As the temperatures have cooled down the last few weeks what foods did you feel like making? I know many of my friends and co-workers have shared that they made traditional or white bean chili, vegetable soup, or chicken noodle soup. Comfort foods like soup just sounded good to them. The good thing to hear about those comfort foods is that they can also be “superfoods”. WebMD lists 14 superfoods that we should eat to protect us from heart disease, cancer, and other health conditions. Many of these foods are high in anti-oxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Seven of the 14 superfoods are also great soup ingredients:
- Beans – because beans will often take on the flavor of the foods you combine them with, and can be added to almost any soup. If you use canned beans, look at the sodium content on the nutrition facts label and rinse them to cut that level.
- Tomatoes – the base for many soups, look for no-salt added on the label if you are using canned.
- Turkey – a perfect food for this time of year, stores already have them on sale and in a couple weeks we will have left-overs to use.
- Spinach – rinse fresh spinach, chop into smaller pieces, and add to soup shortly before serving.
- Broccoli – if you want to make a healthier version of broccoli soup be sure to use low fat and low sodium chicken broth, and low fat milk.
- Soy – soy milk can be used in cream based soups, small cubes of tofu added to almost any soup, and soy “meat replacement” crumbles can be used in place of ground beef or sausage.
- Pumpkin – another seasonal favorite which can be served as a hot or cold soup.
The wonderful thing about soups is many of them can also be made quickly. Often the ingredients can be kept on hand or left-overs can be used. One of our Ohio Extension co-workers had put together a great chart with a “Basic Homemade Soup Recipe”. The neat thing about it is you select an ingredient from each column – vegetables, grains, protein, seasoning, and liquid. Here is a link to that site http://go.osu.edu/soup.
If you have left-over soup you want to get it in the refrigerator or freezer in less than 2 hours after serving. If there are large quantities, divide it into small or shallow containers for quicker cooling. Soup can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days and freezer for 2 to 3 months. Frozen soups should be stored in sealed containers and labeled with the date. Frozen soups should be thawed in the refrigerator or can be reheated from a frozen state. You may choose to add additional liquid if you reheat from frozen. Always make sure left-overs soups are brought to a boil and heated to 165 degrees for at least 15 seconds for food safety. If you use your microwave for thawing or heating soups, using a glass or ceramic container is recommended. Microwave thawed foods should be cooked right after thawing because they may start to partially cook during the thawing process.
What super soup can you make this week and how many superfood ingredients can you include?
WebMD, Superfoods Everyone Needs, http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/superfoods-everyone-needs.
Ohio State University Extension, Wayne County, Basic Homemade Soup Recipe, D Becker, http://go.osu.edu/soup.
USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Freezer Storage Chart, http://www.fsis.usda.gov/fact_sheets/Focus_On_Freezing/index.asp#19.
Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ross & Vinton Counties, Ohio State University Extension, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jenny Even, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences/EFNEP, Hamilton County, Ohio State University Extension, email@example.com.
Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Butler County, firstname.lastname@example.org.