Well, it appears that fall is quickly approaching in my part of the world – over the past few days, the temperatures have been cool, the sun has been bright, and there has been a a nice, cool, fall-like breeze. It’s the perfect time to make homemade soup. Now, don’t get me wrong – the jarred and canned soups found now-a-days have come a long way, but nothing compares to homemade. Soups made from scratch have an incomparable flavor and are much more satisfying (to both your palate and your stomach) than anything reheated from a can. Plus, once you get he basics down, you can make a variety of meals using whatever you happen to have on hand. Throw in a can of rinsed and drained beans, shredded cabbage, different veggies, cooked chicken or beef, or a handful of pasta noodles. Also, you can serve soups as an appetizer, alongside a sandwich, with a nice loaf of crusty bread, as a hearty lunch, or all on it’s own. I never used to appreciate the thought of “soup and sandwich” as a dinner, but ever since I started experimenting and making soups from scratch, it has become one of my favorite fall dishes!
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 (14.5 ounce) cans low sodium, fat free chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup water
1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes , cut into 1 inch chunks*(see note)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 zucchini, cut into small chunks
1 cup broccoli, chopped
grated low fat Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 whole wheat or multi grain baguette, sliced and toasted (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook until softened but not browned (about 5 minutes). Add the broth, cup f water, potatoes, thyme, and salt and bring to a boil. Once the pot boils, reduce the heat, cover the pot (leaving lid vented) and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, and broccoli; return the pot to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender (another 5-10 minutes). Ladle the soup evenly between 4 serving bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese (or another cheese of your liking), if desired. Serve with the toasted baguette.
*NOTE: Not only do the Yukon Gold potatoes have a rich, buttery flavor, but they retain their shape and texture during heating which makes them the ideal potato to use in soups and stews.
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 202 calories, 1.5 g total fat, less than 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 27 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 0 g added sugar, 14 g protein, 310 mg sodium (will vary depending on how much sodium is in your broth and diced tomatoes), 3 mg cholesterol.