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"Souper" Soups Warm a Winter Day

What’s your favorite soup? Do you like vegetable beef, chicken noodle or turkey-wild rice soup, to name a few? Having a bowl of steaming soup can improve our nutrition and be good for our waistlines.
"Souper" Soups Warm a Winter Day

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Can Eating Soup Help Us Manage Our Weight?

Researchers at Penn State University compared the effects of two diets on 71 obese women ages 22 to 60. One diet was low in fat, while the other was low in fat and high in “water-rich foods.” Water-rich foods include soup, fruits and vegetables.

The women eating the water-rich foods ate more food based on the weight of the food, so they felt less hungry. The women on the water-rich food diet lost 19.6 pounds in the first six months, while the other group lost 14.7 pounds. Both groups were successful in maintaining their weight loss in the second six months.

To tame your appetite, consider having a broth-based soup with your lunch or as a first course with your dinner. Be aware that many canned soups are high in sodium. To control the amount of salt (sodium) in soup, try a lower-sodium broth or soup base. Or make your own soup stock at home.

How to Make Homemade Stock

Making stock is a good way to use up vegetables and stretch your budget by extracting the flavor from beef bones or a turkey or chicken carcass.

  • Allow about half solids and half water. Cook together chopped celery, carrots, onion and meat or poultry bones. Add garlic cloves, pepper or other spices as desired. Cook for a couple of hours and then strain the solids and keep the liquid.
  • To remove excess calories and fat, refrigerate the liquid stock a few hours and then skim the fat. You also can use a  gravy separator or turkey baster to separate the fat from the soup.
  • Use leftover scraps of vegetables (roots, ends and peelings) for stock to get the most out of your produce. Chop larger pieces into similar sizes for more even cooking. Avoid scraps from vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower because they can make the stock flavor too strong.
  • Feel free to use wilted vegetables for stock, but do not use produce that is spoiled or moldy.
  • If you are not ready to make stock, place vegetable scraps in freezer-safe containers or freezer bags. Mark the date and freeze. The scraps will be good for eight to 12 months (after this time, they still should be safe, just lower in quality).
  • You can freeze homemade soup stock in recipe-size amounts, too.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Featured in Food Wise January 2016 newsletter (PDF)

Filed under: nutrition, food preparation
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