If losing weight is on your list of New Year's resolutions (again), add slurping soup to your to-do list.
A bowl of soup is mostly liquid, making it a lower calorie way to feel satisfied without actually being stuffed -- or stuffing in lots of calories. This is why so many diets tell you to drink water all the time. The more full you feel, the less likely you are to consume unwanted calories.
Of course, not just any bowl of soup works with this plan. Many canned varieties are loaded with sodium, and creamy soups can be filled with fat. Making soup in your own kitchen can be easy and is the best way to control what you consume. For broth-based soups, be sure to start with a reduced-sodium broth.
If you want a creamy but low-fat soup, you might start with a base of pureed vegetables. For another velvety and flavorful base, canned beans can be rinsed under cold water to wash away some of the salt, then pureed until smooth. This soup is rich with vegetables along with hearty chunks of potato and low-fat kielbasa.
1/2 pound 97-percent fat-free kielbasa or smoked sausage
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups peeled, diced potato
15-ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed
5 ounces frozen collard or turnip greens or spinach
14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups water
Cut the sausage in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. In a large pot over medium, heat the oil. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion and saute until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the potatoes, black-eyed peas, greens or spinach, broth and water. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and cook over low heat until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Nutrition information per serving: 279 calories; 102 calories from fat (36 percent of total calories); 11g fat (4g saturated; 0g trans fats); 40mg cholesterol; 32g carbohydrates; 16g protein; 6g fiber; 971mg sodium.