Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Soup’s up: Tomato Basil Parmesan

Who doesn’t love soup in the wintertime? It’s the perfect meal to curl up to in a warm blanket and sip on while contemplating how happy you are to not be outsideĀ in the cold šŸ˜›

While consulting Pinterest one night on what to make for dinner I came across this delicious-lookingĀ Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup. I was hoping to find something to make for my boyfriend who had just had his wisdom teeth taken out and much like a baby, still couldn’t eat solid food. I thought this recipe looked perfect – comforting, delicious, and easy to make since it’s made in the crock pot! I love the convenience of crock pot cooking – for students or the working woman it’s great because you can pop your food into the slow cooker in the morning & when you come home dinner will be done!

Since my goal is to always make a recipe as healthy as possible without sacrificing taste, I did what I call a recipe redo, swapping out the unhealthier ingredients for better ones.

tomato basil parmesan soup

Here’s what you’ll need:

28 oz can muir glen fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
Ā½ cup multigrain flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Ā½ cup olive oil
2 cups fat-free milk (you COULD try this with plain almond milk if you wanted to)
1 tsp salt
Ā¼ tsp black pepper

*MAKES 8 servings

  1. Start by adding the tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker. I am obsessed with the Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes so I use them every chance I get.
  2. Next, cover your crock pot & cook it on low for about 5-7 hours, until the veggies have all become well acquainted with one other and there has been lots of mixing going on.
  3. About 30 minutes before dinnertimeĀ you’ll need to make a roux! It’sĀ like you’re a French chef or something…the roux thickens up the soup & gives it a better texture. I kept my roux blonde, meaning that I cooked it for less time than other darker roux. Ā I swapped out butter for olive oil (yes, you can do that) since olive oil is a much healthier choice. Olive oil does have more calories and fat, but it does not have the sodium, cholesterol or the saturated fat that butter does (3x more saturated fat in fact). For those who don’t already know, saturated fat is the real villain when it comes to fat. According to the Mayo Clinic, “itĀ raises total blood cholesterol levels which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat may also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes” so try to avoid this stuff as much as possible!
  4. To start the roux, put the olive oil in a skillet over low heat & add in your favorite multi or whole-grain flour.Ā Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes and slowly pour in about 1 cup hot soup at a time. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth.
  5. Put it all back in the slow cooker, give it a stir, and add the Parmesan cheese, fat free milk (preferably warmed), & salt and pepper. You can also add in extra herbs since they often get lost in the mix of things.
  6. Cover & cook on low for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve. Top it off with your favorite whole grain crackers & eat up!

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Not only is this recipe “soup-er” comforting and delicious, it only has 266 calories a serving! Enjoy it while the weather’s still chilly & it will warm you right up! If you’re looking for another healthy soup to make, try out my recipe for Chicken Quinoa Soup! Happy eating & come back soon šŸ™‚ Don’t forget to subscribe for more free recipes & healthy eating tips!

Click here for nutrition facts

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Friday Food Find: Pacific Foods Soup

Although this isn’t exactly a new food find, I decided to share one of my favorite soups. I’m not much of a soup person in general (I consider it to be more of an appetizer than meal – there’s a reason it’s called skinny girl BIG APPETITE) butĀ I love these. They have an amazing flavor and are heartier than most soups in my opinion.

So enough suspense – the brand is called Pacific Natural FoodsĀ and most of their soups are organic. They make for a good,Ā but lower calorie meal. Ā Plus there are a TON of flavors you can choose from. The great thing is that the price isn’t organic at all – I swear HEB always has a coupon for it.

Poblano Pepper and Corn Chowder

Poblano Pepper and Corn Chowder

Poblano Pepper and Corn Chowder is one of my favorites. I also like to buy the Pacific Foods low sodium chicken broth for cooking. Try it out for yourself, this stuff is delicious! And perfect for that rare occasion when you don’t feel like cooking (*gasp* I actually said it)! Enjoy

-SkinnyGirl

Chicken Soup for the Sick Person’s Soul

All of us have those days where all you feel like doing is laying in bed…all day. Unfortunately today was one of those days for me. I’m not sure if it was because I stayed up (basically all night) a few days ago or because I just have a virus of some sort, but either way I was definitely lacking in energy and well…the ability to function. In these times of trouble I find one solution…Chicken Noodle soup.

