I live in the Rocky Mountains just outside of Denver, Colorado, high up at 8,500 feet – a beautiful spot surrounded by tall trees and the mountains. Today is one of those winter days – and it’s not even winter yet. Mother Nature doesn’t seem to care about the date on the calendar where I live, so you can just about expect anything this time of year. On days like this, I often find myself thinking of a nice, hot bowl of soup for lunch or dinnner. A hearty soup, maybe a salad, and warm, whole-grain bread is an easy, healthy – and tasty – meal. Plus, it’s relatively easy to put together and something my family enjoys, too, and I always like that.
I love making soup this time of year. A hot bowl of soup can be not only delicious and comforting, but also provide a nutritious boost, depending on what you throw into the pot. I like that the combination of ingredients provides endless possibilities. The addition of protein from lean turkey, chicken, or beans makes a satisfying meal. Homemade soups can include whatever vegetables you and your family love. Make sure the ingredients are fresh, low-fat and the soup is prepared with a minimum of salt. Here is one of my favorites:
Tofu Vegetable Soup
- 2 quarts water
- 2 vegetable broth cubes
- 4 stalks of celery, sliced
- 4 large carrots, sliced or diced
- 1-2 leeks, rinsed and sliced (remove the dark green part)
- 1/2 bunch of chopped, fresh parsley
- 1/2 bunch fresh dill
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
- 1-1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1-1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 8 ounces uncooked whole grain pasta (such as linquini)
- 1 pound tofu, diced
In a large soup pot, bring the water and broth cubes to a boil. Add celery and carrots and boil for 10 minutes. Add the leek, parsley, dill, salt, pepper, garlic, and pasta, and simmer until pasta is al dente. Add the tofu, heat through, and adjust seasonings if needed.
I love this soup. It doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare and provides a healthy serving of both protein (from the tofu, an excellent alternative to meat) and vegetables. It’s low in fat yet delicious and filling. Try it and let me know what you think!