Extra ingredients make canned soup extraordinary

April 19, 1995|By Eating Well Magazine

When there is next to nothing in the refrigerator, canned soup in the cupboard provides a satisfying last resort. A few ordinary ingredients will change a predictable soup into an unexpected delight.

The traditional match of potato and caraway adds dimension to a cream of celery soup base.

German Potato Soup

Serves 3

2 teaspoons vegetable oil, preferably canola oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 10-ounce can condensed cream of celery soup, preferably reduced-fat

1 1/2 cups skim milk

1 cup diced boiling potatoes

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried dill

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and caraway seeds and saute until the onions begin to color, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add soup, milk and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add buttermilk and dill and stir until heated through: do not allow the soup to boil. Season with salt and pepper.

Per serving: 175 calories; 8 g protein; 6 g fat; 23 g carbohydrate; 478 mg sodium; 9 mg cholesterol

Tomato Soup With Orzo and Basil

Serves 2

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 10-ounce can condensed tomato soup, preferably low-sodium

1 large tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped

1/4 cup orzo or other tiny pasta

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese ( 1/2 ounce)

2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, slivered

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until they begin to color, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

Add soup, tomatoes, orzo and 1 1/2 cups water. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the orzo is tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the orzo from sticking. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with cheese and basil.

Per serving: 288 calories; 11 g protein, 11 g fat, 39 g carbohydrate; 1,224 mg sodium; 10 mg cholesterol.

Lentil Soup with Bacon

Serves 2

2 teaspoons vegetable oil, preferably canola oil

1 large carrot, finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped Canadian bacon

1 19-ounce can plain lentil soup

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

pinch ground allspice

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onions and saute until the mixture begins to color, 2 to 3 minutes. Add Canadian bacon and cook until it begins to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add soup, thyme and allspice and stir until heated through. Season with black pepper.

Per serving: 284 calories; 21 g protein; 7 g fat; 36 g carbohydrate; 414 mg sodium; 11 mg cholesterol

Cooked chicken or seafood would be a nice addition to this soup. For an even richer flavor, saute the corn first in a teaspoon of oil until lightly browned.

Corn and Pepper Chowder

Serves 3

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup canned or frozen corn kernels, thawed

1/2 small red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 10-ounce can condensed cream of celery soup, preferably reduced-fat

1 1/2 cups skim milk

1/4 cup chopped scallions

salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a dry, heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir chili powder, cumin and garlic over medium heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add corn and peppers and toss to coat.

Add soup and milk; stir until heated through. Stir in scallions and season with salt and pepper.

Per serving: 139 calories; 7 g protein; 5 g fat; 19 g carbohydrate; 789 mg sodium; 13 mg cholesterol

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