High Protein Soup Recipes

As we head into fall, soups and stews become comfort foods, but also offer an effective, low calorie way to get protein into your diet to aid in your weight loss.  Here are two soup recipes that I have offered to the Weight Loss Challenge Participants:

Recipe 1--Nan's Barley Corn Soup Recipe

My friend, Nan Reppen, is a Jackson Hole caterer and teaches cooking classes.  She has offered her vegetable soup recipe to me to post for your use.  This recipe makes about 8 quarts of soup, so cut the ingredients in half to make a half batch or be sure to use your largest soup pot.  The beauty of this soup is that once made, it can be frozen for use later, give some to your friends and family, or keep some in the fridge to eat over the coming week.  Since this soup takes several hours to make over several stages, it is a great soup to make on the weekend to feed you throughout the week.  You can add cooked chicken, ground beef, sausage or shrimp to the soup to make it a heartier meal when you re-heat it.  It is very versatile and really, really yummy.  It has healthy fiber and protein from the barley and lentils and as many veggies as you feel like tossing in.

3 cups of Pearl Barley--rinced several times until the water runs clear, stems picked out
1 cup of lentils (any will do, beluga, red or green)--picked over and rinsed until the water runs clear.
(as a note, Nan saves the rinse water and pours it over her garden, winter and summer, to put any nutrients in the water into the soil.)
8 cups of water
In a large soup pot, heat the water, lentils and barley to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about a half an hour or until the barley has puffed up to double or triple its size and the lentils are soft.

Add the following ingredients:
1 large can of crushed tomatoes (28oz)
2 cups of tomato juice or 1 14oz can of tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
Heat until simmering uncovered again, and add 4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth to keep the soup from reducing down to a thicker stew

Add any or all vegetables you like to the soup including, but not limited to,
1 large yellow onion chopped
3 peeled and chopped carrots
chopped celery
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 scrubbed and diced yam
1/2 head of cauliflower or broccoli-chopped
Cook until the veggies are just soft, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Add chopped herbs that you like to season with--parsley, basil, oregano, etc.
Remove from heat, and add a 1/2 a bag of whatever frozen vegetables you like--corn, peas, green beans.  Adding frozen veggies are not going to make a pot of soup that hot instantly cold, but should bring the temperature down to a good serving temp.

Additional reasons for adding frozen vegetables is to lower the temperature of the soup as quickly as possible to allow you to package it or even put it into the refrigerator.  You should not put a pot of hot soup into your fridge because you lower the temperature of the foods in the fridge around the pot, which could lead to spoilage.  You want to lower the soup temperature quickly to avoid any bacteria growth by letting it stand at room temperature.  Nan puts her soup pot out in the snowbank behind her house to speed cool it, but keeps an eye out for the neighborhood dogs.  You could also put the pot (covered) out into your garage or a shed that is not heated or insulated, to drop the temperature.  Just don't forget you put it out there!

I estimate, since none of these vegetables require saute prior to being added to the soup, that this recipe has between 100-130 calories per serving.  Protein and fiber content will vary with the vegetables that you put into it, but probably at least 6g protein and 6g fiber from the base soup alone as described above.

Now you have 8 quarts of a great basic soup that you can adjust by adding broth or tomato juice when you re-heat it to make it more soupy, or you can leave it thicker and more stew-like, or as suggested above, add leftover cooked meats, to make for a heartier meal.  Enjoy!

Recipe 2--Chicken with Italian Sausage

12 oz spicy Italian sausage
2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 cans cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans red beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Brown sausage in large skillet over medium high heat, stirring to break up the meat.  Place chicken, beans, broth, onion, pepper and salt in a slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.  Split the chicken breasts with two forks the way you divide and shred a pork shoulder to make pull pork.  Stir the chicken chunks and threads throug the stew.  Adjust seasonings and garnish with parsley.  Prep Time 15 minutes, Cook Time 5-6 Hours.

According to my calculations each serving has approximately 34 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber and 395 calories, if you assume that the full batch makes 8 servings.  Please post a comment if you make this recipe and tell me how it was for you and if you changed it for the better.  I will include modifications on the page.

Amy's Changes--Substitute or Add two cans of black beans (rinsed) and substitute chorizo for the sausage for a spicier, Southwestern flavor.