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Posted by Nutrition Professionals Australia on 26 April 2014

Looking for a meal starter that will fill you up but won't stack on the kilos? Try a nourishing soup. With a few cooler days starting to come our way, soup is a great way to boost your vegetable intake. A tasty homemade vegetable soup can be low in calories and fat and rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre and can be eaten at any time. If you add a protein such as meat, chicken, lentils or dried beans then the soup can become a meal together with a wholegrain bread roll.  It's easy to make a big batch of soup and place in containers in the freezer for later. It's an easy lunch on the go.

Tips for preparing soups

  • If you don’t have time to prepare your own stock from scratch use salt reduced stock cubes, powders or liquids.
  • Low salt tomato or vegetable juice can also be used as a soup base.
  • For thicker soup, add more vegetables and less water. Try adding chopped or crushed tinned tomatoes. Pureeing vegetable soup makes it thick and creamy.
  • For a creamier soup, add low fat milk or low fat evaporated milk.
  • Add a swirl of non fat yoghurt rather than sour cream.
  • When using meat or poultry in soups, allow it to cool and then skim fat from the top.

Spice up your soups

Try the following herbs and spices to add some extra zing

  • Basil, oregano or allspice in vegetable and tomato soups.
  • Rosemary suits chicken, spinach or pea soups.
  • Sage can be added to consommé or cream soup.
  • Drop a pinch of ginger into bean soup.
  • Add a dash of mustard in celery, mushroom, bean or lentil soup.
  • Sprinkle nutmeg into chicken soup.
  • Cloves suit split pea and potato soups.
  • Dill, parsley or paprika can be used to garnish all soups.


Chunky Minestrone Soup

Serves 8

2 onions
3 carrots
3 sticks celery
3 medium potatoes
2 zucchini
3 leaves spinach
2 cups cabbage, shredded
½ cup green beans

3 beef stock cubes and 2 litres water or 2 litres home made beef stock

8 tablespoons tomato paste

310g can cannellini beans, drained

310g can kidney beans, drained

- Peel and chop onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Dice zucchini, wash and slice spinach.
- Heat a large saucepan, add 1 tsp oil and fry onions until transparent.
- Add other vegetables (except tinned beans), tomato juice, pepper and stock.
- Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 2 hours or until soup is thick. During last 10 minutes, add rinsed cannellini and kidney beans.

Chicken Soup

Serves 6

1 leek, sliced (white part only)
2 potatoes, cut into cubes
2 chicken breast fillets, cut into thin strips
420g can creamed corn
3 cups chicken stock
Sprinkle of fresh/dried chives
Cracked black pepper

- Spray a large saucepan with oil, add leek and cook, stirring until soft.
- Add potato, chicken, corn and stock. Stir to combine, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for approx 20 minutes until potato is soft.
- Garnish with chives and season with cracked black pepper before serving.

Nutrition Professionals AustraliaAuthor:Nutrition Professionals Australia
About: NPA is a team of Accredited Practising Dietitians who provide specialist and expert nutrition advice to aged care and retirement homes across Australia. We specialise in assisting organisations to meet Accreditation and Best Practice standards.
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