Cut the fat to boost the benefits of soup

March 29, 1994|By Colleen Pierre, R.D. | Colleen Pierre, R.D.,Special to The Sun

One way to cut back on the excessive fat and control the protein we typically consume is to build meals around hearty, low-fat soups. There are two ways to do that. Either slim down a traditionally high-fat soup, or beef up a naturally low-fat soup.

Try this power-packed recipe, brimming with vitamins and minerals.

Creamy broccoli soup

Makes 4 main dish servings

6 cups raw broccoli, including florets and thinly sliced stems

3 cups defatted, reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 cups evaporated skim milk

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon

4 teaspoons low-sodium chicken bouillon

freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, combine broccoli and 1 cup of broth. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 8 to 10 minutes, or until broccoli is tender.

Transfer broccoli and broth to a food processor or blender. Blend until almost smooth. Return mixture to saucepan and set aside.

In a small cup, stir together 1/4 cup of milk and the cornstarch

until smooth. Stir cornstarch mixture into broccoli mixture. Add the remaining milk and broth. Cook and stir until thick and blubbly. Add the tarragon, chicken bouillon and pepper. Cook two more minutes. Per serving: 213 calories, 10 grams protein, 3 grams fat, 380 milligrams calcium.

NOTE: If you want to defat creamy recipes of your own, try using pureed rice or instant mashed potatoes as thickeners when you substitute skim milk for whole.

N For a main dish soup that's naturally low in fat, try this:

Nearly instant minestrone

Makes 6 main dish servings

1 cup chopped frozen onions

2 ounce smoked turkey, chopped

3 cups water

1 bag frozen Ranchero Bean Salad

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup tiny shell pasta

1/4 cup chopped celery from the salad bar

2 tablespoons chopped garlic, from the jar

16 ounce can sliced stewed tomatoes with liquid

1/2 cup prepacked, shredded cabbage

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Lightly spray a medium saucepan with olive oil spray. Add onions, celery, garlic and turkey. Cook and stir until vegetables are tender.

Add water, tomatoes, salad, cabbage and herbs. Cover. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer 20 minutes. Add shells. Return to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer about 10 minutes, or until shells are tender but firm.

Per serving: 131 calories, 2 grams fat, 4 grams protein, 32 milligrams, calcium, 6 milligrams iron.

Colleen Pierre, a registered dietitian, is the nutrition consultant to the Union Memorial Sports Medicine Center and Vanderhorst & Associates in Baltimore.

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