January is National Soup Month. This is great for those of us who are trying to eat healthier this year, especially those of us who live where January is typically cold and snowy.
Soup is a good way to start on the path to healthier eating. But remember not all soups are created equal. Some are healthier than others. I believe the healthiest way to be sure I am eating a healthy soup is to make it myself. That way I know exactly what is going in the pot and don’t have to worry about something not so good for me slipping by me.
So what are a few ingredients I want to include to make my soup healthier?
Start with a low sodium broth — check the label or make your own. Don’t forget vegetable broth. You can also use water.
Add lots of veggies. Try to include some dark green leafy veggies such as broccoli, spinach or kale. An easy way to include veggies is to use a bag of a frozen blend such as a California blend or stir fry vegetables. And don’t forget cabbage soup — just don’t overcook the cabbage.
Add whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat groats or barley (barley is not gluten free).
Add beans and lentils for extra fiber.
Make cream soups without cream by adding some pureed pumpkin, squash or carrots.
Watch the garnishes. Try to slow down on the croutons, sour cream and cheese or replace them with healthier options.
Spice it up. Herbs and spices are always a good way to add flavor to anything. If you use packaged blends be sure to read the label for added sugar, salt, gluten, etc.
Start on your path to a healthier way of like with a bowl of nice hot, healthy soup for an easy way to work in those much needed vegetables.