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Simple Ideas to Turn a Box of Soup into a Balanced Meal


Simple Ideas to Turn a Box of Soup into a Balanced Meal

It’s National Soup Month! We consider veggie-packed soups to be the salad of winter. Not that we can’t eat soup in the summer and salads in the winter — and we do — but like salad, you can fit an entire balanced, veggie-packed meal into a bowl of soup. Furthermore, since we tend to buy out-of-season veggies in frozen form during the colder months, soup works especially well for integrating frozen veggies into meals. To us, canned or boxed soup is a starting point for adding your own veggies, beans, tofu, spices, and all kinds of other fun stuff!

What we look for in a soup base:

500mg of sodium or less per cup

No more than 1.5 grams saturated fat per cup

Flavored with herbs and spices

Some of our favorite brands that meet the criteria:

We keep soup on hand all the time — it’s a pantry staple for us; however, we’re pretty choosy about our brands. Over the years, these have become our favorites . . .

Pacific Brands Organic Light in Sodium Creamy Butternut Squash Soup and Organic Light in Sodium Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato

Trader Joe’s Light in Sodium Creamy Tomato Soup

Amy’s Organic Light in Sodium Lentil Vegetable and Low Fat Split Pea

Tabachnick Organic Tuscany Lentil Soup and Organic Black Bean Soup

Kettle Cuisine Carrot Ginger Soup and Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

Our favorite soup creation:

1. Start with 1 1/2 cups of your preferred soup in a medium saucepan. You’ll need to add some low sodium veggie or chicken stock if the soup is especially thick (We love Pacific Foods unsalted stocks). Heat the soup over medium-high heat.

2. Add a cup of fresh or frozen greens (spinach, kale, collard greens, etc.) and a cup of your favorite frozen veggies (we love broccoli). Stir in 1/2 cup rinsed and drained canned beans and/or 1/3 cup diced tofu. You can also use chicken or canned crab, tuna, or salmon instead of the tofu, and cooked whole grains (quinoa, barley, brown rice, etc.) or corn instead of the beans.

3. Add a pinch of herb and spice. We suggest garlic powder, chili powder, curry powder, a dash of cinnamon, or salt-free Italian seasoning mix.

4. Add more stock, if necessary, and simmer on medium-low until the veggies are tender, and hot all the way through, about 5-10 minutes.

5. Top with some shredded cheese, salsa, lime juice, fresh herbs, a dollop of nonfat plain Greek yogurt . . . whatever sounds good to you and works with the flavors of your soup creation.

Here’s a link to a few more versions of our favorite meal-in-a-bowl soup, too!

Do you love soup? What’s your favorite type?

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