When the weather turns brisk, there's nothing cozier than a big bowl of hot soup. Autumn is the perfect time to warm the kitchen with stove-cooked soups made with the season's harvest of squashes, pumpkin, cabbage and root vegetables. Hearty, homemade soups need little monitoring while they slowly simmer, leaving the cook free for other activities. The pay-off comes at serving time, when the taste of homemade beats out commercial soups every time.
One benefit of soups comes to light when they are used as starters to meals. They are filling as well as nutritious, so they help to cut down portion sizes, and calories, of most entrees.
Try these wonderful soup suggestions:
- Want a marvelous-tasting soup that's simple yet elegant? While baking butternut squash or steaming it in the microwave, saute a mixture of onions and celery. Place cooked squash and sauteed vegetables in a blender with low-fat milk and puree, in small batches if necessary. Season with lemon juice and a pinch each of allspice, cumin, salt and pepper.
- When you don't have time to cook from scratch, jump-start your soup by using canned soup for a base. To a can of condensed tomato soup and a can of chicken broth, add a package of frozen spinach, a pinch each of basil, oregano and thyme. Simmer until spinach is tender and add salt and pepper to taste. Top with grated low-fat cheese and serve. For a heartier version, toss in chopped cabbage, green pepper, zucchini, carrots, or potatoes along with the spinach.
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- Get psyched for Halloween by stirring up some pumpkin soup. In a blender, combine a 15-ounce can of unsweetened pumpkin puree with one-third cup of peanut butter and two cups of chicken stock. Puree until smooth, transfer to a saucepan and simmer over medium heat about 15 minutes, until hot and creamy. Stir in one-fourth cup of green onions, reheat until bubbly, then serve.
Or try this hearty soup, which makes use of many vegetables, with a handful of whole-grain oats for extra nutrition as well as heartiness:
Cabbage and Tomato SoupIngredients:
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 1 medium leek, white part only, chopped
- 1 head cabbage, quartered and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch strips, about 6 cups
- 1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes, with liquid
- 4 cups vegetable stock or canned broth
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, or steel-cut type
- 1/2 - 1 tsp. dried thyme, as desired
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large Dutch oven or saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and leek and stir to coat with the oil. Cover pot tightly, reduce heat to medium-low and cook 10 minutes. Mix in cabbage, cover pot and cook another 10 minutes, until cabbage is wilted.
- Stir in tomatoes, stock, oatmeal, thyme, sugar and bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, until oatmeal is cooked and cabbage is tender, about 20 minutes if using rolled oats (30 minutes for steel-cut oats).
- Serve immediately. Store unused soup in refrigerator. Chilled soup will absorb liquid, so add more broth, as needed, when reheating.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutritonal Information Per Serving:
4 g. fat (less than 1 g. saturated fat)
25 g. carbohydrate
6 g. protein
7 g. dietary fiber
795 mg. sodium
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Interested in find more soup recipes? Take a look at our Soups and Chowders  area in the Diabetic Gourmet Recipe Archive.