Savannah Valley District

Soup for Cold Winter Days

Christine Patrick, County Extension EFNEP Agent

There are lots of good reasons to eat soup during January, National Soup Month.  Soup warms the body during the cold days of January and February, but it also warms the heart and soul. It’s simple and it’s the ultimate comfort food—always a welcome change after the holiday frenzy. And for those who made New Year’s Resolutions to eat lighter, soup can be a healthy, guilt-free answer to the question, “What’s for supper?”

Here are some ideas for making your soup recipes healthier:

  • Make sure you’re using low-sodium broth or bouillon cubes, otherwise you’ll add a considerable amount of sodium to your recipes
  • Instead of using a cream for cream soups, consider adding pureed white beans, mashed potatoes, or silken tofu. These ingredients add a creamy texture without all the saturated fat of real cream. Or simply substitute fat-free milk
  • Wherever possible, add more vegetables or beans to your soup recipes or even to canned soups. These foods add variety, color, and texture along with fiber and important nutrients
  • When purchasing canned soups, select those that are lower in sodium per serving than most of the national brands. Ideally, it’s good to choose canned soups that have about the same number of calories and milligrams (mg) of sodium. For example, if a serving of soup has 100 calories, it should have only 100 – 200 mg of sodium.  Most national brands contain 600 or more mg of sodium for that amount.  It pays to read the label.  You can offset this by adding rice, pasta, or potatoes
  • If your favorite accompaniment to soup is a grilled cheese sandwich, use whole-grain bread and low-fat or fat-free cheese

The Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.