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What's for Dinner? Warm up with budget-friendly soups

By Beverly Glaze
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The recent snowstorm and cold weather made me hungry for a bowl of hot homemade soup. This week's menu focuses on delicious homemade soups that include fall vegetables such as sweet potatoes and pumpkin. Each of these recipes costs less than $5 per serving.Add a salad and hot whole-wheat rolls for a complete meal.Peanutty African StewMakes 8 servings. Source: Oregon State University Cooperative Extension Service.     1    cup instant brown rice     2    cups reduced-sodium chicken broth     1     teaspoon dehydrated onion, minced     1/2     teaspoon garlic powder     1/2     teaspoon ground ginger     1/8     teaspoon red pepper (optional)     2    cups sweet potato, peeled and diced     1     14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes     1/2     teaspoon salt (optional)     1/2  cup reduced-fat peanut butter (creamy)     1 1/4     cups fat-free milk
     3    cups baby spinach leaves (coarsely chopped)     1/4  cup peanuts (roasted)COMBINE first 9 ingredients in a soup pot. Bring to boil, then turn down to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in peanut butter and milk. Return to gentle simmer and cook uncovered for 5 minutes.STIR in spinach and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Ladle into soup bowls and top with roasted peanuts.Nutrition information: 220 calories, 9 grams total fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 420 grams sodium, 27 grams total carbohydrate, 4 grams dietary fiber, 7 grams sugars, 9 grams protein.Pumpkin and Bean Soup
Makes 6 servings. Source: Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Program.     1    can white beans     1     onion (small, finely chopped)     1    cup water     1    15-ounce can pumpkin     1 1/2     cups apple juice     1/2     teaspoon cinnamon     1/8     teaspoon nutmeg or ginger     1/2     teaspoon black pepper     1/4     teaspoon saltBLEND white beans, onion and water with a potato masher or blend till smooth.COMBINE in a large pot, pumpkin, apple juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper and salt. Add the blended bean mixture to the pot.COOK over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until warmed through.Nutrition information: 140 calories, 0.5 grams total fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 110 milligrams sodium, 28 grams total carbohydrate, 7 grams dietary fiber, 9 grams sugars, 7 grams protein. Chicken Vegetable Soup with KaleMakes 6 servings. Source: Washington Farmers Market Nutrition Program.     4     teaspoons oil     1    cup chopped onion     1    cup chopped carrot     2     teaspoons thyme     4     cloves garlic, minced     4    cups chicken broth or water     1 1/2     cups diced tomatoes     2    cups cooked chicken, skinned and cubed     1    cup cooked brown rice     4    cups kaleHEAT oil in a medium saucepan.ADD onion and carrot. Sauté until vegetables are tender, 5 to 8 minutes.ADD thyme and garlic. Sauté for 1 more minute.ADD chicken broth, tomatoes, cooked rice, chicken and kale. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.Nutrition information: 145 calories, 3 grams total fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 920 milligrams sodium, 22 grams total carbohydrate, 4 grams dietary fiber, 0 grams sugars, 8 grams protein.Mushroom Barley Soup
Makes 4 servings. Source: Washington Farmers Market Nutrition Program.     4    cups water     3     tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce     3/4  cup barley, rinsed     2    cups mushrooms, sliced     2     cloves garlic, minced     1     small onion, diced     1     celery stalk, diced     1     carrot, diced     1     teaspoon dried basil     1/4  cup chopped parsley (optional)BRING water and soy sauce to a boil.ADD rinsed barley and lower heat to a simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except parsley.COOK over low heat until vegetables are tender and soup is thick, about 10 minutes.ADD chopped parsley just before serving if desired.Nutrition information: 160 calories, 1 gram total fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 430 milligrams sodium, 32 milligrams total carbohydrate, 8 grams dietary fiber, 3 grams sugars, 7 grams protein.Ground Beef StewMakes 4 servings. Source: University of Minnesota Cooperative Extension Service.     1/2     pound ground beef or ground turkey     1/8     teaspoon (optional)     1/8     teaspoon pepper     1     10.75-ounce can tomato soup, condensed     1    soup can of water     6     carrots (medium, diced or sliced)     2     potatoes (medium, diced or sliced)     1    cup onion (diced)BROWN meat. Drain fat, if any. Season lightly with salt and pepper, if desired.ADD soup and 1 can water to pan. Add vegetables.BRING to a boil, then simmer, covered about 25 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, cover for last 10 minutes to thicken. Serve.Nutrition information: 290 calories, 7 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 50 milligrams cholesterol, 390 milligrams sodium, 37 grams total carbohydrate, 5 grams dietary fiber, 13 grams sugars, 20 grams protein.Shopping listOnionsCarrotsCeleryKalePotatoesSweet potatoesMushroomsSpinach leavesCanned white beansCanned diced tomatoesCanned condensed tomato soupCanned pumpkinChicken brothApple juiceInstant brown riceDehydrated onionGround beef or turkeyCooked chickenRoasted peanutsFat free milkPantry staples: garlic powder, ground ginger, red pepper, creamy peanut butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, oil, butter, thyme, garlic cloves, soy sauce, basil, parsleyBeverly Glaze has a master's degree in human nutrition and food science and is a WVU Extension specialist in the FNP adult program. Reach her at or 304-634-8449.
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