During cold winter months, soup is quite possibly the perfect dinner. It’s comforting, simple, and easily modified to fit your taste and the contents of your fridge. Making soup from scratch is simple and easy, once you know how to do it.
What’s also great about making soup from scratch is that you can use healthy ingredients that support your fitness goals – while leaving out ingredients that would increase the carb and calorie count of the meal.
When craving homemade soup, most of us seek out a specific soup recipe that fits into a neat category. There’s chicken noodle, minestrone, split pea, clam chowder and so on. What’s less common is the brave cook who approaches the idea of soup with an open mind, a big soup pot, and whatever ingredients they have on hand.
Today I challenge you to be this brave cook.
You’ll find that making up your own soup as you go along is one of the most rewarding and wonderful dishes you’ll ever make. Let go of the urge to measure soup ingredients out or to overthink the process. Let your hair down, get really un-technical, and have some fun.
And don’t worry, there’s a method to this madness…
1) Start with a Little Healthy Fat
First off you’ll need to find a healthy form of fat to sauté the soup ingredients in. Olive oil and coconut oil are my go-to choices. Put a couple of tablespoons in the bottom of a large soup pot and place it over medium-high heat. Don’t you dare measure. Just scoop or pour.
2) Add Aromatic Veggies
Now add some minced, aromatic veggies to the warmed oil. Choose from onions, garlic, ginger, carrots and celery. This is the perfect chance to use up that starting-to-shrivel onion at the bottom of the produce drawer in your fridge. Sauté until the veggies become tender. If you have any fresh herbs on hand, such as rosemary, thyme, sage, or marjoram feel free to mix these in now.
3) Brown Some Protein
I like a hearty serving of protein in my soup, to keep us full and fueled, so my next move is to add some protein. Ground or chopped meat needs to be nicely browned and cooked through. If you’re going for a lighter fare, then feel free to continue without adding meat.
4) Add in Liquid
Sometimes at this stage I’ll pour in a little bit of white wine into the pot to deglaze the little browned bits that tend to stick to the bottom. The wine adds another dimension of flavor, but I only do it if there’s already a bottle opened. Once the pot is deglazed, add in stock, broth, or pureed tomato in any combination you’d like.
5) Something Extra
Now’s the time to add in those extra veggies that you have on hand – ones like squash, cauliflower or sweet potatoes. You could also add in cooked beans or quinoa.
6) Season to the Max
Start with a generous grinding of sea salt and black pepper, then christen your soup with more daring spices. Give these spices a try:
Cinnamon (tastes wonderful with ground beef)
Taste and adjust. Be brave. More flavor is always better.
7) Let it Simmer
Bring your tasty and unique soup to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about an hour. Sit back and bask in the satisfaction of your amazing soup creation. Ladle a bowl for yourself and your loved ones and enjoy.
A bowl of your unique and flavorful fitness soup makes for a light and lean dinner that will go a long way toward reaching your fat loss goals. Resist the urge to serve bread with your soup and instead opt for a leafy, green salad.
Remember that an effective exercise plan is vital to getting and staying in phenomenal shape – and I’m here to help you do just that. Call or email me now to get started on my best fitness plan.
Don’t Add These Ingredients
While making a light, fiber and protein packed soup is quite possible, as outline above, it’s also possible to create a soup that is high in calories, carbs, and unhealthy fats.
Here are the ingredients to NOT add to your soup, in order to stay on track with your fat loss goals:
Classic Chicken Soup
Not feeling creative? No need to make up your own fitness soup recipe, I’ve got the perfect one for you here. Enjoy this lightened version of classic chicken soup with a leafy, green salad.
Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com
Here’s what you need
3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thigh cut into 1-inch pieces
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 yellow onions, diced
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced thyme
2 Tablespoons coconut flour
8 cups broth
1 cup white wine
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 ½ cups celery root, peeled and diced
1 cup small green squash, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch slices
1 bay leaf
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and move a rack to the lowest position. Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper.
2. Place 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Brown half of the chicken and transfer to a plate. Repeat with another Tablespoon of olive oil and the other half of the chicken. Once browned transfer the rest of the chicken to a plate.
3. Add the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil to the pot over medium high heat. Add the onions and salt. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 3 minutes. Add the coconut flour and brown for 2 minutes.
4. Stir in the broth and the wine. Add the sweet potato, celery root, squash, carrots and bay leaf. Add the chicken to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and transfer to the preheated oven for an hour. Remove the bay leaf, garnish with fresh parsley and serve warm.
One serving equals: 249, Fat: 10g, Sodium: 513mg, Carbs: 8g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 28g