First and foremost, soup tops the list of economical dinners — it goes a long way to serve many hungry people, all from a single big pot. It even saves you time: You can make a kettle brimming full of goodness on a weekend and have two more nutritious meals to pop in a plastic container and eat during your work week. And if you have trouble getting your family to eat vegetables, this is your easy solution. After all, being good for you is soup’s greatest contribution. When the soup is loaded with vitamins, protein, fibre, nutrients and carbs, it can boast more nourishment in one small bowl than other entrée and will certainly help trim that waistline.
My particular speciality in the kitchen happens to be exactly that — soup. As I clean my refrigerator out every Saturday morning, I toss all the leftover vegetables in my fridge into a pot of water and put the lid on. Instead of throwing any of them out, wash them clean from soil or pesticides. Then chop them up and rid any parts that may have gone bad. Then pop them into the pot of water and cook up a delicious soup! Add a large can of tomatoes along with a handful of rice, barley or your favourite pasta, and there you have it.
Love to find out more? Read on as I share a few of my favourite healthy recipes. Bon appétit!
Creamy Clam Chowder
Thoughts of my childhood come to mind whenever I whip out this savoury clam chowder. Every Friday night, it is Fish Fry Friday at grams, which will see fresh haddock served with grams’ very own homemade clam chowder. Everyone at the dinner table will be eyeing for grams’ clam chowder, even the juniors! I have since modified grams’ recipe to a low-fat version, so here goes!
- 2 regular cans of clams, chopped
- The brine of clams that came with the canned clams
- 2 slices of bacon
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup of dry white wine
- 1 cube of chicken bouillon
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 4 medium potatoes, washed, peeled and diced
- 1/2 tablespoon of white pepper
- 4 tablespoons of flour
- 6 tablespoons of fat-free milk
- Freshly chopped parsley
- Water if needed
Cook the bacon until crisp, in a hot skillet, then set those aside. Saute the onions and celery in bacon drippings for about three to five minutes. In a large bowl, combine the reserved juice from canned clams as well as wine and water. Add chicken bouillon, then transfer mixture to a large pot and simmer with a bay leaf for about 10 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and pepper, and cook for 15 minutes more before adding the drained clams.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small pan, then slowly stir in flour. Cook over medium heat for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and stir until the mixture becomes thick. Then add white sauce to the clam mixture and simmer for 10 minutes. Remember to not let the mixture boil. Thereafter, remove the bay leaf before serving. Top it with parsley and serve with a slice or two of toast.
Winter Squash Soup
With its velvety texture and, buttery flavour and oodles of fibre, winter squash packs this recipe with taste and nutrition. Banana, butternut, acorn or any combination of squash works well. Some recipes may recommend for you to cook the squash in a kettle, but I personally prefer to bake it so I do not have to watch the stove. Just before serving, prepare a few small cheese ravioli and place them in each bowl before you add the soup. The big boys in your family will thank you. Here’s what you need:
- 60 grams of winter squash, half and deseeded
- 2 onions, peeled and halved
- 1 bulb garlic, top cut off
- I tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of dry or fresh thyme
- 4 cups of your favourite no-fat, less sodium chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place the squash skin side down in a glass baking dish, adding a little water to the bottom of the dish. Add the onions and garlic. Drizzle garlic with olive oil and sprinkle squash with thyme. Cover dish with foil. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 60 to 90 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft when pierced with a fork.
Thereafter, remove squash, onions and garlic from the dish, then place them in a blender and puree. Meanwhile, warm the chicken broth in a kettle on the stove. Add the pureed vegetables, along with a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Serve the dish hot with optional pieces of ravioli, a dollop of light sour cream or chopped chives. Enjoy!