Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fall Kale and Sausage Soup

Although snow is falling in many towns and cities, fall is still here!  In fact fall is around for a few more weeks until December 20 to be exact.  Why not enjoy a delicious fall inspired soup after the heavy Thanksgiving foods you just consumed?!

There are a few key secrets to making a healthy soup.  First, the base of the soup should be a broth instead of a cream.  Cream and dairy can add a significant amount of calories to a soup (usually around 100-300 calories per serving), while a broth typically contains minimal calories (usually around 10-20 calories per serving).  The next tip is to include ample amounts of vegetables.  For this soup I have included both acorn squash and kale.  The squash is loaded with fiber and potassium;  kale is rich in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and calcium.  If carbohydrates are desired for a soup, choose whole grains for added fiber.  Lastly include a lean protein in the soup (ie ground turkey, turkey sausage, chicken).   Protein helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer, however you do not want to choose a protein that is high in calories and fat.

The flavors and textures of this soup work brilliantly together!  The light and fluffy texture of the couscous compliment the chewy consistency of many of the other ingredients.  The added herbs add a nice balance of flavor.  My family could not get enough of this soup!

What is your favorite fall soup?


3 – 3 ounce turkey sausage, cut into small slices (about 3/4 - 1 inch)
1/2 acorn squash (peeled, seeds removed, and chopped)
2 cups cooked couscous (whole wheat)
2-3 leaves kale, chopped
1/4 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

1.     Heat a large pot over low heat; add oil
2.     Cook sausage, garlic, and onion for 10 minutes on low-medium heat, until sausage cooked through
3.     Add squash, sage, parsley, thyme, fennel seed, salt/pepper; add broth; simmer covered on low for 25 minutes
4.     Once squash is tender add kale; simmer for additional 10 minutes; add couscous

Serving size: 1/8 soup ~ 1 cup • Servings: 8 • Calories: 148.2 kcal • Protein: 6.8 g  •  Carbs: 19.3 g • Fat: 4.7 g • Fiber: 2.6* g • Sugar: 2.8 g
*Likely higher amount - analysis software did not have whole grain couscous available

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