By Liz Weiss, MS, RDN
January is National Soup Month! During the cold winter months, there is nothing more comforting than a nourishing bowl of steaming homemade soup. As a partner of the Together Counts™ program for healthy, active living, we at the Canned Food Alliance recognize that healthy eating is essential to an overall healthy lifestyle. We partnered with Liz Weiss, who shares her ideas about making soup as an easy, inexpensive way to create a healthy meal in a hurry, particularly when you can rely on canned ingredients. Low-sodium canned broths/stocks can provide the canvass for an endless variety of delicious creations that incorporate canned seafood, vegetables, beans and more.
Soup recipes are easy to come by, so I like to experiment using different ingredients from my pantry. One of my favorites is Peanut Butter & Chickpea Soup, which combines canned tomato sauce, chickpeas and vegetable broth with peanut butter and farro for a delicious, vegetarian soup filled with fiber and protein. Give it a try, or peruse any cooking magazine, search online recipe sites or watch your favorite chef on TV or YouTube (including my new channel, Meal Makeovers) for inspiration. You can also tune into Cooking with the Moms radio where I dish about hearty winter soups on a recent episode.
Looking to cut corners on time but not nutrition? Follow these simple swaps to easily convert a recipe that relies on fresh or dried ingredients to one that takes advantage of the time-savings afforded by canned ingredients:
- ½ cup dried beans (before cooking) = a 15 ounce can of beans
- 1 lb of whole, fresh tomatoes = a 14.5-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
- 3 lbs fresh pumpkin = a 15-ounce can of pumpkin
- 8 lbs of clams in the shell = two 10-ounce cans of baby clams + 6 cups of bottled clam juice
The great thing about making homemade soup is that it allows for lots of improvisation! Start with a basic broth or stock and add as little or as many vegetables, beans and other proteins as you like. Season to taste and perhaps finish with a grating of fresh cheese, herbs and/or light sour cream and you’ve got yourself a meal.
For more soup recipes, new research and information about the nutritional benefits of canned food, visit Mealtime.org. While there, sign up to receive Canned Food News, the CFA’s monthly e-newsletter.
Registered dietitian nutritionist, Liz Weiss, is an author, blogger, speaker, and podcaster. She co-founded the award-winning family food blog, Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen and co-hosts the iTunes radio podcast, Cooking with the Moms. In 2015, she received the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics highly acclaimed Media Excellence Award for her work in the area of nutrition journalism. Regarded as a leader in family nutrition, Liz has coauthored five books including Eat and Color the Alphabet, No Whine with Dinner, and The Moms’ Guide to Meal Makeovers.
For more tasty ideas, check out these other articles from Together Counts!