The dark days of winter are upon us and that means chillier weather. Don't despair! Homemade soup can warm you and your family up in a hurry. Soup is easy to make with ingredients you may already have at home and it's a simple way to give your family a hearty, healthy meal chock full of vegetables. It's also a great way to use leftovers. With meat or without meat, soup always packs flavorful warmth for a chilly day.
Fall veggies like leeks, parsnip butter nut squash and pumpkins and sweet potatoes are perfect for delicious soups. Start with these basics and then add ingredients you like:
- Chop an onion, some celery and a couple of sliced carrots. Add in a tablespoon of olive oil and cook until the onion is soft. Include some garlic if you want.
- Add a few cups of veggie or chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Add "hard" veggies like parsnips, potatoes, leeks or cabbage.
- Season with your favorite spices. We recommend a bay leaf and a pitch of thyme.
- Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until the vegetables are slightly soft.
- Add soft vegetables like greens, broccoli or green beans in the last 5 minutes.
- Taste, season and enjoy!
To add more protein to your soup, cook beans, chicken or beef first and then add to the soup pot in the last 5 minutes of cook time.
What do you get? A warm delicious meal full of flavor and nutrition. Soup! It's what's for supper.
Chicken Veggie Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lb skinless, boneless chicken cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 cups whole peeled tomatoes with liquid, chopped
- 4 cups fat free chicken broth
- 1 cup chopped fresh greens
- 6 drops hot pepper sauce (optional)
- Salt & pepper
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the chicken & cook for 5 - 10 minutes, or until browned; set aside.
- To the same saucepan add the onion, garlic & carrots and cook for 3 - 5 mins.
- Add cauliflower, celery, tomatoes, chicken broth & chicken.
- Stir together, bring to a slow boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 - 30 mins. Add broccoli in the last 5 mins.
- Stir in fresh greens, hot pepper sauce & salt & pepper to taste.
"Souping Up" Soup
- Always add leafy greens to soup at the end of the cooking time. Cook them just enough so the greens wilt.
- A tsp of corn starch dissolved in a about 1/3 cup of broth can thicken soup. Dissolve the corn starch before stirring it into the soup to prevent lumps.
- Use beans instead of chicken or beef for good protein without extra fat. Beans are rich in fiber which aids in digestion. Beans also contain antioxidants for better health!
- Add cooked rice or noodles for a heartier dish. Cook separately & add at the end of the cooking time so the rice & noodles don't get mushy.
- You can dip things in your soup! Got some stale bread? Toast it & cut it into finger size strips and serve with soup.
- For a crunchy side dish, try a fast & easy carrot, beet & apple salad. Shred or cut into small pieces: 1 large beet, 3 carrots & 2 apples. Mix with 1 tsp olive oil & 3 tsp apple cider vinegar. It's tangy, crunchy & delicious
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