So GoodFeb/Mar 2009 Issue

Bowl Me Over: Hearty, Healthy Soups

Warm up with hearty, healthy soups

Nothing takes the chill off a frosty day like a steaming bowl of soup, offering comfort like few other foods. Homemade soup is a soothing way to lift the late-winter blues, a nutritious cure for what ails you.

Living with food allergies and sensitivities doesn’t mean forgoing your favorite cup of soup. Gluten-free, dairy-free stock is available at many grocery stores or you can make your own rich stock using one of our broth recipes.

Soup is a versatile food, equally delicious as an appetizer, a side or a main course. For added flavor and nutrients, throw in seasonal vegetables or fruit. (Yes, fruit. The apples or cider in Roasted Beet Soup, Apple Fennel Soup, and Meatball Dumpling Soup add extra vitamin C and a hint of natural sweetness.) Sprinkle in whole grain rice or gluten-free noodles. Toss in flavorful leftovers for interest and a taste that’s truly unique.

Dreaming of a cozy evening by the fire? Soup is your winning meal ticket. Try these recipes for a satisfying and allergy-friendly supper that’s full of nutritious good taste.

Roasted Beet Soup


Beets are a good source of folate, potassium and iron. They derive their rich jewel-tone color in part from cancer-fighting betacyanin. High in natural sugar and low in calories, beets are particularly delicious when roasted. Serve this soup hot, topped with a dollop of gluten-free plain yogurt or soy yogurt.

3 pounds fresh red beets trimmed, peeled and cut into pieces (wear gloves to avoid staining hands)

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups apple cider

2 cups gluten-free chicken or vegetable stock

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

½ teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Toss beets, onion, carrots and bell pepper in olive oil and spread in a single layer in a large roasting pan. Cook in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until beets and other vegetables are softened.

3. Add apple cider, chicken stock and roasted vegetables to a large stockpot and simmer for 15 minutes. Add tarragon and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Carefully puree soup in small batches in a blender or food processor. Add water or additional stock to thin to desired consistency. Serve hot.

Each serving contains 170 calories, 4g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 2mg cholesterol, 29g carbohydrate, 303mg sodium, 6g fiber, 5g protein.

Apple Fennel Soup


The health benefits of chicken stock enhance this creamy nondairy soup. It’s full of antioxidants and vitamin C, as well as flavonoids like quercetin found in many natural cold remedies. Serve hot, garnished with chopped chives or red apple cut into matchsticks. (Toss apple pieces with fresh lemon juice to prevent browning.)

2 medium fennel bulbs, stalk and fronds removed,

chopped (about 5 cups)

1 large onion, chopped

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup Madeira wine or Port or apple cider or apple juice

2 cups gluten-free chicken stock

2 large apples (Granny Smith or

other firm, tart apple), peeled, cored and diced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large, heavy-bottom stockpot, sauté fennel and onion in olive oil until softened and slightly browned, about 15 minutes.

2. Add wine and let cook for a minute. Add chicken stock, apples, bay leaf and thyme. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until apples and fennel are soft.

3. Remove bay leaf and carefully puree soup in small batches in a blender or food processor. For velvety-smooth texture, pass soup through a food mill or strain.

4. Add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

TIP For vegetarian soup, replace chicken broth with gluten-free vegetable stock.

Each serving contains 221 calories, 9g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 4mg cholesterol, 34g carbohydrate, 526mg sodium, 6g fiber, 5g protein.

Moussaka Soup

with Lemon-Fennel Pesto


This gluten-free, dairy-free recipe is inspired by Greek moussaka. It contains ground lamb, a great source of tryptophan, protein, B vitamins and zinc, but you can substitute ground turkey with good results.

1 pound ground lamb

1 large onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced, or

1 tablespoon shallot, minced

1 fennel bulb, chopped (reserve fronds, discard stalks)

2 medium zucchini or 1 large

eggplant, chopped

1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes in juice

2 cups gluten-free chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/2 pound gluten-free, dairy-free penne pasta

Lemon-Fennel Pesto

1 whole Meyer lemon or regular lemon

1/4 cup reserved fennel fronds

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Sauté ground lamb in large skillet over medium high-heat until cooked thoroughly. Remove from skillet and set aside.

