Soups and stews: An easy way to create a healthy meal

Soups and stews warm the body and provide a balance of protein, vegetables and spices.

by Stan Kalson — 

So often our busy lifestyles detract from creating healthy meals, especially during the winter months. Soups and stews warm the body and provide a balance of protein, vegetables and spices. Here are some healthy-ingredient soup recipes to try.

Broccoli and Almond Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1-1/2 pounds broccoli florets, cut in small pieces
  • 3-3/4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1-1/4 cups skimmed milk or unsweetened almond milk
  • salt/pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread ground almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes. Save one quarter of almonds and set aside to garnish dish. Steam broccoli 6 to 7 minutes until tender. Place remaining almonds, broccoli, vegetable stock, water and milk in blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Reheat and serve with reserved almonds.

Sweet-and-Sour Crockpot Chicken Stew

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 9 ounces baby carrots
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger root
  • 10-ounce jar sweet-and-sour simmer sauce
  • 8-ounce can pineapple bits, drained, juice reserved
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup thin egg noodles

Instructions:

Combine chicken, carrots, onion, chicken broth, water, ginger root, and sweet-and-sour sauce in 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Mix reserved pineapple juice with cornstarch until smooth and stir into chicken mixture in crockpot. Mix well. Stir in pineapple bits, bell peppers and egg noodles. Cover and cook on high 25 to 35 minutes until pasta is tender. Serves 6-8.

Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1- to 1-1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 cups fat-free, salt-free canned chicken broth
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-3/4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cups skim milk or almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • extra sour cream for garnish

Instructions:

Simmer ginger in small pot of water. Remove from heat and steep. In large pot, cook onions, celery and garlic in 1/2 cup of the broth until the onion is wilted. Add remaining broth and squash; bring to a simmer. Simmer until tender. If necessary, add more broth or water. Using a food processor or blender, puree squash mixture until smooth. Whisk in yogurt and milk. Remove ginger from water and discard; pour ginger water into soup. Reheat, but do not allow to boil as curdling can occur. Top with dollop of yogurt and sprinkle of chives over soup.

Banana Squash and Greens Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cups banana squash, peeled, cut in small pieces
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt and/or vegetable broth powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups greens (spinach, kale or mustard, etc.), chopped

Instructions:

Heat oil in large pot and sauté onion, banana squash and ginger. When soft, add liquid and seasonings and bring to a boil. When squash is soft, remove with slotted spoon and place in blender with some of soup liquid. Blend to thick consistency and return to pot. Generously sprinkle uncooked chopped greens into bowls of hot soup. For added fat and flavor, place pat of butter or sprinkle some parmesan cheese into soup.

Spicy Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 6 tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
  • 4 scallion heads — discard green part
  • 4 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce
  • 2 limes, juice and peel

Instructions:

Place tomatoes in 2- to 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Add broth, sherry, cilantro, soy sauce, scallions and ginger. Simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Puree in food processor/blender. Before serving, stir in chili sauce. Grate peel from one lime and add to soup. Squeeze juice from both limes into soup. Serve warm or cold.

 

Stan Kalson, founder and director of the International Holistic Center, Inc., has been active in the community for 30 years. www.holisticresources.org. 602-287-0605.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 1, February/March 2008.

, , , , , , ,
Web Analytics