Going light on your calories after the holidays? Here's a warm, welcoming vegetarian soup that won't break your calorie bank and takes only 15 minutes to make.
To speed cooking, I used the largest sauce pan I had. It's really a Dutch oven or pasta pot. The large diameter helps the mushrooms and onions sauté faster.
Many Italians like to use up leftover bread by covering slices with vegetables and toasting over a wood fire. The tasty result is crostini or "little toasts." Herbed goat cheese crostini makes a great side dish for the soup.
• You can use any type of pasta or marinara sauce. Read the labels carefully and buy one that is low in sodium.
• Buy sliced button mushrooms.
• You can use navy beans or red kidney beans instead of cannellini beans.
• You can use any leftover bread for the crostini.
• Start soup.
• While soup cooks, prepare crostini.
To buy: 1 pound sliced mushrooms, one small jar or can low-sodium pasta sauce, olive oil spray, one can cannellini beans, one bottle smoked paprika, one container unsalted vegetable broth, one package herbed goat cheese, one whole grain French baguette.
Staples: olive oil, onion, salt and black peppercorns.
Linda Gassenheimer is the author of over 30 cookbooks, including her newest, "The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook." Listen to Linda on www.WDNA.org. Email her at [email protected] InMinutes.com.
COUNTRY MUSHROOM SOUP
Makes: 2 servings
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound sliced mushrooms (about 6 cups)
1 cup sliced onion
1 1/2 cups low-sodium pasta sauce
1 1/2 cups unsalted vegetable broth
1 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 teaspoons smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the mushrooms and onion and sauté 4 to 5 minutes. Add the pasta sauce, broth, beans and smoked paprika. Cover with a lid and simmer over medium-heat 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and leave covered until needed.
Per serving: 382 calories (22% from fat), 9.2 g fat (1.4 g saturated, 3.0 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 23.9 g protein, 57.9 g carbohydrates, 13.8 g fiber, 131 mg sodium.
HERBED CHEESE CROSTINI
1/4 whole grain French baguette, sliced into 4 slices
Olive oil spray
2 ounces garlic-herbed goat cheese, room temperature
Preheat broiler or toaster oven. Cut bread on diagonal into 1/2-inch slices. Spray with olive oil spray. Spread with cheese. Place under broiler for 1 1/2 minutes or until cheese melts.
Per serving: 181 calories (55% from fat), 11.1 g fat (4.4 g saturated, 4.9 g monounsaturated), 10 mg cholesterol, 6.5 g protein, 16.6 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 265 mg sodium.