Consider making a warm soup this winter

Hearty soup can be a quick family meal and is an excellent source of dietary fiber.

This winter try cooking some soups for a quick family meal. Soups are nutritious and high in fiber which are healthy for you. Nutrition experts report dietary fiber contributes to our health and wellness in a number of ways. First, it aids in providing fullness after meals, which helps promote a healthy weight. Second, adequate fiber intake can help to lower cholesterol. Third, it helps prevent constipation and diverticulosis. And fourth, adequate fiber from food helps keep blood sugar within a healthy range. Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should target 38 grams (or 21 and 30 grams daily, respectively, for those over the age of 51).

Whole vegetables, herbs, spices and a variety of proteins can be used in making a soup. Michigan State University Extension recommends this quick and easy to make soup recipe:

Slow-Cooker Minestrone Soup

Serves 10

Ingredients

6 cups organic* vegetable broth
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen green beans
4 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon pepper
1 cup cooked (or 2 ounces of dry) whole-grain elbow pasta
2 cups fresh baby spinach
Garnish: 1¼ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese*

* - optional

Directions

Combine ingredients, except pasta and baby spinach, in a 6 or 7-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.

  1. Increase heat to high. Stir in pasta and spinach. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until pasta is done.
  2. Remove bay leaf before serving. Sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 ½ cups

Calories: 134; Total Fat: 0.5g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 860mg; Total Carbohydrate: 26g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Protein: 6g

Source: National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


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