3 Reasons To Make Lots of Soup, Stew & Chili This Winter [Sponsored]

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Now that temperatures have finally dipped, I start to crave warm comfort food and cozy dinners in. My favorite types of recipes to make this time of year are soups, stews and chilies. I mean… How much cozier does it get than a big bowl of warm soup? In addition to the comfort-factor, I love soups and chilies for many reasons:

First, you can take one evening to make a huge batch and have leftovers for days. Soups, stews, and chilies just get better and better each day! This makes these dishes the perfect meal for women on the go… spend some time on Sunday making chili and you’ll have a fast meal all week long!

Second, they’re super hydrating! In the winter, people often forget to drink enough water. Soup has a lot of water so it does double duty by quenching your thirst and hunger at once. The other good thing about hydrating soups is that you fill up faster! The water in these dishes helps your stomach feel full so that you are satisfied with less calories. This is a great trick for keeping your weight at a healthy level.

Third, dishes like stews are health and wallet friendly! Soups and stews have lots of vegetables, beans and grains that pack a big nutritional punch and are not expensive to buy. The other way soups stretch your dollar is by making protein go further. Meat is usually the most expensive part of the meal, but since you need less meat to make a hearty serving of chili or stew, you can do more with less! There are also a ton of amazing vegetarian soup options out there, like the Hearty Greens Soup listed below the Chili recipe.  

Here's a Hearty Greens Soup recipe I love. Just pick up some whole grain bread (or corn bread with the chili ☺) and some mixed greens for a salad and you’ll have a nutrient-packed meal ready in no time!

HEARTY GREENS SOUP WITH BOWTIE PASTA AND TOMATOES

hearty greens soup
hearty greens soup

Serves 6 to 8

Use all manner of kale, chard or other hearty greens in this filling cold weather soup. Look for Parmigiano Reggiano rinds, ideal for flavoring soups and stews, in the specialty cheese department.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard (about 3/4 pound), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 bunch escarole (about 1/2 pound), stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pound dried bowtie (farfalle) pasta
  • 1 (3-inch) Parmigiano-Reggiano rind, plus grated Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish
  • 1/4 pound baby spinach

Method:

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until most of the liquid is released and absorbed, about 5 minutes more. Add carrots and 8 cups water and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

Stir in chard, escarole, pasta and Parmigiano-Reggiano rind. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until broth is flavorful and greens and pasta are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in spinach and season with salt and pepper.

Remove and discard bay leaf and cheese rind from soup then ladle into bowls, garnish with grated cheese and serve.

Nutritional Info:

Per Serving: Serving size: , 200 calories (45 from fat), 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 350mg sodium, 34g carbohydrates, (5g dietary fiber, 4g sugar), 7g protein.

Kathleen Wood, a Nutritionist with Whole Foods Market, leads Healthy Eating programming for the Mid-Atlantic region. She graduated from Dickinson College and then did a Master’s degree in Public Health at Boston University where she focused on theories of health behavior change. She also completed a certificate in plant-based nutrition from Cornell University. She’s happy to offer you advice on food, recipes and nutrition. Please feel free to contact her at kathleen.wood@wholefoods.com.