Chilly weather is here making it the perfect time to cook up a pot of warming soup or stew. Soup is a great one-pot meal that can easily be nutritious by following a few key tips.
Load up the Veggies! Half of your meal should be vegetables. Veggies are naturally gluten-free and LOADED with nutrients and antioxidants that will keep you feeling and looking your best. A mirepoux which consists of equal amounts chopped celery, carrots and onion provides a great base for most soups or stews. But you don’t have to stop there; canned tomatoes easily enhance the mirepoux and provide a healthy dose of the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene is best known for its role in fighting prostrate cancer, but it also has heart and skin benefits as well. Adding an extra can of diced tomatoes to any soup or stew is an easy way to boost the nutrition. Fresh chopped Kale or spinach, provide a mild nutrition boost to your soup. Winter squash, purred pumpkin, parsnips and jicama are also noteworthy additions to try.
Got Pulses? Dried beans, lentils and chickpeas are collectively called pulses. Don’t let your soup miss out on the nutrition they provide! Pulses are loaded with fiber, protein, antioxidants, iron, B vitamins and other nutrients! What’s more, pulses are inexpensive! If going for the convenient canned variety look for no salt added. Hy-Vee now makes no salt added chili beans, pinto, black, kidney and garbanzo beans. Red lentils are smaller and therefore cook faster than the green variety, making them a great choice when you are short on time.
Don’t forget the BEFF! While pulses provide some protein, about 9 grams in a ½ a cup serving, they are mostly carbohydrates. Based on research, I recommend including 20-30 grams of protein at each meal. Protein is key for keeping your muscles fueled and your hunger at bay. Lean beef provides an excellent source of protein, zinc, which boosts the immune system and iron. Be sure to choose a lean cut by looking for the word “round” or “loin” in the name. Any round roast cut into 1-inch pieces is perfect in soup or stew. Ground 90% lean is a great economical and lean choice.
Stock it! Stock or broth is a key ingredient in many soups. My personal favorite brand is Kitchen Basics because they are all much lower in sodium than other brands. Low sodium tomato sauce or juice works great for your liquid as well.
Here are a couple of my favorite beefy soups for you to try! Enjoy!
Mushroom Beef Stew
2 pounds beef Stew Meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
3/4 cup Kitchen Basics Unsalted Beef stock
1/4 cup unsalted tomato paste
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound red-skinned potatoes (1-1/2-inch diameter), cut into quarters
8 ounces mushrooms, cut into quarters
1 cup baby carrots
Fresh parsley (optional
1. Combine flour, salt, pepper and thyme in small bowl. Place beef in 4-1/2 to 5-1/2-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with flour mixture; toss to coat.
2. Combine broth, tomato paste, wine and garlic in small bowl; mix well. Add to beef. Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots; mix well.
3. Cover and cook on HIGH 5 to 6 hours, or on LOW 8 to 9 hours, or until beef and vegetables are tender. (No stirring is necessary during cooking.) Stir well before serving. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Recipe modified from the Beef Council.
Nutrition information per serving: 306 calories; 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 4 g monounsaturated fat); 73 mg cholesterol; 244 mg sodium; 25 g carbohydrate; 3.1 g fiber; 29 g protein; 7.3 mg niacin; 0.7 mg vitamin B6; 2.3 mcg vitamin B12; 4.3 mg iron; 6.6 mg zinc.
This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron and zinc; and a good source of fiber.
Hearty Beef Stew with Squash, Quinoa and Black Beans
1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
3 1/2 cups unsalted kitchen basics beef broth
1 1/2 lbs. cubed stew meat
1 tbsp EVOO
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
2/3 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and sorted if from bulk
1 cup rinsed and drained black beans
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1. Steam the butternut squash in the microwave until barely tender, about 5-10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside. Continue cooking the remaining squash until very tender, about 4-6 more minutes. Mash this squash with a fork and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a large stock pot over medium-high heat, bloom the oregano, once fragrant remove. Heat the olive oil and add the stew meat and onions and sauté until both are browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano. Stir in the beef stock and bring to simmer, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, butternut pieces and mashed squash, stir. Add the quinoa and bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
4. Add the black beans, salt and pepper and simmer, uncovered about 5 minutes.
5. Garnish with cilantro.
Nutrition Facts: 315 calories, 7 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 220 mg sodium, 37 g carb, 4.5 g fiber, 26 g protein, 978 mg pot
Hungarian Mushroom Beef Stew
1 Tbsp oil
1 lb. lean stew meat, cut into small pieces
1 T butter
1 onion, diced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. flour
1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
4 cups unsalted kitchen basics stock
2 teaspoons dried dill
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt +extra for garnish, optional
1 splash lemon juice
1 handful fresh dill, chopped (optional)
1. Season stew meat with pepper and toss with 2 Tbsp of flour. In a stock pot heat 1 tbsp of oil and cook beef until browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in pot over medium heat, add the onions and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have released their liquids and it has evaporated, about 10-15 minutes.
3. Mix in the flour and paprika and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the browned beef, broth, dill, soy sauce, and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for one hour to 1 ½ hours.
5. Just before serving; mix in the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, dill and desired salt and pepper. Garnish with Greek yogurt.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 230 calories, 7 g fat, 300 mg sodium, 13 g carb, 2.5 g fiber, 28 g protein