TFS Wednesday: Soup, Soup, Hooray

I'm so excited, it's cold and rainy here today!  It's a soup day! 

Soup is one of the easiest to make and most filling ways to eat healthy.  It is also total comfort food.  The first rainy, cold day of fall just begs for a big bowl of soup and a mug of hot tea. 

I have nothing against good old canned soup.  It's not the best for nutrition, but it is convenient, cheap, easy-to-store, and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.  For super-easy soup days, I break out my crockpot.  Start with a liner (which makes clean up fantastically easy), add in a can of chicken noodle soup, maybe one can of cream of chicken soup, throw in a frozen bag of mixed veggies; leave this on low for a few hours and you have a quasi-healthy meal that your kids will love.

Besides canned soup, I always keep a big supply of chicken broth on hand.  I can go Costco size with this because it really does have 1001 uses. Almost any vegetable simmered with some spices in chicken broth makes a great soup.  To make it into a low-fat cream soup add some potato and/or cauliflower then run either all or part of the soup through the blender.  If I am feeling indulgent I will add a 1/2 tablespoon of real cream to the top of my veggie soup and maybe a few seeds or nuts for crunch.  

Chicken broth also makes a great warm-you-up and fill-you-up snack.  Just pour some in a mug and heat it, then sip it slowly.  It keeps hunger at bay and can be put in a thermal mug to take with you when you are on the go.   

Today's soup is going to be one of my all time favorites, Pacific Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (it's the big container in the back of the photo).  One very-filling cup is only 110 calories and 2 grams of fat with 5 grams of protein.  To jazz it up I'm adding a few spicy sausage ravioli.  

Which brings up my final point about soup, if you have a favorite, possibly high calorie, dish, you can almost always recreate it for fewer calories as a soup. For example, I love reuben sandwiches, which usually come on buttered toasted bread with lots of 1000 island dressing.  So, I created reuben soup; beef broth base with cabbage and corn beef and potatoes and lil rye bread croutons, which I of course top off with a little broiled swiss cheese.  Yummmm!

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