Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Soup Season

While I love a good gazpacho in the middle of the summer, this time of year seems like the real soup season. Soup is fantastic on a raw, wintry day but it’s also good for weight loss efforts. Barbara Rolls’ Volumetrics research showed that when we eat soup as part of a meal, we tend to eat less. This has to due with the high water content of soup.  When choosing soup, out of the house, tomato-based, bean or broth based soups are good choices.  As if soups are “dairy free”, I find this is more strategic than asking if a soup contains cream and stick to those selections. To control sodium, stick to small sized soups and pair your soup with whole grain crackers, a side salad or fruit. I asked the writers behind some of my favorite blogs and sites for their soup selections around town or when not making their own.

Sara Reistad-Long, Svelte Gourmand
Sara and Camille's site Svelte Gourmand is one of my favorite blogs. They discuss recent research and recipes all in a tone that smart but never preachy.

I'm a big fan of Corbet & Conley's lentil and split pea soups. They're well spiced (i.e. you might get a bay leaf in your take-out container...feels very fresh). They're also rich, though. For lighter varieties, I tend to rely on Whole Foods. The flavorings are weaker, so I usually spice them up with a little sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and a splash of tabasco. A shake of tarragon can add a fun and unusual twist to anything chicken-based. 

Camille Noe Pagan, Svelte Gourmand
Off the top of my head, I love Pacific Natural Foods organic tomato soup. I grew up on Campbell's tomato soup, so it's a comfort food for me. The PNF version is similar in terms of taste, but is organic, and while not perfect, is at least made with cane syrup (instead of HFCS, which is most of the other tomato soups I've checked out--even so-called "healthy" versions), and is about 100 calories a serving. My toddler loves it, too.

Pamela Wenberg, City Baby
I've met Pamela almost nine years ago after I had Myles. She was running her new moms luncheons and I was seeking any information I could get my hands on (always loved research). She is the woman behind the City Baby books (or baby bibles) and site.

My favorite places for soup are: Corner Cafe (90th and Madison and 92nd and 3rd) and Soup Stop. I love the Broccoli soup at Corner and the Yellow Lentil at Soup Stop but I also like the Black Bean.

Melissa Gerstein, Moms in the City
Melissa is on the NYC show Moms in the City where 3 moms debate parenting issues, city life and current events and also writes a blog. I worked with Melissa on an episode of Moms in the City, we met through a friend at The Race for the Cure. Melissa sent the following suggestions:
Josie's Carrot Ginger and Artie's Matzoh Ball are my 2 NYC faves.

Lauren Johnston, Running Dialogue 
I believe Lauren and I met on Twitter, is that possible? We read each others blogs and I invited Lauren to a talk I was giving for runners. She recently  completed the NYC marathon and blogged about the whole experience.

I eat soup all winter!  There are two I really enjoy in my neighborhood (Prospect Heights).
Lentil soup from Zaytoons (it’s the thick kind, yellow lentils)
 Vegetarian Black bean soup from Cheryl’s Global Soul

My favorite take away soups are by far the selections at Hampton Chutney. They have carrot, sweet potato, multiple types of dal, spinach soups and they're all spicy and flavorful. The best part is the gluten-free cheese dosa that comes can with it.
What are your favorite soups in your area? Why do you like them? What comes with them? Do you eat it (the bread, crackers etc.)?


  1. I just had the most incredible soup last night at Get Fresh in Park Slope. It was broth based chicken soup with cilantro spicy chipotle. Large chunks of organic chicken with parsnips, carrots, mushrooms...It came with a side of toasted garlic bread that just sent me over the edge. Was SOOO good! Best part is I didn't finish it and I have it for lunch today!

  2. Amanda that sounds great, hard to get an interesting chicken soup, wonder if we could recreate that recipe. Parsnips are so good.

  3. If you are in the mood to make soup, this is my absolute favorite in the winter. I get raves every time I make it, and it's not hard at all.

    My changes:
    I use very little, if any, of the cream.
    Roast the squash then cook it in the broth.
    Add garlic and an apple (the apple is KEY) when cooking.
    Liberally use spices and herbs that you like.

  4. Marie- look at you showing off your culinary knowledge, impressed (and hungry)!

  5. I love cooking! My dream is to combine my two hobbies -- baking and blowing glass -- into a store called Brownie and Bowls.