Warm Up From the Inside Out

There is nothing like soup to warm us from the inside out on a cold winter night. Add to that our vow to eat healthier after all the holiday food and soup becomes the perfect choice for dinner. These soup recipes from our favorite dietician, Brenda Ponichtera, R.D., have been added to my winter dining repertoire.

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Thai Chicken Soup

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 cups fat-free chicken broth*
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups bite-size broccoli pieces
  • 2 cups snow pea pods, cut in half (about 6 ounces)
  • 2 cups chopped red bell pepper
  • 6 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta, broken into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lite soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon ground fresh chili paste** (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  1. In a large saucepan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, sauté chicken for a few minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, except cilantro.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until noodles are cooked and vegetables are tender.
  6. Serve topped with fresh cilantro.
One serving is a good source of fiber.
*Sodium is figured for reduced sodium.
**Found in the Asian section of the grocery store.
Carb Servings: 2
Exchanges: 1½ starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat

Quick & Healthy Recipes and Ideas, 3rd Edition, ©2008 Brenda J. Ponichtera, R.D., Published by Small Steps Press, a division of the American Diabetes Association; retail $18.95. To order call 1-800-232-6733 or visit QuickandHealthy.net. Also available at local and online bookstores.

Garden Minestrone Soup

  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey (7% fat)
  • 6 cups fat-free beef broth*
  • 2 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, not drained*
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) green beans, not drained*
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced zucchini
  • 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons dried chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Brown meat in a 4-quart kettle that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
One serving is an excellent source of fiber.
* Sodium is figured for no-added salt/reduced sodium.
Carb Servings: 1½
Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetables, 3 lean meat


Source: Quick & Healthy Volume II, 2nd Edition, © 2009 Brenda J. Ponichtera, R.D. Published by Small Steps Press, a division of the American Diabetes Association; retail $18.95. To order call 1-800-232-6733 or visit QuickandHealthy.net. Also available at local and online bookstores.

Question: Do you have a favorite winter meal—something that is hearty, warm and healthy? Share it here


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  • Beck

    I make chili, vegetable soup, and potato soup.
    1 pound of ground beef browned and drained
    1 quart tomato juice
    1 30.5 oz chili beans from Brooks
    1-1/2 cups of pasta – either broken spaghetti or mac cooked and drained
    Combine and season with salt and chili powder thickens up as it cooks.
    Potato soup-
    3 potatoes
    1 onion
    2 stalks celery
    Peel and chop veggies boil until tender drain most of the water off then add a couple tablespoons of butter and enough milk to make it to your consistency heat through. Salt and pepper to taste.
    Veggie soup almost like your Minestrone I also add a half cup of barley with the veggies cook until all are soft.

    • ck

      The Thai soup looks especially good. Add the snow peas during the last minute of cooking and they’ll be bright, crisp and delicious.