Written by Shannon Lavery, Accredited Practising Dietitian.

Soups are a great way to boost your vegetable intake and to stay warm during these winter months. However some soups are far too high in sodium (salt), which over time could increase your risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. It is therefore important to check the ingredients and/or nutritionals of the soups that you are choosing:

If buying packaged soups from the supermarket, choose soups with no more than 250mg of sodium per 100g and less than 3g of fat per 100g.

  • If making your soup from scratch you can make homemade stocks with minimal to no added salt. Or if you are using an already made stock, choose a reduced salt stock and use a smaller quantity with additional water.
  • Use herbs and spices to add flavour to your soups in place of salt and other high salt ingredients (e.g. stock and soy sauce).
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different vegetables and legumes. There are very few that don’t work in soups, so it’s a great way to use up vegetables before they go off.
  • Avoid cream based soups. Instead try serving your soup with a tablespoon of reduced fat Greek yoghurt to give that creamy texture without all the fat.
  • If adding poultry and meats to your soup, try to make the soup ahead of time to allow time to cool in the refrigerator. This will allow the fat to solidify on top and can be easily removed before reheating.

Looking for a new soup recipe? Try my super easy and nutritious low GI Pumpkin Soup (below). For more recipes or to book in for a one-on-one dietary consultation visit www.betterchoicesnetwork.com.au

PUMPKIN SOUP

Serves 4

​INGREDIENTS

  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tsp. curry powder or cumin (for a milder flavour)
  • 1.25L boiling water
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. Massel’s Salt Reduced Vegetable Stock Powder
  • 1kg pumpkin, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small potato, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. reduced fat Greek yoghurt, to serve
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin seeds, to serve

METHOD

  1. In a large pot, sweat onions and garlic in 1 Tbsp. water for 1 minute. Add the carrots and celery and cook a further 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the boiling water, stock powder, pepper, pumpkin and potato. Bring to the boil, and then reduce the heat to simmer for 30-40 minutes, until all vegetables have softened.
  3. Allow to cool slightly, and then blend until almost smooth. Return to the pan and reheat.
  4. Serve with a tablespoon on Greek yoghurt and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon pumpkin seeds.

PER SERVE: 708kJ, protein 8g, total fat 3.3g (sat. fat 0.6g), carbs 22g, fibre 7g, sodium 170mg, low GI

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