Healthy, Hearty, Gourmet Soups Make Eating Light Delightful

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…

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