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Soup: Its what’s for dinner. A great alternative for your family.

Soup, It's What's for Dinner! A few weeks ago, I read an article that stated people who have soup before dinner instead of the standard salad eat 30% less at dinner and are more satisfied than salad eaters. I found that interesting because, in my years of talking to people, it seems like a salad sometimes gives us permission to indulge in whatever we choose, as if that salad started the meal on a negative note. 😊 We are an interesting bunch. But in reality, soup is comforting and a perfect alternative for lunch and dinner. It's one of the easiest things to make and throw in the crockpot before work. While the soups on the shelves of the grocery store are convenient, they are often full of sodium, saturated fat, and sugar, making them not always the best choice. There are some great options, but it's essential to scrutinize the labels and look for low sodium and saturated fat options. I love soups, and we have them for dinner often. Here are some tasty suggestions, all of which can be made on the stovetop or in the crockpot. Using a crockpot allows the flavors to blend together nicely, and you know you're coming home to a delicious meal after a long day. French Onion Soup: I absolutely love this one, and it's great as leftovers. You can even double the recipe and freeze it in individual containers. Start with 4 large onions cut into slices, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lots of salt and pepper, and Mrs. Dash onion garlic seasoning (I use 1 tablespoon each of the flavored garlic and butter). Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, then turn down to low for 4 hours (you can even do it overnight). This results in perfectly caramelized onions. Add 32 ounces of low-sodium beef broth and 4 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. Cook for a couple more hours on low. You can also freeze the caramelized onions and use them anywhere you need them. Serving this soup with crusty bread and Swiss cheese is delightful. Chicken Enchilada Soup: You can choose your preferred level of spiciness for this one. Here's how you make it:

  • 1 large onion

  • 1 small can of green chilis

  • 2 cans of Rotel tomatoes

  • 2 cans of green enchilada sauce (Hatch's medium is great)

  • 4 cooked chicken breasts, diced or shredded (you can also use canned chicken, but be mindful of the sodium content)

  • 2 cups of water

Cook it on low all day in a crockpot. Top each bowl with a squeeze of lime and serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, and tortilla chips or tortillas. Chicken Noodle Soup: This one is a breeze and can be a 20-minute recipe or slow-cooked all day. Here's what you need:

  • 1 bag of frozen mirepoix (onions, celery, carrots)

  • 1 bag of frozen corn

  • 2 32-ounce containers of chicken stock

  • 1 pound of diced or shredded chicken

Add wide egg noodles in the last 10 minutes if cooking on the stovetop. For the crockpot, turn it up to high and add the noodles for 30 minutes, checking them often to ensure they cook just right. You can thicken this soup with a mixture of 1/4 cup chicken stock and 1/4 cup flour. Serve it with crusty bread. Lightened-Up Potato Soup: Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 1.13 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)

  • 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk

  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)

  • 3/4 cup light sour cream

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 1/2 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2/3 cup)

  • 6 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

How to Make It:

  1. Place potatoes in a Dutch oven; add enough cool water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until tender, about 11 to 14 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Return the potatoes to the pan and mash them to your desired consistency.

  2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Whisk together flour, milk, and stock in a medium bowl. Stir this milk mixture into the potatoes and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until thickened and bubbly, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper. Ladle the soup into 6 bowls and top with cheese, bacon, and chives. Serve it with crusty bread.

Fall is the perfect time to make batches of soup and enjoy them snuggled up in front of a fire. Live a life you love ❤️ Coach Paris

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