December 31, 2014
January is National Soup Month
The blustery cold month of January is upon us. What better time than now to sit down to a hot, delicious bowl of soup to help warm you up! Soups are a great option nutritionally, they provide us with lots of important nutrients including vitamins and minerals for relatively few calories. Soup can be a simple addition to any meal and a great way to make sure that you and your family get the essential servings of whole grains, vegetables and protein in one bowl.
Although some canned soups can be healthy, they are often very high in sodium which can cause an increase in blood pressure and leads to a higher risk of developing heart disease. Sticking to low sodium, broth based canned soups would be the healthier way to go but preparing homemade soups can provide many more health benefits.
Preparing your own homemade soups allows you to control the nutritional value by adding plenty of vegetables, whole grains, healthy protein and herbs which naturally flavors your soup and allows you to skip the extra sodium. The winter months bring us a whole new variety of vegetables to choose from including cabbage, kale, leeks, mushrooms, turnips and winter squash. Squash is packed with tons of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber. Adding lean meat like chicken or turkey will make the soup more filling while increasing the protein content. Making sure to use a low sodium beef, chicken or vegetable broth rather than one that is cream based will ensure the soup has less salt and fat.
Other benefits in cooking homemade soup is that it tends to be much more cost efficient. Preparing a large batch of soup will allow you to have leftover which you can freeze for a later time. Making homemade soups is a great way to keep warm and stay healthy throughout the winter months.
If you are crunched for time this winter season, why not purchase a delicious, homemade soup from MANNA? Starting Thursday, January 1st, we kick off our annual SOUPer Bowl fundraising event. Choose from 3 delectable soup flavors including Hearty Chicken Noodle, MANNA Minestrone and Creamy Corn Chowder. By purchasing our homemade soups you not only nourish yourself, but you support us in nourishing our MANNA clients. For more infomation, go to mannapa.org/souperbowl.
Healthy Butternut Squash Soup
YIELD: 6 SERVINGS
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTESCOOK TIME: 1 HOUR
TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR, 10 MINUTES
1 butternut squash
1 yellow onion
32 oz. chicken (or vegetable) broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Peel, de-seed, and dice the squash into roughly 1-inch cubes (doesn’t need to be perfect).
Peel and dice the onion into roughly 1-inch pieces.
Place the squash and onion onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 45-50 minutes until squash is lightly golden and fork-tender.
In a large pot, bring the broth to a simmer. Add the roasted veggies. Puree using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor. (If using a regular blender or food processor, work in batches so that your container isn’t full to the brim, and be careful not to burn yourself). Finish with a drizzle of EVOO or spoonful of plain yogurt if you’d like, and enjoy! MORE