Soup makes for an excellent low-calorie, nutrient-dense meal or snack. It’s especially satisfying during the cold winter months, but can also be enjoyed during the summer in the form of a cold soup, known as gazpacho. Broth-based soups can serve as the perfect vehicle for fiber-rich vegetables and muscle-building and lean protein, both of which can help fill you up without filling you out. Furthermore, soup has a high water content, which can also help fill you up in addition to helping you stay hydrated. Still not convinced? Research suggests that soup can help you lose weight! Multiple studies have shown that when low-energy-dense soup was consumed at the start of a meal, subsequent food intake was reduced by as much as 20%. Even better, it’s true what they say – you should eat a bowl of chicken soup when you’re sick. The warm broth can not only help you stay hydrated (during a time when hydration is of the utmost importance), it can also help soothe your throat and loosen and drain mucus secretions. Additionally, the high concentration of protein and vegetables can provide your body with a nutrient boost that can help speed recovery. Soup certainly does have its benefits, just be sure to avoid creamy, rich soups, which can run upwards of 500 calories, and canned soups high in sodium. Stick with broth-based soups – a big bowl of which won’t set you back more than 300 calories. Try this lean and green approved recipe:
Turkey Stracciatella Soup (Lean & Green)
½ Leanest | 1 Green | 3 Condiments | ½ Healthy Fat
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Yield: 4 servings
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 lb 99% lean ground turkey
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup liquid egg whites
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 4 cups lightly packed spinach leaves, cut in thin strips
- Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic about one minute, until fragrant.
- Add turkey. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned.
- Meanwhile, bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-heat.
- Combine the egg whites, Parmesan cheese, and basil in a small bowl.
- Reduce heat of saucepan to medium-low, and stir broth in a circular motion. Gradually drizzle egg mixture into moving broth, and stir mixture gently with fork, about one minute, to form strands of egg.
- Stir in spinach, cooked ground turkey, and remaining salt.
- Ladle into soup bowls and serve.
Per serving: 230 calories | 7g fat | 6g carbohydrates | 38g protein