Soup is one of the best healthy comfort foods. And nothing warms you up on a cold, snowy Chicago day like a hot bowl of soup.
The problem is when you buy soup in the store or order it at a restaurant, you are usually eating something that is lacking in quality ingredients and loaded with sodium. In fact all of the soups at Panera Bread and Corner Bakery contain so much sodium, I wouldn’t recommend you eat them.
If you do purchase broth or soup at the grocery store, check the ingredient label to be sure there is not monosodium glutamate (msg) or other preservatives in it and always purchase low sodium varieties.
Why is salt bad for us? And what would be considered high for sodium content? Salt is necessary for our bodies. We need it for our muscles and nerves to work properly and to help control blood pressure and blood volume. But too much salt can lead to high blood pressure which is the leading risk factor in death for women. And excessive salt intake can also lead to stroke, kidney stones, headaches and water retention. 1500 mg is the maximum amount of sodium you’d want to get per day if you have high blood pressure. If you do not have a condition that requires you minimize your sodium intake, 2300 mg is the USDA’s maximum daily recommended allowance. The sodium level in a bowl of the Vegetarian Creamy Tomato soup at Panera Bread is 1980 mg, while a cup of the Zesty Chicken Tortilla soup at Corner Bakery contains 1310 mg of sodium. Yuck!! Why not just open the spout on a box of Morton’s salt and pour it into your mouth!
Make one of your new year’s resolutions to cook more meals at home and start off with a homemade soup. Soup is simple to make and it’s the perfect 1-pot meal coupled with a green salad and a slice of whole wheat bread!
Here’s one of my all-time favorite recipes, courtesy of Williams-Sonoma and Giada De Laurentiis. Everyone I give this recipe to loves it. Try it tonight!
Turkey, Kale and Brown Rice Soup
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
5 large shallots, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
8 oz. ground turkey breast meat
1 T. herbes de Provence
5 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 c. cooked brown rice
1 small bunch kale, center ribs removed and leaves chopped
1 t. kosher salt
½ t. freshly ground pepper
¼ c. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
¼ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In large pot over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add shallots, carrots and red pepper. Saute, stirring frequently until it begins to brown and soften, about 8-10 minutes. Add turkey and stir until meat starts to turn white, breaking it into pieces as you stir, about 5-7 minutes. Add herbs de Provence and stir for 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes and rice and bring to a boil. Stir in kale leaves and season with the salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer about 30 minutes. Taste to adjust seasonings, stir in parsley and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.
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