2. Sauté onion, garlic, fennel and zucchini in same skillet, using lamb drippings, until vegetables are soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Return cooked lamb to the skillet with the vegetables. Add the chopped tomatoes with juice, stock and seasonings. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

4. Cook pasta in boiling water per package instructions, being careful not to overcook. Drain.

5. To prepare pesto, wash lemon and cut off ends. Cut lemon into eight sections and remove seeds. Place lemon pieces (skin and all) in a blender or food processor and puree. Add fennel fronds and olive oil and puree until well blended. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

6. Toss drained pasta with pesto until pasta is evenly coated.

7. To serve, place a heaping spoonful of pasta into four bowls. Top with moussaka soup. Serve hot.

TIP Meyer lemons are slightly sweeter than regular lemons with a softer skin and floral scent. They’re seasonally available in many grocery stores from November to May.

Each serving contains 671 calories, 35g total fat, 13g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 82mg cholesterol, 69g carbohydrate, 716mg sodium, 10g fiber, 27g protein.

Meatball Dumpling Soup with Spinach


Don’t let liver as an ingredient deter you from trying this recipe. These meatball dumplings are delicious in this soup or alone. No one will suspect they’re eating nutrient-dense liver, rich in vitamins A and B, essential fatty acids and minerals. Using homemade stock adds more flavor to this soup.

1/4 cup finely minced onion

1/4 cup finely minced fennel bulb (stalks and fronds removed)

1 tablespoon oil

2-3 ounces calf's liver (preferably

grass-fed beef)

1 pound ground beef (may

substitute ground turkey or chicken)

1 small apple, peeled, cored, grated or finely minced

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

4 cups gluten-free chicken stock

1 pound spinach

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large skillet, sauté onion and fennel in oil until softened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

2. Thoroughly puree raw liver in a food processor.

3. In a large bowl, combine pureed liver, uncooked ground beef, onion, fennel, apple, cinnamon and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Form meat mixture into 24 to 30 walnut-size meatball dumplings. Set aside.

4. In a large stockpot, bring chicken stock to a boil.

5. Add meatball dumplings and let simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

6. Add spinach and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Each serving contains 223 calories, 11g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 74mg cholesterol, 9g carbohydrate, 359mg sodium, 2g fiber, 22g protein.

Basic Stocks

Add extra flavor to your homemade soup by making your own stock. Short on time? Check out our Shopping List on the right for gluten-free canned broth.

Chicken Stock


Simmering chicken (or beef or other animal protein) with vegetables is the basis for homemade stock. Adding vinegar or lemon juice extracts minerals from the bones, creating an easy-to-digest, nutrient-rich stock.

3-3½ pounds chicken pieces, mostly backs and wings, rinsed

(preferably free range)

2 carrots, cut into large chunks

3 celery stalks, cut into large chunks

2 large white onions, quartered

Cold water, at least 3 quarts

2 tablespoons vinegar or fresh lemon juice

1 bay leaf

Handful fresh parsley stems and/ or thyme sprigs

1/2 teaspoon whole black pepper- corns

1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

3-4 dried juniper berries, optional

Salt, to taste

1. Place chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour enough cold water to cover chicken. Add vinegar, bay leaf, parsley/thyme, peppercorns, cloves and juniper berries, if used. Slowly bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer for at least 2 to 2½ hours, partially covered. Slow cooking assures a clear stock. While the stock cooks, occasionally skim off any impurities that rise to the surface.

3. Remove stock from the heat. Remove chicken and vegetable pieces and discard.

4. Strain stock through a fine sieve, removing any solids. Season with salt to taste.

Vegetable Stock


Freeze leftover raw or cooked vegetables to use to make a vegetable broth. Vary vegetables to your specific needs or tastes. Roasting veggies (bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally) before simmering them enriches the stock flavor.

10 cups water

2 potatoes, unpeeled and quartered

1 onion, quartered

8 mushrooms

2 leeks

2 carrots, unpeeled, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 cloves garlic or 1 small shallot, roughly chopped

½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley stems

(reserve leaves for other use)

1 teaspoon salt

8 whole peppercorns

4 whole cloves

1 bay leaf

1. Place all ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for at least 1½ to 2 hours.

2. Remove stock from heat and strain it through a fine sieve, removing any solids. Season with salt to taste. LW


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