Cooking Up a Healthier Soup

Country French Vegetable Barley Soup

3 cups water
1 Tbsp. low-sodium beef bouillon powder
½ cup pearled barley, dried
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced leek
1 cup sliced fresh carrot
1 cup sliced celery
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
3 cups water
1 tsp. herbs de Provence (spice)
½ tsp. black pepper

In a large pot, combine 3 cups water, beef bouillon, and pearled barley. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, coat a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Sauté garlic, leek, carrot, and celery until crisp tender. Stir in mushrooms and continue to sauté for 5 minutes. Set aside until barley is softened. Add sautéed vegetables to pot with additional 3 cups water, herbs de Provence, and black pepper. Cook 20 to 30 minutes until vegetables are tender and the soup thickens. More water may be added if soup becomes too thick.

Yield: Makes 8 servings

Nutritional Information per Serving: 63 calories, 2 grams protein, 14 grams carbohydrate, less than half gram fat, less than half gram saturated fat, 54 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

No time to make soup? Here are recommended store-bought brands that have less than 500 milligrams of sodium per serving. Be sure to pay attention to serving sizes:

Health Valley
Organic Lentil Soup, No Salt Added
Organic Potato Leek Soup
Organic Mushroom Barley Soup

Organic Creamy Broccoli Soup

Healthy Choice
Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup
Beef Pot Roast Soup, microwaveable
Zesty Gumbo Soup

Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Food & Fitness Advisor, November 2007

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