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  • Jessica J. Trevino / MCT

    Chicken with Sriracha soup

  • Jessica J. Trevino / MCT

    Almond and pepper relish soup has a base of cauliflower instead of cream.

  • Jessica J. Trevino / MCT

    Better by the bowl: Portuguese white bean soup with spinach is a nutritious way to start a meal.

  • Jessica J. Trevino / MCT

    Kale with spicy meatballs soup

More Information

  • Spicy pork and mustard greens soup

    Prep time: 15 minutes

    Total time: 45 minutes

    Serves 4

    Adapted from Bon Appetit magazine, January 2014 issue. Tested by Susan Selasky for the Detroit Free Press Test Kitchen.


    1/2  pound ground pork tenderloin

    cloves garlic, finely chopped

    tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

    teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, crushed

    3/4  teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

    1/2  teaspoon crushed cumin seeds

    tablespoon canola oil

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock

    cups packed torn mustard greens

    green onions, thinly sliced

    tablespoons low- or reduced-sodium soy sauce

    teaspoon fish sauce

    ounces wide rice noodles


    Mix pork, garlic, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, red pepper flakes and cumin in a medium bowl.

    Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add pork mixture; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8-10 minutes.

    Add broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until flavors meld, 8-10 minutes. Add mustard greens, green onions, soy sauce and fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, 5-8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper.

    Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain.

    Divide noodles among bowls and ladle soup over.

    Per serving: 319 calories (6 percent from fat), 2 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat), 55 grams carbohydrates, 18 grams protein, 524 mg sodium, 37 mg cholesterol, 5 grams fiber.

  • Spicy cauliflower soup with almond and pepper relish

    Prep time: 15 minutes

    Cook time: 40 minutes

    Serves 8

    Here’s a creamy soup with no cream. Adapted from “Soups and Sandwiches 2011” by Fine Cooking (Taunton Press, $9.99). Tested by Susan Selasky.


    Kosher salt

    cups cauliflower florets (about 1 medium head)

    tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

    1/4  cup slivered almonds (toasted) or Marcona almonds, finely chopped

    1/4  cup diced roasted red peppers

    tablespoons olive oil

    tablespoon thinly sliced fresh mint

    medium clove garlic, minced

    1/2  teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

    Freshly ground black pepper


    Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a 4-quart pot over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon salt, then add the cauliflower and boil until very tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the cauliflower in a colander set over a large bowl to catch the cooking liquid and let the cauliflower cool slightly.

    Working in 2 batches, purée each batch of cauliflower with about 2 cups of the cooking liquid and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a blender until very smooth. Start out using less of the cooking water so you reach the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt. You can make the soup up to 4 hours ahead.

    In a small bowl, combine the almonds, peppers, oil, mint, garlic and pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The relish can be made up to 1 hour ahead.

    When ready to serve, gently reheat the soup over medium-low heat. Garnish each serving with a spoonful of the almond relish.

    Per serving: 110 calories (67 percent from fat), 8 grams fat (2 grams sat. fat), 6 grams carb., 3 grams protein, 165 mg sodium, 8 mg chol., 4 grams fiber.

  • Portuguese white bean soup

    Prep time: 20 minutes

    Cook time: 40 minutes

    Makes 8-9 cups

    From Larissa Shain, registered dietitian. Tested by Susan Selasky for the Detroit Free Press Test Kitchen.


    cup chopped onions

    garlic cloves, minced or pressed

    tablespoons olive oil

    medium red or yellow bell pepper

    bay leaf

    Pinch of salt

    1/2  teaspoon ground fennel

    medium peeled potato

    tablespoons dry sherry

    tablespoon fresh lemon juice

    ounces fresh or frozen chopped leaf spinach, collard greens, kale or mustard greens

    cups low-sodium vegetable stock

    can (15.5 ounces) no-salt-added cannellini beans, undrained

    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


    In soup pot, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until the onions soften. While the onions sauté, chop the bell pepper.

    Add the bay leaf, salt, fennel and bell pepper to the pot, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Cube the potato and add to the pot along with the sherry, lemon juice, greens and stock. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes and greens are tender. Stir in the beans and gently reheat. Add black pepper to taste and garnish with parsley.

    Per serving: 127 calories (25 percent from fat), 4 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat), 22 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 122 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 grams fiber.

