Kick the Can

Ditch the ready-made soup aisle relics and spoon up homemade comfort with these healthy revamps of piping hot favorites

Recipes & Food Styling by Anna Hampton
Photographs by Helene Dujardin

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup
(Makes 12 cups)

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. turmeric
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
8 cups low-sodium chicken stock
6 sprigs thyme, bundled with twine
2 cups high-protein pasta (such as chickpea)
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Fresh dill or parsley, for serving

In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots, and sauté until slightly tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper and turmeric, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes more to toast the spices.

Toss the rotisserie chicken with the vegetables and spices. Add the chicken stock and thyme bundle, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the thyme bundle.

Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 7 to 8 minutes (or according to the package directions).

Stir in the peas and lemon juice. Serve garnished with fresh dill or parsley.

Flavor Play: Try swapping the turmeric with another preferred dried spice, such as oregano or ginger.

Nutrition facts (per 2-cup serving): 254 calories, 8g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 188mg cholesterol, 925mg sodium, 20g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 4g sugar, 28g protein

Seeded Whole Wheat Bread
(Makes 1 loaf)

1 ¼ cups oat milk
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 ¼ tsp. quick-rise yeast
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 cups bread flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water
4 tsp. everything bagel seasoning

Heat the oat milk in a saucepan over low heat until warm to the touch but not hot. Remove the milk from the heat, and add in the oats, maple syrup and yeast. Gently stir, then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be bubbly. (If it’s not bubbly, your yeast is dead. You will need to start over with live yeast.)

Stir in the melted butter. Add the flours, flaxseed meal and salt, mixing until well incorporated.
Place the dough on a floured surface, and knead with your hands for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can use an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook to knead the dough for 7 to 8 minutes.

Coat a large bowl with the olive oil. Form the dough into a ball, and place in the prepared bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, and set in a warm place. Allow the dough to rise for 1 ½ hours.

Line an 8- x 4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, and then lightly spray the paper with cooking spray. Knead the risen dough slightly, then form the dough into an 8-inch log and place it into the prepared pan. Allow the dough to rise again for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the egg wash over the top of the dough, and sprinkle the bagel seasoning on top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove the bread from the pan, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing. One loaf yields about 12 slices.

DIY Seasoning: Create your own everything bagel blend by mixing one teaspoon each of sesame, black sesame and poppy seeds with a half-teaspoon each of dried garlic and dried onion.

Nutrition facts (per slice): 204 calories, 7g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 83mg cholesterol, 234mg sodium, 25g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 2g sugar, 8g protein

Lightened-Up Broccoli Cheddar Soup
(Makes 12 cups)

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6-7 baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved
6 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
6 cups broccoli florets, divided
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
Scallions, for serving

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the onion and celery, and sauté for 7 to 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Season with the salt and pepper. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in the potatoes and the stock. Bring to a simmer.

Remove 1/4 cup of stock from the pot and place in a small bowl. Whisk in the cornstarch until well combined, then return the mixture to the pot. Simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 8 minutes more.

Add in half of the broccoli, and return to a simmer. Cook until the broccoli is tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the milk.

Remove the soup from the heat, and allow it to cool slightly. Using a food processor or blender, pulse the soup mixture until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.

Pour the soup back into the pot and return to a simmer. Add the remaining broccoli and carrots, and simmer until they are just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese until it melts.

Serve topped with more cheddar cheese and sliced scallions.

No Waste: Instead of throwing out the broccoli stems, chop the stalks and sauté them along with the onions and celery.

Nutrition facts (per 2-cup serving): 206 calories, 12g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 21mg cholesterol, 664mg sodium, 17g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 4g sugar, 10g protein

Beef, Mushroom & Barley Soup
(Makes 10 cups)

2 lbs. beef chuck roast, cut into half-inch cubes
1 tsp. salt, divided
1 ½ tsp. pepper, divided
2 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
1 ½ cups mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
10 cups low-sodium chicken stock, divided
1 small bunch thyme
2 bay leaves
6 peppercorns
3/4 cup pearled barley
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Fresh parsley, for serving

Season the beef with half the salt and a teaspoon of pepper. In a large Dutch oven, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the beef on all sides. Remove to a platter.

Put the onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms in the pot. Season with the remaining salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the vegetables to a bowl.

Add the tomato paste and toast slightly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk 1/3 cup chicken stock into the tomato paste to incorporate. Stir in all but 2 cups of the remaining stock. Add the browned beef back into the pot, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

Make a small cheesecloth sachet with the thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns. Add the sachet to the pot. Bring the soup to a simmer. Cover and cook until the beef is almost tender, about 1 to 1 ¼ hours, skimming off any fat from the surface.

Add the 2 cups of reserved stock, barley and vegetables, and cook until the barley is tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. The barley absorbs plenty of liquid, so add more water or stock as needed towards the end of cooking.

Stir in the vinegar. Serve topped with chopped parsley.

Try This! For extra zing, serve with a dollop of horseradish cream sauce.

Nutrition facts (per 2-cup serving): 358 calories, 14g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 120mg cholesterol, 807mg sodium, 16g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 6g sugar, 45g protein