Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Soup's On

After an exceptionally warm winter and spring, we've had several days of chilly and windy days.  As much as I love a good salad, these kind of days call for something a little warmer.  So for a quick lunch the other day I cooked up a quick skillet soup.

In a large sauté pan, melt 1tsp of butter, olive or coconut oil.  Sauté 1 cup frozen broccoli over medium heat till almost cooked through.  During this step I added some dried rosemary and thyme for extra flavor.

Add 3oz of cut up deli meat (turkey) and 6 cut up black olives to the pan and warm through slightly.

Pour in 1.5 cups of tomato soup.  I like Pacific and Trader Joe's brands.

I simmered the mixture for about 5 minutes till everything was warm.

After pouring it all into my bowl I topped it off with a sprinkle of feta cheese.

Even for a bunch of leftovers, this meal still came out perfectly balanced between protein, carbs, and fat.  Canned or boxed vegetable soups can serve as a healthy base for meals and snacks.  But it's important to beef them up a bit with other whole veggies, protein, and fat.  This can be done by scrounging up about 4oz of leftover meat from last nights supper and keeping frozen veggies on hand.  Other flavor combinations that would work well include:

Tomato soup, Basil, broccoli, leftover steak, 2 Tbs heavy cream

Butternut Squash Soup, Ginger or curry, Cauliflower, and sauteed shrimp, 1/4 cup coconut milk

Black Bean Soup, Sauteed Peppers and Summer Squash, Rotisserie Chicken, 1/2 avocado

Lentil Soup, Green Beans, and Pork chops or roast, 2 Tbs sour cream

Potato soup, fresh or frozen spinach, Ham (potato soup is typically made with heavy cream, no need to add more fat to this one).

Vegetable Minestrone, frozen carrot/cauliflower/broccoli blend, white fish such as cod or haddock, 10 green olives.

Chicken and Rice Soup, wilted kale or swiss chard (start with 1 tbs olive oil), leftover grilled chicken

Your options are only limited to your imagination.  This type of meal could easily be made while cooking breakfast and be ready to go with you to work for lunch.  Or as quick supper after a busy day.  For a bigger meal, go ahead and add a side salad.  You can never have too many leafy greens

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