  • Lemony chicken noodle soup with ginger, chili and cilantro

    Prep time: 15 minutes

    Total time: 25 minutes

    Makes 8 cups

    Adapted from “Soups and Sandwiches 2011” by Fine Cooking (Taunton Press Publishing, $9.99). Tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.


    Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

    1/3  cup chopped fresh cilantro

    teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger

    serrano chilies, stemmed, halved and seeded

    cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth

    tablespoons fish sauce

    boneless, skinless chicken breast half (about 8 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices and then cut in half

    ounces egg white-only lo mein egg noodles, cooked according to package directions

    baby bok choy, ends removed, sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick

    Sriracha sauce to taste


    In a small bowl combine the lemon zest, cilantro and ginger. Set aside.

    Thinly slice two of the chili halves crosswise.

    In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lemon juice, fish sauce and the 2 remaining chile halves to the boiling stock. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer the soup about 3 minutes.

    Remove the chile halves. Stir in the chicken and chile slices and return to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked noodles and bok choy slices and cook about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, making sure the chicken slices are cooked through. Add the sriracha to taste. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with the cilantro mixture.

    Per serving: 82 calories (24 percent from fat), 2 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat), 5 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams protein, 342 mg sodium, 24 mg cholesterol, 1 gram fiber.

  • Spicy turkey meatball and kale soup

    Prep time: 20 minutes

    Cook time: 35 minutes

    Serves 6 (generously)

    Adapted from “Soups and Sandwiches 2011” by Fine Cooking (Taunton Press Publishing, $9.99). Tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.


    links (about 7 1/2 ounces) lean spicy turkey Italian sausage

    1 1/2  tablespoons olive oil, divided

    medium yellow onion, finely chopped

    medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped

    large celery rib, finely chopped

    1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

    tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste

    large cloves garlic, minced

    4  cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock

    cans (15.5 ounces each) no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

    cups packed kale leaves

    teaspoons cider vinegar

    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


    Remove casing from sausage and roll into bite-size meatballs; set aside.

    In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 4- to 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 seconds. Add the stock, beans and kale. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sausage meatballs and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

    Add meatballs to the soup and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook 5 minutes more to meld the flavors. Stir the cider vinegar into the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Per serving: 234 calories (25 percent from fat), 7 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat), 30 grams carbohydrates, 16 grams protein, 591 mg sodium, 21 mg cholesterol, 8 grams fiber.

Recipes: Add veggies to soup for a satisfying meal

Published: Wednesday, Mar. 26, 2014 - 12:00 am

If you’re sticking to your promise to eat more healthfully, think soup.

It’s filling and, when made with the right ingredients, can make you feel better by the bowlful.

“There is research that suggests when you have a bowl of soup before a meal you consume fewer calories,” said Bethany Thayer, registered dietitian nutritionist and news media spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “The fluid is helping give that sense of fullness.”

You need only look to the latest food trends for soup recipe inspiration. Vegetables are everywhere right now and for good reason. They are loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals.

At Russell Street Deli at Detroit’s Eastern Market, soups are big business (they serve about six varieties on any given day) and the most popular are the ones packed with greens, says chef Derrick Bonds.

“We always try to make them as healthy and hearty as possible,” Bonds says.

And home cooks can, too: Just go for the greens, says Larissa Shain, a registered dietitian with the Metabolic Nutrition and Weight Management Program at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland hospital in Pontiac, Mich.

“Using the green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables means it will be high in vitamins and fiber,” she says. And green veggies, Shain adds, contain chlorophyll, which is rich in magnesium. “Magnesium lowers your risk for strokes, diabetes and osteoporosis.”

Shain’s other tips for healthy soups: Use a low-sodium stock (her favorite is Trader Joe’s boxed chicken stock with 70 milligrams of sodium per 1 cup), no-salt-added canned beans and fresh or frozen vegetables.

Here we spotlight some soups that taste good and are good for you. They are low in sodium, fat and calories, and high in vitamins and fiber.

Slow-cooker broth: Larissa Shain says you can make your own broth as a base for soups. Here’s how: Place a whole chicken, water and vegetables (onions, carrots, celery) in a slow cooker. Let cook all day on low. Remove the chicken, pick the meat off it, strain the liquid into a bowl. Cool and refrigerate it. Chill it until the fat rises and gels on the top. Remove and discard the fat.

Read more articles by Susan Selasky

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