No time? Healthy soup in a flash!

We all know the importance of having a couple dinners up our sleeve that we can whip up in a flash with ingredients we have on hand for those times with unexpected company…or simply, “I ran out of time and didn’t think about dinner!”. Soup is not usually one of those items unless it comes from a can, so I was thrilled to come across this delicious, from-scratch soup in Cooking Light mag that can be thrown together in no time!

This recipe’s health-factor comes from cannellini beans (high in fiber and iron, and cholesterol-reducing), spinach (packed with antioxidants and vitamins) and lean turkey (protein!), so it’s a perfect all-in-one meal that doesn’t sacrifice health benefits for speed (which would happen with those from-a-can varieties)…plus, topping it with fresh romano cheese & herbs give it flavor that disguises the fact that you can whip this together in 15 minutes!

Sausage and Spinach Soup

Fresh herbs are added after the soup cooks so they’ll retain their bright color and flavor. You can substitute 1 teaspoon dried herbs for each tablespoon fresh, but add them with the tomatoes.

  • 10 ounce sweet turkey Italian sausage 
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup prechopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can organic stewed tomatoes, undrained (such as Muir Glen)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Romano cheese

Preparation
Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage in a large saucepan coated with cooking spray over high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion and 2 teaspoons garlic to pan; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup water, beans, tomatoes, and broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and cook for 3 minutes or until slightly thick. Remove from heat, and stir in spinach, basil, and oregano. Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 4 bowls, and sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese. Serves 4.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving

  • Calories: 261
  • Calories from fat: 30%
  • Fat: 8.6g
  • Saturated fat: 2.8g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.7g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.5g
  • Protein: 20.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 23.1g
  • Fiber: 5.4g
  • Cholesterol: 62mg
  • Iron: 3.4mg
  • Sodium: 842mg
  • Calcium: 105mg

David Bonom, Cooking Light 
MARCH 2007

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