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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple meatless soup recipes

Spinach, tomatoes, carrots and parsnip combine with frozen

Spinach, tomatoes, carrots and parsnip combine with frozen tortellini and red kidney beans for a hardy and nutritious soup.  Photo Credit: Marge Perry

VEGETABLE, TORTELLINI AND BEAN SOUP

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 medium carrots, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

2 ribs celery, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1 medium parsnip, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

6 cups unsalted chicken broth

3 tablespoons tomato paste

8 ounces frozen cheese tortellini

1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach, about 6 cups

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, parsnip, garlic and basil; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the broth and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 15 minutes.

2. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the tortellini, return to a simmer; reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until the tortellini are heated through, about 7 minutes. Stir in the beans and spinach and cook until beans are hot and spinach has wilted, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with the salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 389 calories, 23 g protein, 60 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber, 8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 819 mg sodium

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BLACK BEAN SOUP

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 medium red onions, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

3 ribs celery, chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 red bell pepper, cut in 1/2-inch dice

1 jalapeño, finely chopped

3 cups unsalted chicken or vegetable broth

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon Louisiana-style hot sauce (or to taste)

3 (15-ounce) cans low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

1 to 2 teaspoons lime juice

1/2 cup light sour cream, divided

1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest, divided

1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium high. Add the onion, celery, cumin, and coriander and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and jalapeño and cook 3 minutes, until just softened. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, hot sauce and beans and lightly mash some of the beans with the back of a spoon. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook 15 minutes.

2. Just before serving, stir in the lime juice. Ladle into bowls and top each with 1/8 cup of sour cream and 1/8 teaspoon lime zest. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 348 calories, 21 g protein, 53 g carbohydrates, 19 g fiber, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 687 mg sodium

TIP: Rinsing canned beans reduces the sodium by about one-third.

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POTATO, KALE, AND CARAMELIZED ONION SOUP

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

7 cups unsalted chicken or vegetable broth

1 1/2 pounds Yukon potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch chunks

12 ounces kale, torn or chopped in 2-inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1/4 cup shredded Cheddar, divided, optional

1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft, 11 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic, basil and thyme and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in the broth and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

2. Stir in the kale and salt; simmer until the kale is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley and use the back of the spoon to lightly mash some of the potato.

3. Ladle into bowls and top each bowl with 1 tablespoon of the Cheddar, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 313 calories, 17 g protein, 46 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 681 mg sodium

TIP: Rinsing canned beans reduces the sodium by about one-third.

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