Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Soup's On
National Soup Month


Soup is a combination of foods with endless possibilities. It represents comfort, warmth, tradition and nourishment.

Soups can be an economical way of meeting nutritional needs. Leftovers are perfect when preparing soups.

Soups have been known to curb the appetite and slow down the eating process. Studies show slower eaters are more likely to notice signs of fullness sooner and consume fewer calories. With the extra time, enjoy the flavor, aroma and texture of the foods.

Soups can be prepared with a wide variety of healthy ingredients and traditional favorites made healthier with some substitutions.
 

Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup

To put my food science background to the test, Jan Norris, a food writer and journalist sent me a "Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup" recipe. Jan and I have worked together for many years and she often challenges me to make a recipe healthier. The original recipe is located at Jan Norris: Food and Florida.

Jan states “Don’t go with any recipe for beer-cheese soup if it’s not from Wisconsin, where beer and cheese rule the culinary world." This is a favorite for superbowl parties.

Original Nutrition Analysis: 577 Calories; 46 gm Fat; 27 gm Saturated Fat; 144 mg Cholesterol; and 818 mg Sodium.

Modified Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup: 266 Calories; 16 gm Fat; 8 gm Saturated Fat; 41 mg Cholesterol; and 522 mg Sodium. The recipe is still high in fats and sodium, but by making some small changes, we were able to save 311 Calories; 30 gm Fat; 19 gm Saturated Fat; 103 mg Cholesterol; and 296 mg Sodium. The soup makes for a filling main course and perfect for those cold winter days.

Modified Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup, serves 14, 1 cup =
1- 1/2 cups diced carrots
1- 1/2 cups diced onion
1 -1/2 cups diced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
Dash (or to taste) hot pepper sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups beer
1/3 cup margarine, unsalted
1/3 cup flour
4 cups 2%milk
6 cups reduced-fat shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon or spicy mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
popped popcorn, for topping

In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. Stir in hot pepper sauce, cayenne pepper and pepper. Pour in chicken broth and beer; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, heat margarine in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Stir in flour with a wire whisk; cook, stirring until the flour is light brown, about 3 or 4 minutes. Gradually stir in milk, whisking to prevent scorching, until thickened. Remove from heat, and gradually stir in cheese. Keep warm. Stir beer mixture into cheese mixture. Stir in Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard. Adjust for hot pepper sauce. Bring to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes. Serve topped with popcorn.

Jan Norris is a journalist and food writer. She spent 26 years at The Palm Beach Post, 21 years as editor of the weekly Food and Dining section. Jan’s blog is full of food, travel, Old Florida, the South and a world of people with stories to tell.

Foods you can substitute to make heart healthy choices.
Instead of:
 Try these heart healthy suggestions:
whole milk or 2% milk1% milk or skim milk
whipped creamchilled evaporated skim milk, whipped
cheese, (American, Cheddar, Swiss)Cheeses with 5 or less grams of fat per ounce. Terms used: reduced-fat, low-fat or fat-free. Reduced-fat is easier to substitute when cooking.
creamed cottage cheesenonfat or 1% fat cottage cheese, or farmers cheese
cream cheeselight, fat-free products, or Neufchatel cheese
Mozzarella cheesepart-skim mozzarella cheese
Ricotta cheesenonfat, lite, or part-skim
sour cream, regularnon-fat, light, or low fat sour cream or plain yogurt.
butterlower calorie margarines in soft tubes, vegetable cooking sprays, or nonstick cookware.
margarine, regularlower calorie margarines in soft tubes, vegetable cooking sprays, or nonstick cookware.
mayonnaise, regularreduced-fat, cholesterol free, low fat, or fat free. If making a dip you can substitute plain nonfat or low fat yogurt. Reduce the amount required in the recipe.
salad dressingreduced-fat, cholesterol free, low fat, or fat free dressings or lemon juice, vinegar, or mustard. Reduce the amount required in the recipe.
one whole eggequals 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute
egg noodlesnoodles made without egg yolk
condensed cream soup99% fat-free condensed cream soup
salteliminate or reduce by 1/2; explore herbs and spices
gravygravies made with low sodium broth and thickened with flour/cornstarch
beef, pork, veal, lambchoose lean cuts trimmed of all visible fat, or substitute with chicken or turkey without the skin.
oil for sautéingwater, broth, tomato juice
fryingbroil, bake, microwave, poach, steam, grill, stir fry

Healthy Soup Additions
1. Instead of salt, add herbs and spices to enhance the flavor. Explore the many possible seasonings available.
2. Increase fiber, vitamins and minerals by adding fresh, frozen or leftover vegetables (use fruits if making a cold soup). Avoid canned vegetables high in sodium. Read the label. A low sodium food contains 140 mg or less per serving of sodium.
3. Increase fiber and protein by using foods such as, beans, lentils, brown rice, whole grain pasta, barley and bulgur.
4. Increase calcium and protein by using skim milk, evaporated skim milk, non-fat dry milk powder, or calcium-fortified soymilk. These low fat ingredients can replace the higher fat alternatives like whole milk or cream.

Canned and Dry Soup Mixes are known for their high sodium content, Read the label and check the serving size. Remember, a low sodium food contains 140 mg or less per serving of sodium.

There are some companies within the food industry making great strides in lowering the sodium content in their products. At Campbell,  they have more than 100 products with a healthy level of sodium; more than 200 that are low in fat and saturated fat; more than 150 products that have 100 calories or less per serving; and more than 85 products certified by the American Heart Association.


As I searched the Campbell archives, I came across a commercial from 1959. Campbell had the foresight to recognize the importance of nutrition over 50 years ago.


Campbell's Soup, 1959


Soup Tidbits
Soup is a stable in almost every American home. After the NBC's "Seinfeld" show introduced the "Soup Nazi" in the United States on November 2, 1995 - Soup became a fashionable food.

The Soup Nazi - Revenge

Resources
Over 40 Healthy Soup Recipes from the Mayo Clinic.
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