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Pinchin' Pennie$ in the Kitchen: 7 Steps to Creating a Soup (FN1648 Revised)

A steaming bowl of soup is a hearty, healthful meal. You can use food from your pantry, freezer or leftovers from your refrigerator to make a tasty soup in about 30 minutes following these easy steps. Each pot of soup serves about four adults. The nutritional value varies depending on the ingredients you choose.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist


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1. Choose one fat.

• 2 Tbsp. canola, sunflower, olive or other oil OR 2 Tbsp. butter OR 2 Tbsp. margarine
• Heat in large pot on stove

2. Rinse and chop one medium onion.

• Add to pot and cook over medium heat until tender.

3. Choose one broth. Add to pot.

• 2 (16-ounce) cans chicken, beef or vegetable broth
• 4 c. water plus chicken, beef or vegetable bouillon or soup base prepared according to manufacturer’s directions
• 1 (16-ounce) can crushed or diced tomatoes and 3 cups water
• 4 c. milk and chicken bouillon or soup base prepared according to manufacturer’s directions

4. Choose one protein. Add to pot.

• 1 pound cooked (or leftover) chopped/diced beef, chicken, ham, lean sausage, etc.
• 1 (16-ounce) can beef, chicken, ham
• 1 (16-ounce) can beans (pinto, kidney, navy, black, etc.), drained and rinsed

5. Choose one starch. Add to pot.

• 3 to 4 c. diced potatoes
• 4 ounces egg noodles, macaroni, pasta (or 1½ c. leftover cooked noodles)
• ½ c. uncooked rice (or 1½ c. leftover cooked rice)

6. Choose a mixture of 2 to 3 c. chopped vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned). Add to pot.

Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Cooked or canned beans, such as kidney, pinto or black beans
Corn
Green pepper
Green beans
Mushrooms
Peas
Squash
Zucchini

7. Choose one or more seasonings, add to pot and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

• 1 to 2 tsp. dried herbs (oregano, basil, cumin, chili powder, thyme, rosemary, parsley, etc.)
• Bay leaf (remove before serving)
• Minced garlic
• 1 to 2 Tbsp. fresh herbs (add five minutes before serving)

Menu idea:

Black bean and corn soup, whole-grain bread or crackers, sliced apples and low-fat or fat-free milk

A few ideas:

Chicken and rice soup: Combine onion, celery, carrots, chicken, rice, chicken broth, rosemary, parsley and garlic.

Beef and vegetable soup: Combine leftover roast beef or browned ground beef, onion, potatoes, carrots, celery, crushed tomatoes, beef broth, oregano, basil, parsley and bay leaf.

Black bean and corn soup: Combine onion, green pepper, corn, green chilies, canned black beans (drained and rinsed), rice, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, oregano, cumin, chili powder, cilantro and garlic.

Cream of broccoli or potato soup: Combine onion, broccoli or potato, celery, cheese, milk, chicken bouillon and garlic. Mash or blend together.

Source: Adapted with permission from Utah State University.

For more information about nutrition, food safety and health, visit this website.

January 2018

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