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Warm up during National Soup Month

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Who doesn’t love a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter day? No wonder National Soup Month takes place in January.

You can’t go wrong with the ease of preparing soup and the wonderful smells that float through the house.

Here are three simple recipes to get you through National Soup Month and the cool months that follow.

A bowl of Italian wedding soup.

California Italian Wedding Soup

This is the healthiest of our three soups. It’s low in calories, fat and sodium. It’s much less salty than other wedding soups. Those who’ve made this say the meatballs make all the difference.

Prep time 10 minutes. Cooking time 15 minutes. Serves 6.


½ pound extra-lean ground beef (or ground sirloin)

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon chopped Italian flat leaf parsley (optional)

2 green onions, sliced (optional)

5¾ cups chicken broth

2 cups finely sliced escarole (spinach may be substituted)

1 lemon, zested

½ cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta), uncooked

Grated Parmesan cheese for topping


Make meatballs first. Mix together meat, egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, basil, parsley and green onions. Shape into ¾-inch balls.

Pour broth into a large saucepan over high heat. When boiling, drop in meatballs. Stir in escarole, lemon zest and orzo. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes or until orzo is tender, stirring frequently. Serve sprinkled with cheese.

Nutritional information: 159 calories; 11.5 g protein; 15.4 g carbohydrates; 5.6 g fat; 55.3 mg cholesterol; 98.6 mg sodium.

A bowl of chicken gnocchi soup.

Amazing Gnocchi Soup

This soup packs 35% of your daily protein needs while remaining relatively low in carbs, fat and sodium. For those counting calories, this soup has the most calories of our three soups. (The photo shows gnocchi soup that’s similar to this recipe, but without the vegetables.)

Prep time 15 minutes. Cooking time 15 minutes. Serves 3.


3 cups water

1¼ cups potato gnocchi

1 chopped cooked chicken breast

1 small tomato, diced

⅓ onion, diced

½ cup corn

1 green onion, chopped

2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules

3 broccoli stalks

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

⅛ teaspoon salt

1 pinch dried basil


Combine water, gnocchi, chicken, tomato, onion, corn, green onion, chicken bouillon, broccoli, thyme, pepper, salt and basil in a stockpot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until gnocchi are cooked through and flavors have blended, about 15 minutes. (Adjust water, salt, pepper and spices to your taste.)

Nutritional information: 275 calories; 18.1 g protein; 33.2 g carbohydrates; 9.4 g fat; 42.4 mg cholesterol; 490.6 mg sodium.

A bowl of chicken tortilla soup.

Six-Can Chicken Tortilla Soup

This one is just for fun. It’s super easy. Open six cans, dump them in a saucepan or stock pot and BOOM! Though low in calories, carbs and fat, this soup has the highest sodium content of our three soups, almost 60% of your daily needs.

Prep time 5 minutes. Cooking time 15 minutes. Serves 6.


1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

2 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth

1 (10-ounce) can chunk chicken

1 (15-ounce) can black beans

1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, drained


Open cans of corn, chicken broth, chunk chicken, black beans and diced tomatoes with green chilies. Pour everything into a large saucepan or stock pot. Simmer over medium heat until chicken is heated through.

Serve over tortilla chips, or sprinkle tortilla chips and shredded cheese over the top.

Pro tips: Some who’ve made this soup suggest rinsing the black beans and substituting chopped rotisserie chicken for the canned chicken. Most important, though: Add seasonings! Consider cumin, chili powder and/or garlic powder.

Nutritional information: 214 calories; 17.2 g protein; 27.2g carbohydrates; 4.9 g fat; 32 mg cholesterol; 1,482.5 mg sodium.

Source: AllRecipes.com

Published: Monday, January 4, 2021
Author: Jeff Ash