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Friday, July 13, 2012

Hear Me Out On This One...

I love soup. It doesn't matter is it's the dead of winter or a sweltering summer day; I'm always up for a hearty bowl of soup. I rarely make my own soup from scratch because it's an all-day event, and then the containers take up so much space in the fridge. The problem with buying canned and other pre-packaged soups is that they are loaded with sodium, and the lighter versions usually leave me feeling unsatisfied. 

During the school year I eat soup so often that I recommend everyone buy stock in Healthy Choice at the end of August. I bought so much soup last semester that I wound up bringing a few containers home, but they have been neglected because I am too busy stuffing my gob with fresh vegetables and fruit. Yesterday, I was determined to get a steaming bowl of soup in my belly, but, of course, I needed to put my own, crazy spin on it. 

When I got this idea, even I thought that I had lost my mind. My plan was to take a carton of portobello soup, cook brown rice in said soup, then add broccoli and an actual portabello mushroom cap, and let everything simmer in the pot. And guess what...I did just that, and it was delicious! 

Okay, okay, so it's not the most beautiful thing that I've ever made, but didn't your Mama ever tell you not to judge a soup before you tried it? Or maybe she said something more to the effect of, "Shut up, and eat it." Either way, if you're not an experienced cook and you're looking for something healthier than a microwavable pizza, soup is the way to go. I added a bunch of vegetables and a serving of brown rice to this simple soup, and it was as satisfying and filling as a hearty winter stew. 

Creamy Portobello Soup with Broccoli and Rice
  • 2 c. Organic Imagine Creamy Portobello Mushroom Soup (1 container)
  • 1/4 c. Trader Joe's brown basmati rice (any dry brown rice will work)
  • 1 Portobello mushroom cap, cut into 1/2-1 inch chunks
  • 2 c. Broccoli flowerets, raw, stems cut off
1. Add entire container of soup and brown rice to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir constantly so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom. Once soup boils, bring down to a medium, medium-low heat, keep stirring.
2. Once rice has finished cooking (about 10-15 minutes), bring down to the simmer and add broccoli and mushrooms. Stir contents for few seconds, then cover pot. 
3. Remove lid and check broccoli to see if it has cooked through. If not, stir and return lid. When broccoli and mushrooms are soft, and the flowerets are a bright green, remove from heat and pour into a bowl. 
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
Total: 25 minutes

Nutrition: (Makes one serving) Calories: 410, Total fat: 7, Sat. fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 848mg, Total carbs: 71g, Fiber: 12, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 18g

I had no idea how filling this was going to be, I felt like I was eating a meal made for a lumberjack. Cooking the rice in the soup made it extra creamy, and it had an almost risotto-like texture, just with a little more liquid. I love Organic Imagine soups, and I highly recommend buying them. They're not very high in sodium, and even though it is a 'creamy' soup, there is no cream used, which means zero cholesterol! Trust me, if you're a busy on-the-go person who doesn't have time to cook a roast chicken every night, a hearty bowl of soup like this will keep your hunger at bay for hours. 

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