Tuesday , 12 December 2017

Lorie Fangio: It’s Winter and Soup’s On

By Lorie Fangio, TSB Contributor

The holidays are behind us and we can finally look ahead to 2013. January ushers in a fresh start and an opportunity to take stock. This is a great time to get back to the basics of clean living. That means plenty of sleep, lots of exercise and a wholesome diet that’s easy on the wallet and the waistline.

Hearty soups drenched in fantastic flavor are a terrific option for the cold winter months; nothing warms the body better than a steaming bowl of soup, it’s like a hug from the kitchen. 

Flavorful soups are easy to prepare, economical and as long as you stay away from recipes calling for cream and butter, they are typically low in calories. Your family will love my satisfying Ham and Bean Soup, and it is a great way to use up the leftover holiday ham. Minestrone Soup is a classic Italian option packed with fresh taste and topped off with parmesan croutons for an added crunch. My yummy and comforting Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup will definitely please a crowd. Try substituting a portion of the skim milk with fat free half and half for a richer, silkier texture. Pull out your soup pots and get cooking!

Ham and Bean Soup
1 pound Great Northern beans picked over and rinsed
6 ounces of deli ham sliced thick and cut into cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 14 ounce cans of chicken stock
2 cups water
1 onion chopped
½ cup finely chopped carrots
1 clove of garlic left whole
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot set over medium high heat, brown ham in olive oil stirring often. Remove ham from pot and cook onions for 4-5 minutes until soft. Add remaining ingredients except carrots.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook covered for 2-3 hours stirring often and adding additional liquid if needed. Add carrots when 20 minutes cooking time remains.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
8 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups skim milk
3/4 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
6 ounces egg noodles
1/4 cup flour

In a large soup pot set over medium high heat, combine broth, 1 cup of the milk, carrot, celery, green pepper, onion, garlic, seasonings and cook until vegetables are tender. Add chicken and noodles and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until noodles are almost done. In a cup, create a slurry by mixing together remaining 1/2 cup milk and flour until smooth. Add mixture to soup and cook for about 3 more minutes until soup thickens.

Minestrone Soup (Pictured At Top)
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic pressed
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
½ teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
1 large onion chopped
1 large baking potato cubed
1 cup carrots chopped
1 cup celery chopped
1 zucchini chopped
1 cup fresh green beans chopped
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 14 ounce can stewed tomatoes
3 cans chicken stock
2 cups water
½ cup orzo pasta
¼ cup fresh basil chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a soup pot set over medium high heat, sauté garlic and onions in olive oil for about 4 minutes. Add celery, carrots, potatoes, green beans stewed tomatoes, chicken stock, water, seasonings and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add zucchini, cabbage, green beans and orzo and cook for another 8-10 minutes until pasta is tender. Add fresh basil, and serve with crusty crouton.  Serves 6

Parmesan Croutons
6 thin slices of French bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Set oven to broil.  Using a pastry brush, brush both sides of bread with olive oil. Toast both sides of bread in oven turning when brown. Rub garlic clove on one side of toasted croutons, sprinkle with cheese and return to oven for 1-2 minutes until cheese melts.

Lorie Fangio is a Home Economist and Lifestyle Advisor.  For more terrific recipes click on the link to Lorie’s Blog Around the Table

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