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Fall into soup season

November, 9, 2021 | Hui Hui Lee, RD/LD

When it is cold outside, who’s ready for a bowl of delicious soul-warming soup? I don’t know about you, but homemade soups are always my thing! Homemade soups are tasty, easy to make, highly adaptable (with the ingredients), budget-friendly, and also nutritious! I know all of us have our all-time favorite type of soup, but it will NEVER be wrong to expand your lists.

Why homemade soups?

  1. We have better control of the ingredients, to help keep your fat and sodium intake at a minimum

  2. It takes minimum effort to make an irresistible bowl of soup that fits perfectly for everyone. I usually put all the ingredients at once in a crock pot, instant pot, or in a pot, cook until the ingredients are tender and it develops a rich flavor. I preferred to cook it in a crock pot or instant pot, because it makes less mess and is easier.

  3. The leftovers taste better and saves time to prepare next meals

  4. It is cheaper to make your own homemade soups compared to you getting them from a restaurant. The soups you get from restaurants usually cost you three times (or more) higher.

To maximize the nutrient content of my homemade soups, I usually incorporate a bunch of vegetables, choose lean protein, as well as adding more herbs and spices to season my soups. I also usually choose the low sodium broth as my soup base to help reduce the sodium content. I choose lean proteins for my soups, like turkey and beans, to help reduce the calorie and fat content. Vegetables added to the soups do not just add fiber and nutrients, they also elevate the flavor of the soup.

Alright friends! It is time to share some of my favorite soup recipes with you.

Pasta e Fagioli: this is one of the Olive Garden’s signature soups. I made this pasta e fagioli with ground turkey instead of ground meat. This pasta soup is very filling and flavorful! It is my coworkers favorite! If you are to make this soup ahead of time, you want to add the cooked pasta before serving, to prevent the pasta from becoming gooey (in other words, overcooked). The recipe is adapted from Natasha’s Kitchen.

Zuppa Toscana (vegetarian version): this is another one of Olive Garden’s soup. Unfortunately, Olive Garden does not offer a vegetarian option for this soup. Instead of bacon and Italian sausage, I used chickpeas (AKA garbanzo beans) as the protein for this soup. I used heavy cream instead of vegan cream. The recipe is inspired by Skinny Spatula.

Smoky Red Lentil Soup (vegan friendly): this creamy and smoky soup is definitely my favorite. It is packed with fiber! I served it with naan. The recipe is inspired by Pinch of Yum.

Coconut Pumpkin Soup (vegan friendly): this rich creamy pumpkin soup infused with warm Indian spices, works best for cold weather. The highlight for this recipe is the Indian spices. I highly recommend this pumpkin soup! The recipe is adapted from Feasting at home.

Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup with Spinach & Mushrooms (vegetarian or vegan friendly): this is a creamy and earthy soup! It is my first time trying this soup, and I have decided to make this soup more often in the future. We can definitely have this soup year round! The recipe is adapted from Feasting at home.

*Most ingredients are sponsored by DRH Health Food and Nutrition Service.

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