3 Simple soups

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Chicken and potato soup with sage is a Chicken and potato soup with sage is a hearty soup on cold, winter day. (November 2012) Photo Credit: Marge Perry

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Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.

TIP: To freeze soup: Be sure to leave at least 1/4 inch of air in the top of the container to allow for expansion as the soup freezes.

1. CHICKEN AND POTATO SOUP WITH SAGE

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 pound lean ground chicken

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 ounces potato, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 (15-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes

5 cups baby arugula (or other greens, such as spinach or chard)

1. Heat oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, sage and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes until somewhat softened. Add chicken and salt and cook, breaking meat into crumbles, for 3 minutes, until it is about halfway browned.

2. Add potato and cook, stirring frequently, another 4 minutes, until meat is no longer pink. Add broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil; immediately reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender and soup is slightly thickened. Stir in arugula until it wilts, about 2 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 327 calories, 28 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 641 mg sodium

2. LOADED POTATO SOUP

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2 baking potatoes (1 1/4 pounds), scrubbed

6 pieces center-cut bacon

1/3 cup flour

3 cups nonfat milk

1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream, divided

1/2 cup chopped scallion, divided

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork and bake, turning once, until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly, cut in half and scoop out the potato flesh from the skin. Mash by hand.

2. Cook the bacon in a large soup pot; transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and crumble when cool.

3. Stir the flour into the bacon fat remaining in the pot; over medium heat, slowly whisk in the milk, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture thickens to the consistency of heavy cream, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 cup of the cheese until smooth. Stir in the mashed potatoes, salt, pepper, 1/3 cup of the sour cream, 1/4 cup of the scallions and about half the crumbled bacon. Ladle into 4 bowls; top each with a dollop of the remaining sour cream, the remaining bacon, cheese and scallions. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 428 calories, 22 g protein, 52 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 14 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 847 mg sodium

3. SAUSAGE AND SWEET POTATO SOUP

8 ounces spicy Italian turkey sausage

1 cup chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

5 cups torn kale leaves (about 8 ounces)

1. Cook the sausage in a large soup pot until lightly browned on all sides, about 7 minutes; remove and, when cool enough to handle, cut across into 1/4-inch slices.

2. Add the onion and garlic to the sausage drippings in the pan and cook, stirring, 4 minutes, until somewhat softened. Add the potato and broth, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes; stir in kale and sausage, and cook until the kale and potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 256 calories, 16 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 7 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 523 mg sodium

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