Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Frugal Diet Soup

I realize it's a bad time of year to go on a diet, with all of the holiday parties and food coming up, but what the heck. In an attempt to be more healthy overall, I'm overhauling the foods we eat around here. It's a challenge to do this on a budget, but I'm really interested in making some lifestyle changes.

I'm finding that replacing a meal a day with this soup has really helped me cut back on calories without feeling too deprived. Plus it's nice with the cold weather- I'm always in a soup mood.

Here's what I use:

3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
Sea Salt
1 can chicken broth
2 cans diced stewed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 can green beans
1 can corn
1 small can mushrooms
1/4 head of cabbage
1 tbsp olive oil

I saute the carrots ,onion and celery in olive oil, with some sea salt and pepper. When they're tender, I add the chicken broth and other ingredients ( including the juice in the canned ingredients) On low heat, I let it all simmer until bubbling.

The nice thing with this recipe is pretty much any vegetable can be substituted- depending on whatever I have on hand. I make a huge batch and keep it in the fridge, and just re-heat for a quick meal. The calories are very low and paired with a few crackers and a tall glass of ice water,I find it to be quite satisfying. My husband isn't too much of a fan, since there isn't any meat- but I'm toying with a recipe that includes chicken.

I call it 'frugal soup' because the ingredients are inexpensive and most are in my cabinets on any given day. Plus its a good way to use up produce that otherwise might be forgotten in the depths of the fridge and go to waste.

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