Healthy Filling Meals: Surprise Me! Soup

Healthy Filling Meals: Surprise Me! Soup

Eat to lose weight is the motto of the healthy filling meals series. One of the major misconceptions in weight management is to try to eat less to lose weight. 

The less you “try” to eat, the more obsessed is your brain about finding and eating food, the more cravings you have, the more unhappy you feel and the more you metabolism runs on a “slow burning mode”, so it doesn’t use too much energy (calories) to do the basic activities.

Once this state of mind is changed and you realize that you have to eat to lose weight, your metabolism will also be activated and more energy will be used to do the same you were doing before.

I am not saying that if you eat more you’ll lose weight. This is just one step of the whole equation, and it has specific rules. Among them: to respect the healthy portion sizes, especially carbs and to have the right combination of each of the food groups in each meal so you can have one of your healthy filling meals. 

Today I would like to share with you a soup that cover those requisites and therefore it is part of the healthy filling meals series I am including in my blog. 

I call this soup “Surprise Me! Soup” because my family never knows which are the vegetables, protein and carbs each time. I use what I have available each time and I change the ingredients to avoid getting bored. It is a perfect lunch soup because it has all the food groups and it is easy to carry and to eat. You can make the perfect diner meal if you don’t add the carbs. 

They always love it and in fact it is one of the comforting foods we use in winter or when we feel down.  

It is full of vegetables that fill you up and give you plenty of vitamins and minerals. I always add carrots and celery for the special flavor that gives to the soup, and the zucchini, peppers, cabbage, green beans, broccoli etc. 

You can play with the protein, adding minced beef or turkey, or even small pieces of chicken, or simply some lentils or beans.

Finally, if you need to add some more carbs, on top of the vegetables and the legume if used them, you can use some pasta, quinoa or bulgur. I normally add some more carbs because I give it for lunch to my husband and kids and they need some more carbs to hold through the day.      

Yield: Serves 6

  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium  leek, sliced (optional)
  • 1 pound minced beef (optional)
  • 2 32 ounces  (1 liter) chicken, beef or vegetable broth 
  • 2 medium celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium zucchini, medium sliced
  • 1 small bag of ready to use spinach chopped
  • 1 12 ounce can of lentil or beans cooked, drained and washed 
  • 2 cups of pasta, quinoa, bulgur or a mix of those 
  • 1 teaspoon of salt  

Sauté the onion and leek (if using) in a large saucepan with the olive oil until golden. Add the minced beef and stir until cooked. 

Add the broth, celery, carrots, and other vegetables. Stir mixture over low heat until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Stir the pasta, quinoa or bulgur and cook for 5 min.

Stir in the soup or white beans and cook for 5 more minutes.

Add salt to taste if necessary (some prepared broths are already very high in sodium) or use low-sodium chicken broth if preferred.  


Over to You!

Are you planning to give it a try? 

Let me know what you think once you have tried it!

About the Author

Arantxa Mateo

Arantxa is a trained biologist, nutrition specialist and weight management coach. Born in Spain, she spent 5 years in Australia before moving to the US. Her motto is "Food is a pleasure. Nobody deserves to be on a diet."

Find out more about Arantxa and 32 Mondays >>

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