Dark and dreary winter weather can leave you feeling chilled to the bone. A cup of hot soup can warm you up, in addition to filling you up. While it’s easy to reach for store-bought canned varieties, the Cleveland Clinic says that seniors and those with high blood pressure should avoid them due to their high sodium content. Many cans of prepackaged soup have as much as 400 milligrams of sodium per serving — and there are several servings per can! Having a few easy and tasty soup recipes on hand is a better alternative. In addition to these recipes, the Mayo Clinic also publishes a list of healthy soup recipes you may want to try.
Split Pea Soup
Start by heating 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat on the stove. Saute a chopped yellow onion until it is soft. Add a peeled, chopped carrot and do the same. Next, add two cloves of minced garlic and cook for about a minute. Pour 3 cups of water and 3 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth into the pan. Stir in a cup-and-a-half of dried green or yellow split peas. Reduce the heat and partially cover the pot. Allow to simmer for about an hour or until the peas are tender. Carefully pour the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Salt and pepper as needed, and top with 1/2 cup chopped lean ham if desired.
Heat 1/4 cup of water over medium heat and sauté a small chopped yellow onion until tender. Add another half cup of water and 2 cups of vegetable broth. Stir in 15 ounces of pumpkin puree (the amount in a large can). Season with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Turn this mixture up to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and keep at a simmer. Stir in 1 cup of skim milk and heat until the milk is warmed.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Using a large stockpot over medium low heat, sauté 1 cup sliced carrots, 3 chopped celery stalks, 1 medium onion, and 1 cup mushrooms in a tablespoon of olive oil or a quarter cup of water. Once the vegetables are tender, add 2 quarts of low-sodium chicken broth to the pot. Turn the heat on high. Once the mixture is boiling, add 3 cups of egg noodles. Cook until the noodles are tender (usually 8 to 10 minutes). Reduce the heat to low and stir in 3 cups of precooked and chopped chicken. Add a teaspoon or two of chopped parsley for extra flavor. Cook until the chicken is warmed and then add salt and pepper to taste.
Sometimes, nothing quite hits the spot like a warm bowl of soup. Canned soups can be full of sodium, sugar, and other unhealthy ingredients. Next time, instead of reaching for a prepackaged soup, try out one of these soup recipes.