Winter’s bitter chill snuck up on us after a rather mild autumn for 2011. Holiday leftovers are yesterday’s garbage, but it’s still too soon for most to let go of their optimistic New Year’s Resolutions.  With so many meal options available with little to zero nutritional content (ex: fast food restaurants), it is easy for us to opt for the fries over the side salad in the winter months. Nobody could even see your not-so-bikini-ready-body underneath your winter coat. But that shouldn’t be an acceptable excuse.

To fight the cold, as well as the unwanted pounds, we have compiled some simple, healthy soup options to keep your belly happy both inside and out.

 

Vegetable Noodle Soup via FoodNetwork.com |Time: 30mins | 260 Calories per Serving  

 

 Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 rib celery, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 medium onion, about 1/2 cup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup orzo or other small pasta or egg noodles or broken up spaghetti
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (1 quart box, or 2 cans)
  • Small handful fresh parsley leaves, basil or dill, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Serving suggestion: Whole-wheat crackers and cheese sticks

Directions:

 Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add all the vegetables, garlic and onion. Season with the salt, and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Add the pasta and cook until slightly toasted and golden, about 2 minutes. Add broth, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, covered, until pasta is just tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in whatever herb suits you (we suggest oregano) and lemon juice. Season with pepper and additional salt, to taste.

 

 Roasted Chestnut Soup with Thyme Cream via CookingLight.com | Time: 60 Mins | 172 Cal. per Serving 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole roasted bottled chestnuts
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced carrot
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 5/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

 

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 400°.
  2.  Place chestnuts on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Place chestnuts in a large bowl; cool to room temperature.
  3. Combine onion, carrot, and oil on pan; toss to coat vegetables. Bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add to chestnuts; stir in broth. Pour half of broth mixture into a blender; blend until smooth. Pour pureed mixture into a Dutch oven. Repeat procedure with remaining broth mixture. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place pan over medium-high heat; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
  4. Place cream in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt; beat at high speed until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat). Ladle about 3/4 cup soup into each of 10 bowls; top each serving with about 1 tablespoon cream. Sprinkle with thyme. Serve immediately.

 

Curried Chicken & Rice Soup via FoodNetwork.com |Time: 65 Mins. | Cal: 360 per Serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 bone-in chicken breast (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced diagonally into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
  • 1/3 cup jasmine rice
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


Directions:

Combine the chicken, carrots, bay leaf and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Add 3 cups broth and bring to a boil; immediately reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is just firm, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in another saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt; cook until the onion is soft, 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and the remaining 3 cups broth. Increase the heat to medium, cover and simmer until the rice falls apart, 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the chicken from its broth; discard the skin and shred the meat into pieces. Return the shredded chicken to the same broth.

Puree the rice mixture with an immersion blender until smooth (or use a regular blender, then return to the pan). Pour in the shredded chicken and broth, stirring gently to combine; bring to a simmer. Toss in the chopped herbs and serve the soup with lemon wedges.

Tortilla Soup via EatingWell.com | Time: 45 Mins | 288 Calories per Serving

Ingredients: 

  • 8 corn tortillas, halved and thinly sliced
  • Canola or olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 Anaheim or poblano peppers, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (see Tip)
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Spread tortilla strips in an even layer on a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Bake until browned and crispy, 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add peppers and onion and cook, stirring, until the onion begins to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add chicken, broth, tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice. Serve each portion topped with some of the baked tortilla strips, Cheddar and cilantro.