Broth-based soups are a great way to fill up with few calories. Research shows that when you start a meal with a broth-based soup, especially one swimming with vegetables, you'll likely consume about 100 fewer calories at that meal. Better yet, the studies show you're unlikely to make up those calories at your next meal, either.
Tomato soups are particularly healthy - they have lycopene, thought to be a very powerful disease fighter. But steer clear of cream-based soups, which are packed with saturated fat and have lots of calories. If unsure, ask if the soup is made with cream.
Soup and Stew Food Facts
- When making chicken soup, use a quart of water to each pound of chicken.
- When making stew, never add boiling water to the stew; if more water is needed, always use cold water. The boiling water may toughen the meat.
- Soups and stews when cooking should only simmer, never boil.
- Place leftover stews into individual baking dishes or small casserole dishes, cover with pie crust or dumpling, mix and bake.
- Store the liquids from canned mushrooms or vegetables, freeze it, and then use it in soups or stews.
- Refrigerate cooked or canned stews and soups overnight before serving. The fat will rise to the top, and then you can just skim it off before heating and serving.
- Read the label when buying soups. MSG and disodium inosinate and guanylate are favorite flavor enhancers.
- Many vitamins are lost to the liquid when cooking vegetables. The liquid should be saved and frozen to be used when our making soups, etc.
- One of the best commercial canned foods is Progresso. However, still watch out for the ones that contain MSG.
- Dry soup mixes are usually additive-free and only contain a few dried vegetables and seasonings.
- Soup will go further if you add pasta, rice or barley.
- For an easy treat when making stews, take a stack of tortillas and cut into long thin pieces and add to the stew during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Corn tortillas are lower in fat than flour tortillas.
- A good trick to avoid burning the peas in split-pea soup is to add a slice of white bread when you are cooking the peas and liquid together. Peas are an excellent source of protein.
- When making stews, try adding a tablespoon of molasses for flavor.
- If you add one-half cup of strong tea to your stew, it will help tenderize the meat and reduce the cooking time.
- Leftover soups can be frozen in an ice cube tray and used in soups or stews at another time.
- To thicken stews use a small amount of quick-cooking oats or a grated potato.
- If you are making vegetable soup, pour enough water into the pot to cover the vegetables by only 2 inches.
- To reduce the saltiness of soups, add a can of peeled tomatoes, if feasible.
- Another method of hiding the salty taste in soups is to use a small quantity of brown sugar.
- Over-salting soups and stews can be repaired by adding a piece of sliced apple or a piece of potato to the mixture for a short period of time, then remove and discard.
- If you would like a sweeter taste in your soups or stews, try adding a small amount of pureed carrots.
- Never use dark colored bones in soups; they are too old and have deteriorated.
- The best way to make stew or soup stock is to use a metal pasta cooker basket. Place it into your pot and cook all your ingredients, including any food containing bones. Remove the basket and it will contain the vegetables and/or bones you do not want.
- If you obtain too heavy a garlic flavor when cooking, place a few parsley flakes in a tea ball to soak up all the excess garlic.
- To make soups or stews thicker, try adding a tablespoon or more of instant potatoes or one-half cup rolled oats or wheat flakes.
- When preparing tomato soup, cook the noodles, and then drain them before adding them to the soup.
- When making a cream soup, try adding a little flour to the milk; it will make it smoother and will work with low fat milk.
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