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Cooking On The Couch: Butternut Squash & Minestrone Soup

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Who doesn’t love a bowl of soup on a cold winter day?

Ellie Krieger, Food Network star and author of Small Changes, Big Results, hit The Couch to show us some of her favorite healthy, easy-to-make-soups.

See Also: NYC’s 5 Best Bowls Of Inexpensive Soup

Find the recipes below.

Savory Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4

This aromatic, autumnal soup gives you creamy satisfaction, creamlessly. It also provides loads of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which gives the vegetable its brilliant orange hue.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

4 cups cubed butternut or other winter squash, fresh or frozen (about 1½ pounds)

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

¾ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

4 teaspoons plain low-fat yogurt for garnish (optional)

1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a 6-quart stockpot. Add the onion and cook until soft but not brown, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, allspice, and ginger, and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute more.

2. Add the squash, broth, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until squash is tender and the broth is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes for fresh squash and 5 minutes for frozen.

3. Remove from heat and stir in maple syrup. Allow to cool slightly, about 15 minutes, and then puree with an immersion blender or in a regular blender, about 1 cup at a time, until smooth. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with yogurt if desired.

 Calories 170; Fat 5 g; (Sat 1 g, Mono 3.16 g, Poly .75 g); Protein 7 g; Carb 30 g; Fiber 4 g; Chol 0 mg; Sodium 520 mg

Minestrone Soup

Serves 6

A cup of this chunky soup at the start of a meal just may be a perfect appetite appeaser. A bowl of it with some whole-grain bread and a salad makes a hearty meal.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

½ teaspoon dried basil

1.2 teaspoon dried oregano

28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes

48-ounce can of low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 cup canned kidney beans, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed

¾ cup elbow macaroni or other small pasta, such as shells or orzo

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over a medium flame. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to low-medium. Add the garlic, carrots, and celery, and cook for about 10 minutes more, or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add a bit of water if the mixture gets too dry while cooking. Add the basil and oregano, and stir to combine.

2. Add the tomatoes and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low-medium, add the beans and macaroni, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese if desired.

 Calories 238; Fat 6.9 g; (Sat 1.5 g, Mono 3.6 g, Poly .9 g); Protein 10.3 g; Carb 36.8 g; Fiber 7.8 g; Chol 3.8 mg; Sodium 455 mg