Tired of the “same old” for lunch and dinner? If you’re seeking a delicious, nutritious, and economical way to feed your family, there’s an easy solution. Getting back to old-fashioned soup with a new, super twist will do it!

Kick the Can

The saying may go, “soup is good food,” but look at the label of a typical canned soup, and your head will spin. The average canned soup contains a whopping 600 to 1200 milligrams (or more) of sodium per serving. That’s almost a third more of your recommended daily allowance of sodium. If you consume the entire can, as most folks do, double those numbers and feel your blood pressure rise.
If you must buy canned, look for low-sodium options—under 450mg. Better still, buy low-sodium stock or broth and make your own “homemade” soup. The fresh protein and veggies you add in will retain more nutrients and taste better, too.  If you have the time and want to really start from scratch, then you can make your own stock or broth.

Bone up on Your Broth

Many foodies are big on bone broth, and with good reason: it’s very nutrient and mineral dense. It also contains lots of glycine, proline, and gelatin. Glycine helps the body create hemoglobin, supports detoxification, and helps digestion. Proline and gelatin are both great for your skin and nails.
Chicken broth, in particular, is great at inhibiting the migration of neutrophils, which cause the annoying symptoms of a common cold.  Grandma was right all these years. Chicken soup does help you fight a cold!
Here’s a quick guide to the difference between stock, broth, and bone broth:

  • Broth- made with meat and a few bones. Simmered for 1-2 hours.
  • Stock- made with lots of bones and a little meat. Simmered for 3-4 hours.
  • Bone Broth- lots of bones, a little meat, and lots of simmering, 8-24 hours.

(Note: all three typically contain vegetables and seasonings that are removed after cooking.)
Because bone broth is simmered for so long, it has the most protein, minerals, and gelatin. You can find many low sodium stock, broth, and bone broths in easy-pour tetra-pak boxes or cans.

Get Fresh with Ingredients

Weather you are starting with your own bone broth or buying some canned (low sodium) stock, always go with fresh, organic (when possible) vegetables and legumes. Look to healthy protein options like hormone-free chicken, grass-fed beef, or wild-caught seafood.
These protein and veggie add-ins bring more depth of flavor and add texture to your soup, so don’t skimp. If all else fails, frozen veggies and beans are an adequate fallback. If you use canned vegetables, and them in near the end of the cooking time, or they will be mushy.

Super Soup

Even if you aren’t a whiz in the kitchen, you don’t have to settle for dull, lifeless soup. The most humble canned soup can be jazzed up with a few fresh, healthy additions. The next time you’re making soup, hot or cold, consider tossing any of the following ingredients into the pot or bowl:

  • Kale

  • Spinach

  • Tomatoes (fresh or canned)

  • Garlic

  • Onion

  • Mushrooms

  • Broccoli

  • Green beans

  • Peas

  • Corn

  • Potatoes or sweet potatoes

  • Leeks

  • Cabbage

  • Herbs and spices like rosemary and turmeric

  • Ground pepper or whole peppercorns

Top the whole thing off with a drizzle of heart-healthy olive oil and maybe some avocado or asparagus. Treat yourself and your family to a yummy, nutritious meal that will keep you healthy (and warm.) For other healthy eating and cooking tips, ideas, and recipes, peruse more on www.GetThrive.com