January Is National Soup Month
By Pamela Redwine
Who does not enjoy a hot bowl of delicious homemade soup after a busy day of running all over town or working at the office? Not only can you look forward to eating soup, but you can also look forward to making it, because there are so many soups that can be easily prepared in a small amount of time. There are also hundreds of ingredients to add to your soups to make it nutritious as well as delicious.
Most may feel that soups are hard to prepare, but soups can be as simple as adding and heating the ingredients. Soups can be a time saver because it can be a one-dish meal. You do not need to include anything else in the meal unless you wanted to add some type of bread or sandwich and a dessert. Another plus about soup is that it can be frozen and saved for later.
If there is any meat included in your soup recipe, there is the extra step of cooking it, but this does not have to be time consuming. Ground beef is easy to brown, and if you want to use a healthier option you can use ground turkey, chicken, fish/shellfish, or no meat at all. Chicken can also be used, and there are easy ways to cook it. One way is to already have the chicken thawed in the refrigerator and ready to be boiled, or cooked on the stove top. You can also buy a cooked chicken at the store and use what you need for the soup. Having meat in your soup is a good way to include protein in your families’ diets. If you or anyone in your family is a vegetarian then beans in your soup will provide an adequate amount of protein.
The vegetables you add to your soup will also provide you and your family with many important vitamins and minerals. You can also add fiber to your soup by adding whole wheat bran. The bran will not add any flavor or texture, therefore it will not impede on the taste.
Soups are easy to make and are usually cheap depending on the ingredients you choose to use. Many vegetables can be found in the canned food section of your grocery store, and using the canned items decreases the amount of preparation time needed.
If you are going to use canned foods try to either get low or no sodium foods, or drain them before adding to the soup. Below are some scrumptious and easy soup recipes for your busy schedule and your busy family.
Information provided by Jackie Capps, MSU Dietetic Intern (2009)
Recipe of the week
1 pound lean ground beef
2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained
1 small onion, chopped
6 cups corn tortilla chips (optional)
1 (1 oz) package of taco seasoning mix
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
1/2 cup chopped green onion (optional)
1 (15 oz) can of tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can of whole kernel corn, drained
1. In a skillet over medium heat, cook beef and onion until beef is browned; drain.
2. Place beef in a slow cooker with taco seasoning, tomato sauce, corn and beans.
3. Cover, and cook on low for 2 hours.
4. To serve, put a handful of corn chips in each bowl and top with soup, cheese and green onions.
Makes 6 servings