SOURCE: McCormick

September 20, 2010 08:00 ET

Supercharged Soups

Flavorful and Satisfying

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - September 20, 2010) -  (Family Features) As the weather turns cooler, soup is a delicious and healthful way to warm up. From homemade to prepared varieties, nourishing soups also can satisfy your hunger by making you feel full longer.

Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RD, author of "The SuperFoodsRx Diet," recommends choosing soups packed with flavorful "SuperFoods" like beans, lean chicken or turkey, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes -- and especially spices and herbs.

"Using spices and herbs does more than just add flavor to your favorite soups without added calories or sodium. They are also concentrated sources of natural antioxidants, with levels comparable to fruits and vegetables, including many of the SuperFoods," says Dr. Bazilian. "With just a dash, pinch or sprinkle of spices and herbs, you can turn your favorite soup into a flavorful 'super soup.'"

Whether you're cooking up a batch of a hearty, homemade soup on the weekend or just looking to add healthful twists to prepared soups, spices and herbs are a better-for-you swap for traditional soup toppings such as croutons, cheese or sour cream -- adding flavor without extra salt, sugar or fat.

Find more flavorful and healthful soup recipes, as well as tips for pairing spices and herbs with canned or prepared soups, at www.spicesforhealth.com.

SUPER SOUP Flavor-Ups

  • Give canned chicken soup an Asian flair. Stir 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder into 2 cups soup. Sprinkle with sliced green onions, if desired.
  • Turn tomato or potato soup from dull to delicious. Stir 1/2 teaspoon curry powder into 2 cups soup.
  • Top off your broccoli or tomato soup with a spicy crunch. Heat 1/2 teaspoon olive oil in small nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, and 1/8 teaspoon each ground cumin, oregano leaves and chili powder; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until nuts are fragrant and lightly browned.
  • Add a dollop of color and flavor with spiced yogurt. Stir favorite spices and herbs into low-fat plain yogurt, about 1 tablespoon for each serving of soup. Try turmeric for lentil or split pea soup, oregano for black bean soup and ground cinnamon or ginger for butternut squash or pumpkin soup.
  • Popcorn makes a fun garnish for soup. Try sprinkling hot popcorn with spices such as curry powder, paprika or ground red pepper.
Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Soup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Makes 8 (1-cup) servings
 
  6 cups cauliflower florets (2-inch pieces)
  2 Portobello mushrooms, cut into 1-inch pieces
  1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  1 tablespoon McCormick Thyme Leaves
  1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cumin
  2 cups chopped onions
  4 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
  1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Black Pepper

Toss cauliflower, mushrooms and bell pepper with 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with thyme and cumin. Toss until evenly coated. Spread in single layer on baking sheet. Roast in preheated 450°F oven 15 to 20 minutes or until cauliflower is golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onions; cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened. Add vegetable mixture, broth and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender, stirring occasionally.
Ladle into soup bowls to serve.
Nutrition Information per Serving: 105 Calories, Fat 5g, Protein 3g, Carbohydrates 12g, Sodium 304mg, Fiber 3g

Savory Turkey Sausage and Lentil Soup  
Prep Time: 15 minutes  
Cook Time: 25 minutes  
Makes 8 (1-cup) servings  
     
  1 tablespoon olive oil
  2 cups chopped onions
  1 cup diced celery
  4 ounces turkey kielbasa, chopped(about 3/4 cup)
  2 teaspoons McCormick Thyme Leaves
  1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Garlic Powder
  1 teaspoon McCormick Paprika
  1/4 teaspoon McCormick Crushed Red Pepper
  4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  1 can (14 1/2 ounces) no salt added diced tomatoes, drained
  1 cup red or brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
  1 package (5 ounces) baby spinach leaves

Heat oil in large saucepan on medium heat. Add onions and celery; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add kielbasa; cook and stir 3 minutes longer or until kielbasa is lightly browned and vegetables are softened. Stir in thyme, garlic powder, paprika and red pepper; cook and stir 2 minutes or until fragrant.
Stir in broth, tomatoes and lentils. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Stir in spinach. Simmer until wilted. Ladle into soup bowls to serve.
Nutrition Information per Serving: 172 Calories, Fat 4g, Protein 11g, Carbohydrates 23g, Cholesterol 9mg, Sodium 468mg, Fiber 6g

Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Makes 8 (1-cup) servings
 
  1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Rosemary Leaves, crushed
  1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Thyme Leaves
  1 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  4 teaspoons butter, divided
  1 package (8 ounces) mushrooms, sliced
  1 cup sliced carrots
  1/2 cup flour
  4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  1 1/2 cups frozen pearl onions
  1 cup frozen peas
  8 thin bread slices
  1 teaspoon oil

Mix rosemary, thyme and garlic powder in small bowl. Reserve 1/2 teaspoon. Heat 1 teaspoon butter in large saucepan on medium heat. Add mushrooms, carrots and remaining seasoning mixture; cook and stir 3 minutes. Remove from saucepan. Set aside.
Melt remaining 3 teaspoons butter in saucepan on medium heat, stirring to release browned bits from bottom of skillet. Sprinkle with flour; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until flour is lightly browned.
Gradually stir in broth until well blended. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Add vegetable mixture, chicken, pearl onions and peas; simmer 8 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cut bread into rounds with 3-inch cookie cutter. Place on baking sheet. Brush bread with oil and sprinkle with reserved seasoning mixture. Bake in preheated 350°F oven 10 minutes or until toasted. To serve soup, ladle into soup bowls and top each with 1 crouton.
Nutrition Information per Serving: 211 Calories, Fat 7g, Protein 16g, Carbohydrates 21g, Cholesterol 42mg, Sodium 469mg, Fiber 2g