t over eat.

Soup-er Tips
• Save clean vegetable pieces and peels, mushroom stems, and even corn cobs in a zippered bag in the freezer. When the bag is full, simmer the vegetables in water to make a flavorful broth. Avoid strongly flavored vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower, which will overpower the broth.
• Simmer your soup, don’t boil it, or the broth will be cloudy and the ingredients will lose their shape.
• Season gently at first and taste your soup just before serving. Add dried herbs at the beginning and fresh herbs at the end.
• Bolster a ho-hum stock with a quarter to a half teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet, a teaspoon Worcestershire sauce or one to two tablespoons tomato paste.
• Read the labels when purchasing broth and soup. Many contain a disproportionately high amount of sodium per calorie. A good rule of thumb is to try and find one that contains the same number or less for mg of sodium as it does calories.
By Cheryl Sullivan, MA, RD.

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