On a cold wintry night, soup is an easy choice. On a hot sunny day, soup may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it should be an easy choice. Soup for supper does not heat up the house the way a casserole will, and provides a comfortable meal.

Soup provides health benefits in the summer diet as well. Soup is a great way to add flavor and variety to a weight control plan. Eating soup can be part of a successful weight-loss strategy.  Recent research shows that soup can be a “secret weapon” for safe and healthful weight loss because it helps to fill you up with fewer calories.

Soup provides an easy way to fill up. You can eat larger portions of water-rich foods, like broth-based soups, which have relatively few calories per serving. It adds variety to any diet by adding soup to the menu. Because there are so many soup options, you can enjoy a different soup every day. When counting calories, fat or carbs, soup can add taste, variety and satisfaction for any meal plan.

Soup is not just a diet food. Trendy soup shooters are a fun way for everybody to think of soup in a whole new way. Trendy chefs have given healthy makeovers to shooters, transforming them into appetizer-size soups with intense flavor.  Served in the slim, tube-shaped glasses used for the shooters served in bars, they make novel starters to today’s meals, rich with nutritional benefits.

They are an alluring way to increase the vegetable consumption on festive occasions, whether a wedding reception or a backyard barbecue.  In fact, doing soup shooters is so much fun that they can tempt guests of all ages into consuming a goodly amount of good stuff.

Shooters are served in a two-to-four ounce glass.  It may be any shape, from narrow and tall to a traditional shot glass.  Using plastic is fine, especially since most soup shooters are served lukewarm or at room temperature.  Adding a garnish with visual appeal and that compliments a shooter’s flavor is a nice touch.  It may be as simple as a thin citrus wedge or grated zest, a mini-kebab of cubed veggies on a toothpick, or a small shrimp set on the edge of the glass.

 

Sweet and Spicy Criollo Coconut Shrimp Stew

 

2 tablespoons McCormick 1 Step Seasoning: Tex-Mex

1 cup chicken broth

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon

1/2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 large ripe plantain, or 2 bananas, peeled and sliced

 

Stir chicken broth, 1 Step Seasoning, sugar, and cinnamon in large saucepan. Bring to boil. Add sweet potatoes; cover and boil 5 minutes or until yams are slightly tender.

Reduce heat to medium-low; add remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink; stir occasionally.

Makes 5 (1 cup) servings

Courtesy of McCormick

 

White Bean Pasta e Fagioli

Serves 4

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 small carrots, chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 bunch broccoli rabe, excess stems removed, torn

1/2 bunch kale, excess stems removed, torn

1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes

2 (15-ounce) cans canellini beans, drained and rinsed

5 cups chicken broth

1 cup Barilla Ditalini

1/4 cup chopped parsley, divided

1 tablespoon chopped oregano

1/2teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided

 

Heat olive oil in large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Sauté 3–4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Add greens and stir until wilted. Add tomatoes, squashing them gently by hand over pot to break them apart. Add remaining juice of tomatoes as well.

Add beans and chicken broth.

Add ditalini, 2 tablespoons parsley, oregano, pepper and salt. Bring to boil and cook 10–12 minutes or until pasta is tender.

Stir in remaining parsley and 1/2 cup cheese. Serve with remaining cheese. Serve with crusty bread and drizzle with olive oil if desired.

Courtesy of Barilla Pasta

 

Chili

1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1 package McCormick Chili Seasoning

Shredded Cheddar cheese, optional

Sour cream, optional

Chopped green onion, optional

Cook and stir ground beef and onion in large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until done; drain if needed.

Stir in remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream and chopped green onion, if desired.

Makes 5 (1 cup) servings

Courtesy of McCormick

 

Casablanca soup

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup chopped celery
16 ounce canned crushed tomatoes in juice
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup garbanzo beans
1/8 cup lentils
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup vermicelli, broken into 2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, stems removed

In a medium stockpot, heat olive oil until sizzling. Add the onion, garlic and celery, cooking until translucent.
Add tomatoes, chicken stock, garbanzo beans, lentils, black pepper, cinnamon, cumin and turmeric to the stockpot. Cook over low heat for 40 minutes, or until the garbanzo beans and lentils become tender.
Add the vermicelli to the soup. Mix flour with lemon juice and form into a paste. Add flour paste gradually to the soup until the soup thickens. Simmer for an additional 3 minutes. Stir in cilantro and Italian parsley.

Makes 2 servings

 

Chicken and Noodles Italian Style

Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs,* well trimmed

1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Season-All Seasoned Salt

1 teaspoon McCormick Thyme Leaves

1/2 teaspoon McCormick Oregano Leaves

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

3 medium carrots (about 1/2 pound), peeled and thinly sliced

1 large onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings

6 ounces medium egg noodles (about 3 cups)

3/4 cup frozen green peas, thawed

 

Rinse and pat dry chicken.  Cut each thigh into 4 pieces and place on plate.  Combine seasonings and sprinkle over chicken; gently pat into chicken.

Combine broth, diced tomatoes, carrots and onion slices in 3 1/2 or 4-quart crockery slow cooker.  Stir in seasoned chicken.

Cover and cook on LOW setting for 8 hours.  Raise  heat to HIGH setting.  Stir in noodles, pushing them  down into broth mixture.  Add peas.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 15 to 20 minutes or until pasta is tender but still firm.

*2 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (6 large) will yield about 1 1/2 pounds when skinned and boned.

Note:  If allowed to stand 10 to 20 minutes before serving, the noodles will absorb the broth and delicious flavor of the McCormick seasonings.

Courtesy of McCormick

 

Italian Wedding Soup

Serve with Italian bread and sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top of the soup.

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1 egg

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

4 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth

2 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Collection Pesto Seasoning, divided

2 cups thinly sliced spinach

1 cup orzo or little shell pasta, uncooked

2 tablespoons dry white wine, optional

 

Combine beef, egg, bread crumbs, cheese and 1 teaspoon pesto seasoning in a bowl. Shape into 1/2-inch balls. Set aside.

Mix broth and remaining pesto seasoning in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Drop the meatballs into the broth. When they rise to the top, they are done. Add the spinach and pasta. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes or until pasta is done.

Makes 7 servings

Courtesy of McCormick

 

Spicy-Sweet Potato Soup

 

 

2 tsp. canola oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 large shallot, chopped

1 medium carrot, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 -1 tsp. green Thai chili paste, or to taste

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1 medium sweet potato (12 ounces), peeled

and diced

1 (15 oz.) can fat-free reduced sodium

chicken broth

1/2 cup light coconut milk

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (juice of 2 limes)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to

taste

Fresh limes, cut in thin wedges, or lime zest,

for garnish (optional)

 

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Sauté the onion, shallot and carrots until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue cooking until the mixture is orange and the onion is soft, 4 minutes more.  Mix in the chili paste and ginger, and cook until they are fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the sweet potato and chicken broth.  Pour in 1 1/2 cups water.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes, or until the carrots and sweet potato are very soft.  Let sit to cool slightly.

Purée the soup in a blender or food processor until creamy.  Add the coconut milk and lime juice.  Whirl just until blended.   Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve warm, at room temperature, or slightly chilled, as desired.  For “shooters,” serve in small glasses.  Garnish each serving with a thin lime wedge or a grating of lime zest.

Makes 20 2-ounce shooters, or 5  individual 1-cup servings.

Courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research

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