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By Dana Jacobi
If you enjoyed an abundance of decadent dishes during the holiday season, getting back to sensible choices is likely to be on your to-do list. Yet, still recovering from the long hours spent in the kitchen preparing those pleasures, I had to sigh when I was inevitably faced with the "what to make for dinner tonight" challenge. Luckily, soup immediately came to mind as the perfect one-dish meal; it is simple to make and can be prepared quickly.
Thinking about substantial soups, I flipped through a stack of old culinary magazines looking for ideas. At first glance, a creamy New England chowder began to tantalize my taste buds. Traditionally prepared with chunky white fish, potatoes and onions in a cream or milk- enriched broth, a good chowder is aromatic with thyme and plenty of pepper. True "chowder-heads" add crisp oyster crackers or crumble soda crackers on top before digging in. While just the thought warmed me to my toes, I was quickly reminded that the high fat and calorie content would also hug my hips and tummy in all the wrong places.
Though I have tasted low-fat chowders made with skim milk and thickened only with flour, many were so tasteless that even a cat would refuse them. And, while corn chowders are usually quite flavorful, the intense flavor often results from hours of simmering on a stovetop. Then, a salmon chowder came to mind. The contrast of a milky broth with the tender pink fish was just what I was looking for.
I combined expected ingredients - salmon, corn, lima beans and potatoes - with a few unexpected surprises. I used a technique employed in Mediterranean cooking to give the chowder a creamy texture without added saturated fat: I added pureed white beans and olive oil to give this soup a beautiful, silken consistency.
Yield: Makes 4 servings, 1 cup per serving.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
11 g total fat
2 g saturated fat
27 g carbohydrate
18 g protein
4 g dietary fiber
280 mg sodium
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