It has been scientifically proven that trying to lose weight during the winter is futile (ok, maybe not scientifically proven, but I have tested this theory on my own) but I tend to not let this knowledge stop me from putting forth a good frustrating effort. So, I have diligently stayed on my path to the supermodel body I’m striving for (aka – shoot for the moon and maybe I’ll land in a smaller pants size) and have been filling my rumbling stomach with all manner of vegetables and lean proteins.
The problem with all of the “healthy food” that comes to mind is that a lot of it is served cold. Cold salads, cottage cheese, yogurt smoothies, and so on. Well, the thing with winter is its cold already and I don’t want to be colder. Therefore, I have been leaning pretty heavy on soups for our meals. We have had turkey chili, chicken noodle and potato soup so far. I have been packing a lot of this vegetable soup for lunch because, well, I need to be prepared for the inevitable pizza night right around the corner, and with less than 300 calories in a serving I can have my lunch and eat pizza, too.
There is something of an art to making a soup. Very rarely can you just throw everything in a pot and walk away only to come back to something amazing. The best soups take a little bit of time to build. Especially where vegetable soup is concerned. Unless you really enjoy that raw onion and garlic flavor smacking you in the face, take the time to sauté those aromatics to mellow out their flavor. And don’t drain your beans for this one. That thick starchy liquid will give the soup a little more body and viscosity that I find really comforting on a cold day.
- 2 slices bacon chopped
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 3 carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 teaspoons sprig of fresh rosemary or 2 dried
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 (15 ocan cannellini beans
- 1 (15 ocan diced tomatoes
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 3 cups chicken broth
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large pot over medium high heat, fry the bacon until crisp. Drain the bacon on some paper towels but leave the fat in the pot. To the reserved fat add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and sauté for 5-7 minutes stirring often until the onion is translucent and the carrot begins to just soften. Strip the leaves off of the rosemary stem by running your fingers backwards down the stem. Quickly run your knife through the herbs then add them to the pot along with the salt and pepper. Cook for another 30 seconds then add in the beans (don’t drain them, that liquid will give the soup a nice body), tomatoes, spinach and chicken stock. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the carrot is tender.
- Divide the soup into serving bowls and then top each with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!