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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple hearty soups to warm you up

Hearty Beef and Pasta Soup. For Food Section/

Hearty Beef and Pasta Soup. For Food Section/ for Marge Perry's Three Simple Dishes 12-17-09. ( Photo by Marge Perry ) ltc Photo Credit: Marge Perry/Marge Perry

HEARTY BEEF AND PASTA SOUP

1 tablespoon olive oil

12 ounces beef bottom round, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice

29 ounces lower-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup ditalini pasta

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup frozen peas

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium high. Add the beef and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the basil, thyme, tomatoes, carrot and broth and bring to a boil; immediately reduce heat, cover and simmer gently until beef is tender, about 20 minutes.

2. Add the pasta, corn and peas and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with plenty of black pepper and salt, as needed. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 333 calories, 25 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 10 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 1,055 mg sodium

SAUSAGE, BEANS AND GREENS SOUP

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

3 minced cloves garlic

8 ounces turkey kielbasa (or other lower-fat sausage), cut into 1/2-inch pieces

32 ounces lower-sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 (19-ounce) can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

6 cups (about 8 ounces) prewashed kale

1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is softened. Add kielbasa and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add broth, water and tomatoes and bring to a boil; immediately reduce heat to simmer.

2. Add beans and about 1/2 of greens, allowing them to wilt slightly before adding remaining greens. Cook until the greens are completely wilted and the broth is flavorful, about 5 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 316 calories, 21 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 1,644 mg sodium

SOUTHWESTERN SPICY CHICKEN AND RICE SOUP

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

3 cloves minced garlic

1 teaspoon ground cumin

48 ounces lower-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup (uncooked) quick-cooking brown rice

1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce (or to taste)

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 cup chopped scallions

Heat oil in large soup pot over medium high. Add onion and garlic; cook 3 to 4 minutes, until somewhat softened. Add cumin and chicken broth and bring to boil; add rice and cook 5 minutes. Stir in chicken, diced tomatoes and chipotle; simmer until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and scallions. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 390 calories, 33 g protein, 48 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 1,268 mg sodium

TIP

Even "lower-sodium" canned broth is very high in sodium. Look for unsalted broth by Kitchen Basics (sold in aseptic boxes), which has great flavor and allows you to control how much salt you add.

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