The more I’ve read and learned about diet, the more I’ve realized what an effect it has on how we feel. It happened to be my mother’s birthday this weekend so we went out to an italian restaurant for lunch today – even though the food was DELICIOUS I really have no intention of returning. The portions were enormous – only four of us were eating and they brought us about sixteen pieces of bread. The problem with this is that their garlic bread is extremely tasty and hard to resist…so I had about 3 and half slices. Not only is this bad calorically speaking (which I really wasn’t THAT concerned about) but I’ve noticed that after eating a lot of bread I just feel tired and weighed down. After this they brought us salad, thickly coated in dressing, and then my entree which was once again fantastic, but just too rich. It was chicken covered in a thick white wine cream sauce – I ordered it because it had vegetables:Ā sun-driedĀ tomatoes,Ā artichokesĀ and mushrooms but it was just too much. I only ate half of my meal and I was about to burst. After this enormous lunch I proceeded to taking a 2 hour nap after which I woke up feeling very sick and exhausted. I’ve learned that if I want to feel good I need to understand portion control and pick foods that are less rich and more nutritional.

That said, for dinner I wanted something light and healthy that wasn’t very complicated to make. So I created my own version of “Chicken Noodle Soup”, to make it you’ll need:

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 organic white quinoa
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 c. shredded carrot
  • 4 oz. chicken (baked, sauteed, broiled, grilled – however you prefer)
  • 3 oz. 2% milk cheddar cheese
  • 24 oz. chicken broth
  • 1/8 tsp. tumeric
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/16 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder

MAKES 2 servings

I started by cooking the quinoa. To give it extra flavor I cooked it in chicken broth instead of just plain water.

Trader Joe's White Quinoa

Trader Joe’s Organic White Quinoa

I LOVE the Pacific foods organic free range chicken broth, I think it tastes great and it’s usually not very expensive at the grocery store.

Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth

Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth

I chose to use quinoa as opposed to a whole grain noodle in this soup because I wanted it to be lighter and grain-free since I had ODed earlier on bread. After the quinoa was done (around 10 minutes) I put it in a separate bowl & added the chopped onion and garlic to the saucepan.

chopped onion & garlic in the saucepan

chopped onion & garlic in the saucepan

I like to keep chopped onion in a airtight container in the fridge so that I can add it easily without having to chop it up all the time. The great thing about onion and garlic is that both are extremely healthy for you and are filled with antioxidants. Next I shredded the chicken which had been sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper and was kept in the fridge (another great thing to have on hand). You could simply boil your chicken or grill it if you’re watching calories. Then, I poured enough chicken broth to cover the ingredients and added the carrots.

Chicken, onion, garlic and carrot slightly covered in chicken broth

Chicken, onion, garlic and carrot slightly covered in chicken broth

Next comes the spices: I added tumeric for flavor and that nice, yellow chicken-soup color. I love cayenne so I added it for spice and because its a wonderful metabolism booster – plus spicy food always opens up your sinuses when you’re feeling sick. The cinnamon was also for the same purpose – although it sounds odd to put cinnamon in a soup, you barely notice it but you still get its benefits. After adding the spices and cooking the ingredients for about 2 minutes I added the rest of the chicken broth. After everything was heated up, I added the quinoa, stirred the soup and topped it with shredded cheddar cheese! Delicious, easy and healthy – you can’t get better than that.

Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup

After a hearty bowl, I’m already feeling better šŸ˜‰ Especially since one bowl will only cost you 342 calories

Chicken Soup Nutrition Facts

Chicken Soup Nutrition Facts

Enjoy & check back later for more recipes, promise I’ll update more often!

-SkinnyGirl