This revitalizing weight loss soup is satisfying and delicious. I don’t know where I’d be without it ~ probably a few pounds heavier, that’s for sure!
*This post is in partnership with Swanson® ~ thank you for supporting me and the brands I work with, I’m super choosy and promise to bring you only the cream of the crop.
This isn’t the dreaded cabbage soup diet in disguise, I promise! This soup is near and dear to my heart, I turn to it whenever I feel like the pounds are creeping up on me. It’s my ‘real food’ way to get back on track with healthier eating, without resorting to pills or gimmicks.
After a few days eating this soup you’ll feel better about yourself, and be more motivated to make the right food choices going forward.
Years ago my husband Grant got suckered into that infamous cabbage soup when it was making the rounds. His college roommate Rob convinced him it was a miracle diet and I can still remember cooking up huge vats of it. It was pretty awful, especially after a day or two in the fridge. This soup is a whole different ballgame, it’s got a much richer flavor profile and tons more texture. Oh, and my soup does include cabbage ~ in the form of bright emerald green brussels sprouts! I make it fresh every couple of days because if the soup isn’t appetizing, it’s not going to be effective.
This soup has a low calorie density, meaning it has very few calories relative to its bulk. It’s hydrating, loaded with fiber, and gives you that full, satisfied feeling in your belly ~ it helps beat the bloat, too!
This applies to most clear broth based vegetable and lean protein recipes, but not to creamy or cheesy soups (sorry, you’re not going to lose weight on lobster bisque). What I love about this soup is that I can eat as much as I want…if I’m not full after one bowl, I can have another. My routine is simple: I either have a normal breakfast and lunch, and eat soup for dinner, or I have the soup for breakfast and lunch, and have a normal dinner. I alternate so I don’t get bored.
TIP: A great flavorful broth is essential to this soup. I use the new Swanson Organic Free-Range Chicken Broth as my base. Swanson 100% natural broths are made from all natural, organic vegetables and free-range chicken raised with no added hormones or antibiotics, and just make sense for this kind of healthy recipe. I love that Swanson is constantly innovating and adding new products to their line. I’m a big believer in supporting free-range, so I’m thrilled to have this choice for my recipes.
For my winter weight loss soup I make the broth first. I’ll store it in the refrigerator, or freeze larger amounts. That allows me to make a fresh batch of soup every couple of days ~ all I have to do is chop a variety of veggies and throw them in.
TIP: You can freeze the broth in plastic or glass containers…be sure to leave space at the top when you fill them to allow for expansion.
When I’m ready for soup, I simply heat the appropriate amount of broth in a pot, and add my chopped veggies. I bring it up to a boil, then cover and turn the heat WAY down. I let it sit for 20 minutes, barely at a simmer. When the veggies are just tender, it’s ready. And my secret touch? A shower of grated Parmesan cheese in each bowl. It makes such a difference.
TIP: For this soup avoid high carb vegetables like potatoes, corn, lima beans and peas. I do use beets, which are technically high in carbohydrates but are also super healthy.
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 stalks celery, with inner leaves, chopped
- 5 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- a 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
- 2 cayenne peppers, crushed (substitute 1/2 tsp crushed red peppers)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp powdered turmeric
- 64 ounces ( 2 cartons) Swanson® Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
- 1 cup pureed tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste (I use the kind in the tube)
- 1 Tbsp mild vinegar, red or white
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- red or white onion, diced
- carrots, peeled and sliced
- celery, sliced, with inner leaves
- winter squash, peeled and diced
- green beans, cut in 2 inch pieces
- beats, peeled and chopped
- cauliflower or romanesco, separated into small florets
- small brussels sprouts, halved or left whole
- mushrooms, halved, quartered, or sliced
- Napa cabbage, shredded (you can use baby spinach, or kale)
- grated Parmesan cheese
- To make the broth, heat the olive oil in a large soup pot and add the onion, celery, garlic, ginger, crushed peppers and bay leaves. Saute on medium low for 20 minutes, stirring often. Don't let it brown or burn, you just want to soften everything and get their juices flowing!
- Add the turmeric, broth, pureed tomatoes, paste, and vinegar to the pot. Season with the salt and pepper, mix well and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down, cover, and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Taste now and adjust any of the seasonings.
- Strain the broth and store in the refrigerator, or freeze, until needed.
- When you're ready to make soup, bring the broth to simmer in a soup pan. Use approximately 1 cup per serving.
- Add the veggies EXCEPT the cabbage, spinach, or kale, bring back to a boil, and then turn the heat way down, and cover. Let the soup sit for 20 minutes. It should barely be at a simmer. Stir once or twice. Stir in any leafy veggies like the cabbage last, after the soup has cooked. The heat of the broth will be enough to wilt them.
- Serve hot with a sprinkling of cheese.
If you crave a soup that’s a little heartier, but still slimming, add in any of the following lean protein boosters:
- canned beans
- shredded chicken or turkey
- shrimp or tofu