Healthy, Hearty, Gourmet Soups Make Eating Light Delightful

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Eating a healthy, balanced, high fiber diet doesn't mean you have to sacrifice taste and flavor. By choosing the right herbs, spices and seasonings, you can add the gourmet tastes you love to hearty, healthy, satisfying dishes.

Soups are a great way to enjoy distinctive flavors, since their long cooking times give flavors an opportunity to fully unfold. Soups are also a natural choice as part of a healthy diet, because they can be made to include a host of nutritious, high fiber ingredients. If a soup recipe calls for a particular vegetable which you enjoy, feel free to add more than the recipe calls for. Soup making is not an exact science, and adding more of something will have the effect of making that flavor more prevalent and adding more body to the finished soup.

Many soup recipes call for unhealthy ingredients, but it's fairly easy to substitute those for lower calorie, lower fat options. If a soup calls for heavy cream, replace the cream with a mixture of two parts skim milk to one part fat free sour cream. This will significantly reduce the fat and calories in the recipe. If the recipe calls for you to sautee something in butter, saute it in olive oil instead, and try using half as much as the recipe indicated. Olive oil has many more health benefits than butter, and also adds flavor to the finished soup. If you feel you need to add more olive oil, add it a teaspoon at a time. Olive oil runs about 119 calories per tablespoon, so it's a good idea to use it carefully.

Here's a recipe for a light, healthy Tomato and Cilantro Soup. It's bursting with bright flavors, and makes a perfect accompaniment to any Mexican or South American salad or entree.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 stalks celery, finely diced
3 large shallots, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
3 tablespoons finely minced cilantro
3 16 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 zucchini, diced
1 tablespoon flour

Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Add the next six ingredients and cook until soft, about 6-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Turn up the heat enough to bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the stock. Reduce the heat, partially cover, and let simmer for about 45 minutes.

Heat the two tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet over medium high heat, and brown the zucchini. Remove the zucchini and add it to the tomato soup. Add the flour to the remaining oil and saute it, stirring constantly, until it's a light brown. Stir this into the soup, stirring well to combine.

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Bonni Vivant has 30 articles online

Looking for more nutritious, healthy diet food recipes? We have an excellent selection of diet food recipes, low sugar desserts, fresh salad ideas and more at Eat Healthy!

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Healthy, Hearty, Gourmet Soups Make Eating Light Delightful

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Healthy, Hearty, Gourmet Soups Make Eating Light Delightful

This article was published on 2012/04/12