Soups are easy to make and are terrific first courses for people trying to lose weight.
Here are a few tricks for upping the flavor of your soups while lowering their fat content:
- If your recipe calls for pre-cooked vegetables--such as onions, celery, or carrots--use a very small quantity of oil or cooking spray. If the vegetables start to stick to the pan, add a tablespoon or so of water, wine or broth to keep them from burning.
- Brown meats in a separate pan. Discard fat, and pat meat dry before adding to your stock pot.
- Miso--fermented soybean paste--gives a savory, meat-like flavor to vegetarian or other broths. Add a tablespoon per quart of water.
- Fry your spices for a minute or so over medium heat before adding them to your soup. Add dried herbs at the beginning of the cooking time, and fresh herbs right before serving.
- If your recipe calls for a heavy cream, use pureed cooked potatoes instead. Stir the puree back into the soup to thicken it.
- To add real cream flavor, stir in a few tablespoons of heavy cream when the recipe calls for 1 cup--a little cream will go a long way.
Most of these soups have fewer than 100 calories per serving.
Main-Dish Meat Soups
Make your own stock, or use low-sodium canned broths as the base of these soups.
Main-Dish Vegetarian Soups
(If you are a vegetarian, omit the Worcestershire sauce from your recipe or check the label, as some brands contain anchovies.)