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Souper easy: Delicious low-carb soups

Nothing heats up a winter chill better than a steaming bowl of soup. But those of you following a low carb diet may be challenged when shopping for pre-packaged soups, finding most are filled with high-glycemic goodies like noodles, pasta, carrots and potatoes. You can put control into your low carb diet by making your own healthy and delicious soups.

Easy to make and palate pleasing, these soups are also packed with valuable vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are essential for a well-balanced diet. When served with a mixed baby lettuce salad tossed in balsamic vinaigrette or sliced tomatoes with mozzarella cheese, you have a "souper" fast, fresh and easy low carb meal.

Spinach Egg Drop Soup


Ingredients:
5 cups low-sodium, low-fat chicken broth
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon sherry
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 large eggs, beaten
3 cups of cleaned, chopped fresh spinach 1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 cup soft, low-fat tofu, diced into 1-inch cubes (optional)

Directions:
1. Heat chicken broth in a stockpot to a gentle, rolling boil. Remove a ladle of heated chicken broth and whisk in egg yolk.

2. Add to remaining chicken broth and stir until slightly thickened. Add sherry, soy sauce, and eggs, stirring to incorporate until eggs form into ribbons.

3. Add spinach, scallions, and tofu, if desired, and stir until spinach wilts. Serve immediately.

Serves four.

Per serving with tofu: 5g carbs; 1g fiber; 11.4g protein; 8.3g fat; 203mg cholesterol; 141 calories

Roasted Red & Yellow Bell Pepper Montage Soup with Fresh Basil


Ingredients:
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 small garlic clove, minced
4 cups chicken low-sodium, low-fat chicken broth
3 whole roasted red peppers, seeded and stemmed, pureed
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 whole roasted yellow peppers, seeded stemmed, pureed
2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into thin strips

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in a stockpot over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, cooking until soft.

2. Add chicken broth and bring to a gentle boil. Add pureed red pepper, and stir until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Serve by pouring into bowl, swirling a tablespoon of yellow roasted pepper puree into soup, and topping with fresh basil.

Serves four.

Per serving: 12.3g carbs; 2.7g fiber; 2.6g protein; 4.6g fat; 3mg cholesterol; 143 calories

Ruby Red Cabbage Soup with Portobello Mushrooms


Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 white onion, diced
1 small head celery, bottom and leafy stems removed, chopped
1 red pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
1 large leek, bottom and green top removed, cleaned and chopped
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice
32 ounces low-fat, low-sodium beef broth
2 cups red cabbage, cut into 1" dice
3 Portobello mushrooms, stems removed, cleaned, cut into 1-inch dice
Pinch red chile flakes
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot. Add onions, celery, red pepper and leek to pot and cook until soft.

2. Add tomatoes and juices, stirring to break into small pieces. Add broth, cabbage and mushrooms. Season with chile flakes, salt and pepper.

3. Cook over low heat for one hour, until cabbage and mushrooms are soft. Serve immediately, or allow to cool, and then freeze until ready to serve.

Serves six.

Per serving: 12.4g carbs; 3.5g fiber; 3g protein; 2.7g fat; 0mg cholesterol; 91 calories

Turkey Abondigas Soup


Ingredients:
1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks of celery
1 red pepper
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice
32 ounces chicken broth
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 lime wedge
Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine turkey with soy sauce, garlic and pepper until mixed.

2. Stir in egg. Roll turkey into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet. Bake meatballs in oven until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

3. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add onions, celery and red peppers and cook until soft.

4. Add tomatoes, chicken broth and meatballs. Cook until all ingredients are heated through, about 10 minutes.

5. Add cabbage and squeeze lime wedge over soup, seasoning with pepper sauce if desired. Serve immediately.

Makes six servings.

Per serving: 10.8g carbs; 3g fiber; 17.1g fiber; 9.7g fat; 95mg cholesterol; 209 calories.

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