First of all, I will like to express how excited I am to be writing a guest post for Nicole while she is away. I am very honoured to have this opportunity. Thank you so much, Nicole!
Hello everyone! This is Stephanie from Juicy Fresh Bites. I love blogging about my culinary experiments as I try to cook delicious and healthy foods. In addition, I also enjoy sharing my own tips on how to better embrace a healthy, active lifestyle.
Just to tell you a little bit about myself…ever since I was a little girl, I have always been really big on eating. As my passion for food grew stronger, an interest for nutrition also sparked. Hence, I decided to pursue a degree in Dietetics at the University of British Columbia. It is an incredible feeling to be able to breath and talk food and nutrition all day long and share this passion with other like-minded peers. Right now, my focus is to graduate in two years and become an RD. Then, I will like to work as a private consulting dietitian and continue to share my passion with others around me and make a difference in their lives.
As for now, in this post, I’ll like to share with you my top secret tricks to creating luscious, creamy soups without using cream. Enjoy and indulge!
Creamy soups can truly be a heavenly indulgence, but the fact that they can easily contain up to an entree’s worth of calories make them a lot less appealing. Because cream soups are traditionally made with heavy, high-fat creams, each sip comes with a lot of calories and artery-clogging saturated fats. That being said, it doesn’t mean you have to avoid creamy soups! You can easily cut calories, retain its rich and silky texture and boost the soup’s nutritional profile by making a few simple substitutions.
When boiled until fork tender, starchy root vegetables can be pureed effortlessly with a little bit of liquid (water, stock or lower-fat milk) to produce a silky consistency. They will provide creaminess to the soup, and give a nutritional bonus in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Plus, this technique can be a super easy method to sneak in more vegetables into your diet. Any root veggies will work — my favourite ones are carrots, parsnips (like this recipe here, Spicy Carrot & Parsnip Soup), winter squash and sweet potatoes.
Like root vegetables, legumes turn into a thick, creamy paste when pureed. They will give body to the soup and offer a smooth, silky mouthfeel. Even better, legumes add in a healthy dose of fiber and protein, which will help to slow down digestion and keep you full for longer. You can choose to use one type of legume or use a mix to add more flavour and richness, like this Creamy Bean Soup with Fresh Herbs and Spinach.
Bread is another effective soup thickener. Simply tear bread into little pieces and add to the soup. They will soak up liquid until completely saturated and then start to melt into the soup. Then with additional blending, the bread pieces will become well mixed in the soup and help to create a thick and creamy texture. Choose whole wheat breads for a high-fiber nutritional punch (but avoid multigrain and nutty breads because the seeds and grains will not blend into the soup well). Try this technique to make a comforting, delectable Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup.
Even if you have always considered cream as an indispensible ingredient for making creamy soups, it is time to change your mind! There are actually lower-calorie and healthier choices that will add body and provide a creamy, rich texture to soups. Try these simple additions today and recreate your own versions of slimmed-down creamy soups!