Healthy Cook

Souper Duper

by Kate Sherwood, January/February 2010

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Tortilla Soup

For the most tender chicken, keep the burner low enough so that all you see are the occasional “lazy bubbles” gurgling up from the bottom of the pot.

low-sodium chicken broth
8 cups
boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 ½ lbs.
garlic, thinly sliced
6 cloves
chili peppers, more to taste, thinly sliced
kosher salt
1 tsp.
corn, from 2-3 cobs or thawed from frozen
2 cups
cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 cups
avocado, cubed
red onion, diced
limes (½ lime for juice, 1½ limes cut into 12 wedges)
cilantro leaves
1 cup
unsalted tortilla chips
2 oz.

Tortilla Soup

In a large pot over high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low. Gently simmer the chicken (well below a boil) until it’s fully cooked, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the broth and set aside. Stir the garlic, chilies, salt, and corn into the broth.

Gently toss together the tomatoes, avocado, onion, and juice of half a lime. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat, add it to the broth, and stir in the cilantro.

Garnish the soup with the avocado mixture and the chips. Serve with lime wedges. Makes 12 cups.


  • Calories: 170
  • Total Fat: 6 g
  • Sat Fat: 1 g
  • Protein: 16 g
  • Sodium: 240 mg
  • Cholesterol: 30 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 14 g
  • Fiber: 3 g

Cream of Brocolli

If you use a blender to purée the soup, hold the top down while it’s running. The steam (from this or any hot liquid) can pop the lid and splatter the soup.

extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs.
stalks celery, sliced
leeks, white and pale green parts only, well-rinsed and sliced
cloves garlic, chopped
2 lbs.
baking potatoes, peeled and sliced
¾ lb.
Italian parsley leaves
¼ cup
5 cups
kosher salt
1¼ tsp.
low-fat sour cream
½ cup
freshly grated Parmesan
1 oz.
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, heat the oil and sauté the celery, leeks, and garlic for 10 minutes on medium heat. Peel the broccoli stems’ tough outer layer. Thinly slice the stems (reserve the florets).

Add the broccoli stems, potato, parsley, and water to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add half the broccoli florets and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Steam or microwave the remaining florets until bright green and tender. Purée the soup with a hand blender or in a blender in several batches. Blend in the salt and sour cream.

Garnish with the florets, Parmesan, and black pepper. Makes 12 cups.


  • Calories: 100
  • Total Fat: 4 g
  • Sat Fat: 1 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 280 mg
  • Cholesterol: 10 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 14 g
  • Fiber: 3 g

Greek Lentil Stew

Red lentils make a beautiful, vibrant orange stew. If you use another kind, you may need to increase the cooking time.

extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs.
cloves garlic, minced
scallions, chopped
6 oz. can tomato paste
dried mint
1 tsp.
dried oregano
1 tsp.
red lentils, rinsed and picked over
2 cups
7 cups
orange juice
1 cup
sprigs dill, minced
baby spinach
6 oz.
1½ tsp.
freshly ground black pepper
freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a large pot, heat the oil and sauté the garlic and scallions for 2 minutes on medium heat. Add the tomato paste and dried herbs and cook, stirring often, for 2 more minutes.

Add the lentils, water, and orange juice and bring to a boil. Simmer until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Stir in the dill and spinach and simmer for another 2 minutes. Season with up to 1½ tsp. salt, black pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Makes 12 cups.


  • Calories: 180
  • Total Fat: 5 g
  • Sat Fat: 0.5 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Sodium: 290 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Fiber: 6 g


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