Choosing the right soup can be one of the best weight loss and disease preventative tools around. According to a study in the 2005 issue of Obesity Research, those who ate two servings of low-energy-dense soups per day, experienced 50 present more weight loss than those who took in the same amount of calories in high-energy dense snacks.(Livestrong.com)
So basically, the study shows that weight loss isn't solely based on calorie intake. Processed and high fat foods metabolize differently from natural, nutrient-dense ingredients.
The key to weight loss is to focus on preparing meals and snacks that have low calorie density (a low number of calories compared to their serving size). This is really easy to do with the right soup recipes!
Not all soup is created equal, so go for the soups with nutrient-rich ingredients like lentils, veggies and lean chicken. If you are watching your waist-line avoid cheese or cream base soups. These are high in fat and low in nutrients. Also beware of the bread bowl soups. I love crackers or a little bread with my soup, but the second you devour an entire bowl made out of dough, the bad outweighs the good!
This basic vegetable soup recipe from my book College Basic Training should be a staple in every home! The beauty of it, is you can change it up by using different types of vegetables and you can add a lean protein like chicken if you wish. Use as much or as little of each ingredient as you want. You really can't ruin this recipe. Make it heavy, light, spicy, mild...experiment!
Basic Healthful Vegetable Soup
(make sure to read entire recipe for additional suggestions in the last paragraph)
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped (or buy a jar of chopped garlic)
2 medium potatoes, diced
2 cups additional vegetables (such as red pepper, cabbage or mushrooms)
1 quart low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the carrots, celery and garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant (about 2 minutes). Add the potatoes, additional vegetables and broth and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes can be pierced with a fork (15 to 25 minutes).
Season the soup with salt and pepper. for extra flavor, add a teaspoon or two of dried parley flakes, Italian seasoning or a combination of thyme, oregano and basil. If you like it spicy, add red pepper flakes! For extra protein, add some rotisserie chicken.
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