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Three Healthy, Hearty Soups for Chilly Weather

With cooler weather upon us and the beginning of a new year in sight, many of us are thinking about comfort foods that will warm us from the inside out. But the truth is, most “comfort foods” are not considered healthy foods.

Is it possible to get the comforting foods you crave without derailing your weight loss goals? Yes, it is! These three soups offer health benefits that make them excellent choices for weight control and standout flavors that won’t leave you feeling deprived.

Hot and Sour Cabbage Soup

This winner has several benefits to recommend it. Your metabolism will get a boost from the jalapeño pepper, which also offers spicy flavor. Studies have shown apple cider vinegar to be good at helping prevent blood sugar swings. You’ll feel full from the fiber in the cabbage, and the chicken provides the protein your body needs to burn fat while keeping you full longer. This recipe serves four but can easily be doubled or tripled for bigger groups.

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 med. yellow onion, sliced
1 med. carrot, peeled and chopped
4 heaping cups sliced green cabbage (about 1/2 med. head)
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cup shredded rotisserie chicken breast

Directions:

After adding the olive oil to a large stockpot, sauté the onion, carrot, cabbage and jalapeños until they begin to soften, about five to seven minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine well. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Nutrition (per serving): 248 calories, 15g protein, 32g carb, 8g fiber, 9g sugars, 9g fat, 1g sat fat, 748mg sodium

Hummus Soup

Tahini, high in metabolism-boosting protein and calcium, forms the base for this unusual broth. Chickpeas, like other beans, are also a good source of appetite-squashing fiber. Bonus: The vitamin C in lemon juice might help you burn even more fat.

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. cumin seed
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 16-oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Saute the cumin seed in the olive oil in a large stockpot until fragrant and beginning to pop, about one minute. Add the onion and garlic and cook five to seven minutes more, until the onion begins to soften. Add the chickpeas, tahini and vegetable broth and stir well. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer (do not boil). Simmer, stirring occasionally, for five to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Nutrition (per serving): 414 calories, 13g protein, 53g carb, 12g fiber, 2g sugars, 18g fat, 2g sat fat, 707mg sodium

Creamy Cashew Broccoli Soup

Broccoli has almost no calories and is filled with fiber and water, so it’ll help you stay fuller longer. This is one recipe for a creamy soup that we approve since it gets its creamy velvety texture from cashews, which are high in protein, fiber and satiating healthy fats.

Servings: 4

1 cup raw cashews
5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups broccoli florets
2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Soak cashews in hot water for one hour (or in cold water overnight). Drain. Using a blender, blend cashews with one cup of the vegetable broth until smooth. Set aside. Sauté onion, garlic and broccoli in the canola oil in a large stockpot until onion begins to soften and broccoli is bright green, three to four minutes. Add the cashew mixture, the remaining vegetable broth, and the soy sauce. Bring mixture to a simmer and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until broccoli is completely soft. Allow mixture to cool slightly. Transfer mixture back to the blender and blend until smooth. Return soup to stockpot and add apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for five minutes, or until hot. Serve.

Nutrition (per serving): 260 calories, 9g protein, 22g carb, 6g fiber, 5g sugars, 17g fat, 2g sat fat, 589mg sodium





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