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Savory Soups to Simmer

Warm up a winter’s day with a steaming bowl

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

As the Campbell’s Soup Company aptly put it, “Soup is good food.”

Brimming with flavorful vegetables, these recipes offer plenty of nutrition and are both economical and easy. Pair soup with a salad and perhaps some wholegrain bread or crackers and you have a healthful meal to warm up a wintry day.


Minestrone soup from Kelly Springer

Hearty Minestrone

Slow Cooker Style – Serves 8



1 large onion, diced

4 garlic gloves, minced

3 large carrots, diced

3 stalks of celery, sliced

1 zucchini, sliced

2 14-ounce cans of low-sodium diced tomatoes

1 14-ounce can of low-sodium tomato sauce

1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans, rinsed

1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

2 cups water

2 tablespoons pesto

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 ½ cups chickpea rotini



Kelly Springer, registered dietitian, master’s-prepared health educator and owner of Kelly’s Choice in Skaneateles

Mix all the ingredients, except the chickpea rotini into a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low 7 to 8 hours. Add in the chickpea rotini 10 minutes before serving and turn the crockpot to high if you had it set to low. Let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.


“This soup is loaded with nutrients and has an ample amount of protein and fiber,” Springer said. “Onions and garlic are natural antivirals. Carrots are loaded with immune-boasting vitamin A. Tomatoes have an incredible amount of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that research shows may improve brain and heart health.

“Most people don’t get nearly as much fiber as they should. A cup of this soup will give you over 30 grams of fiber from the beans and the pasta. Yes, the pasta! This soup uses chickpea pasta, which has 11 grams of fiber per serving as opposed to 2 grams of fiber in ordinary pasta.”

Kelly Springer, registered dietitian, master’s-prepared health educator and owner of Kelly’s Choice in Skaneateles, shared a couple of recipes.

“These two soups are loaded with fiber, rich in protein and filled to the brim with antioxidants,” Springer said. “Fiber can keep you full longer and is amazing for gut health. We can all use more plant-based proteins. You don’t need to be vegan, but by consuming more plants, you will reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and almost any chronic health condition.”



Carrot Lentil Coconut Stew from Kelly Springer

Carrot Lentil Coconut Stew

Slow Cooker – Serves 6



2 cups of dry red lentils

1 cup of medium spiced salsa

1 teaspoon of vegetable oil

2 yellow onions, chopped.

3 large carrots, cut in half length-wise and thinly sliced

5 cloves of minced garlic

2 teaspoons of turmeric

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of fenugreek

1 teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of lemon pepper

6 cups of vegetable stock

Korean Chili sauce

1 can of light coconut milk

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Chopped cilantro and unsweetened shredded coconut for garnish



Rinse lentils and soak overnight in 5 cups of water. In a big soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring them until they are soft. Add the garlic, turmeric, fenugreek, salt and lemon pepper and stir for one minute. Add the salsa and bring to a boil. Stir in the lentils and vegetable stock. Transfer this mixture to a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 8 to 10 hours. Stir in coconut milk and lemon, cook for 15 to 20 minutes on high. Add a couple of squirts of the Korean chili sauce. Mix well. Serve in soup bowls garnished with cilantro and coconut.


“This soup is so flavorful with health-boosting spices,” Springer said. “Turmeric is one of the most powerful spices on the planet. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and research has found that it may lessen pain, improve memory, and even fight depression. Fenugreek may help stabilize blood sugar and lower cholesterol. Lentils contain the highest amount of protein originating from any plant. The amount of protein found in them is up to 35%, which is comparable to red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. Lentils are also filled with fiber.”



Tex Mex Soup from Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Tex-Mex Vegetable Soup

Serves 6



1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound 97% lean ground beef (if you use a fattier beef, you may need to drain it after cooking and

before adding vegetables)

½ red onion, minced

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

Writer Deborah Sergeant offers a family favorite: Tex-Mex vegetable soup. Spicy but not too hot, this soup is delicious served with corn tortilla chips.

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Dash cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon parsley

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with juices

4 cups beef broth

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 large russet potato, peeled and diced

½ cup cooked yellow corn

Salt and pepper to taste

Shredded sharp cheddar cheese.



In large stock pot, add olive oil and cook beef over medium heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic and cook three minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients except corn, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low for 25 minutes. Add corn at the end of the cooking time and to taste, salt and pepper. Garnish each bowl with cheese.



Lentil Soup from Laurel Sterling

Lentil Soup

Serves 12



2 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup thinly sliced celery

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

2 cups sliced carrots

tsp. dried Italian seasoning

2 bay leaves

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes (no salt added)

3 cups dried lentils, picked over
for stones

tsp. salt

¾ tsp. black pepper

1 medium bunch kale (about 8 oz.), center stalk removed, leaves chopped



In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, carrots, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, tomatoes, and 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Stir in the lentils. Reduce heat to low. Partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the salt and black pepper. Gradually stir in the kale and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Laurel Sterling, registered dietitian in Canastota, works for Carlson Labs. She offered a recipe from Weight Watchers.

“Lentils can be an addition to a nutrient-rich diet,” Sterling said. “They are packed with fiber, protein, and key vitamins. Kale is packed with vitamins, minerals, and plant-based compounds. Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K, and antioxidants like lycopene.”