Fall is the perfect time for soup. Unfortunately, too many delicious soups are full of fat, calories, salt, sugar and processed ingredients. Of course we know to avoid creamy and/or cheesy foods in general, but is there a way to take a notoriously unhealthy recipe and transform it into a healthier, less fattening version of itself? The answer is yes. Keep reading to see our re-designed version of a cheesy classic.
Broccoli and Cheese Soup
The caloric content of a regular serving broccoli and cheese soup ranges from 150-275 per serving, depending upon how much of what ingredients goes in making the soup. Below is the usual recipe of this soup, which most of you probably would be familiar with. Following is the same recipe but with some important modifications. The changes that I suggest will not adversely affect taste or satisfaction.
Original recipe (6 servings):
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 pound of broccoli, chopped
- 16 oz of chicken broth
- ¼ lb of any sharp processed cheese, cubed
- 2 cups milk
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbs of corn starch
- 1 cup water
- Calories: 266
- Total Fat: 18.2g
- Cholesterol: 57mg
- Sodium: 950mg
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 ½ cups organic low sodium vegetable broth (Imagine brand has 140 mg sodium)
- 1 lb. broccoli florets, chopped fairly small
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour (4tsp of arrow root flour or 4tsp of whole wheat flour or 2 Tbs of rice flour)
- 2 1/2 cups 1% milk
- 1/4 tsp. pepper and a pinch of sea salt
- 2 oz of any 1%, low fat sharp cheese
- Pinch of allspice, ¼ tsp of nutmeg.
- Calories: 110
- Total Fat: 10 g
- Cholesterol: 22.5
- Sodium: 31mg
- Spray cooking spray in a large sauce pan, cook the chopped onions and garlic and saute them for 3-5 min or until tender.
- Add the broccoli and let it cook for 5 min and add the vegetable broth and bring it to boil. Lower the heat and cook for few 5-10 minutes, until the broccoli is properly cooked (tender but not too soft).
- In a separate container, stir in the wheat flour in the milk and heat it for a minute, add 2 oz of 1% low fat sharp cheese to it and keep stirring till the cheese melts.
- Add it to the sauce pan, mix it well with the broth. You can churn it in the food processor to get a smoother texture.
- Heat it for some time.
- Add all spice, nutmeg and pepper as per your taste and stir well. (6 servings)
Nutritional Explanation of the Contents in the Modified Recipe:
- Low sodium organic vegetable broth not only has fewer calories compared to the regular chicken broth but also has less sodium and no fat.
- Skim milk has the same amount of protein as the regular milk minus the fat content.
- Whole wheat flour (a good source of fiber) or rice flour is less processed compared to corn starch and gives a thick and rich feel to the soup without having the need to add the extra butter.
- Sea salt doesn't cause water retention (the bloated feeling) on consumption, as does the regular salt and it also is known to improve digestion.
Prachi Baxi has a double masters degree in Clinical Nutrition and Public Health Nutrition, she is a Nutrition Specialist certified by the American College of Nutrition and a Certified Yoga Instructor. Her immense experience in the field of Ashtanga Yoga coupled with her Nutrition knowledge she helps people who need to and want to change their way of life, become fit and discover their newer selves. She is a Fitness Counselor who has a passion for life and teaches yoga with intent and compassion. Prachi can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.