Published on August 23, 2016
Who doesn’t love soup, right?
Hot soup warms our bellies in the winter. Cold soups are a refreshing touch in the summer. But, soups are a little tricky to fit into one’s portion-controlled weight loss and maintenance lifestyle. While you might find a canned soup low in calories, or even relatively low in fat, the sodium will usually be very high. Soups made in restaurants and fast food outlets are ALWAYS very high in both sodium and fat. Also, unlike canned soups, restaurants do not provide serving size or related nutrition information so you never know what you’re eating. There might be a fast-food place or two that does (Panera is one that I know of), but again . . . you never really know what you’re getting: portion sizes can vary from one outlet or one server to the next and, therefore, so will the nutritionals).
The only way to even attempt accuracy in portions, calories, fat and sodium is when soups are made at home. Whenever possible, use a Weight★No★More℠ Diet Center soup recipe because I break down the food group servings so you can plan ahead on how to count that soup. If you use your own recipe, the following is a general guideline and assumes that you have control of both ingredients and measurements. All are one-cup servings and, as our clients know, the key is as follows:
P = Protein | V = Vegetable | M = Milk/Dairy | G = Grain | FT = Fat
Refrigerating meat stock after cooking makes fat removal easy. Just lift the hardened fat off and discard before warming. Or, if you’re in a hurry, after reheating wrap a few ice cubes in a thin cloth and swirl over the top of the soup. Fat will congeal and adhere to the cloth. Or, spread a cold lettuce leaf over the surface of the hot soup. Like the ice cubes in the cloth, fat will cling for removal. Paper towels work too.
Choose vegetarian soups! With the exclusion of meat, the fat content is usually reduced dramatically.
Start with a clear low-sodium or no-sodium broth, throw in a couple of ingredients, remove those ingredients after cooking with a slotted spoon in order to get an accurate measurement, and enjoy. The fewer the ingredients, the easier to monitor your calories and servings. Keep your soup simple!
. . . and for those young at heart, you might want to revisit the Donald Duck classic, “Soup’s On.”