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It's cold, so warm up to National Soup Month

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

By: Jeff Ash

If you’re wondering why National Soup Month takes place in January, just go outside. Yeah, there you go. Cold.


To warm up, try these two simple, healthy soup recipes from What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl, a resource for cooks from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Apple corn chili


Apple Corn Chili

This recipe from the Produce for Better Health Foundation has a base of sautéed, pureed red apples and yellow corn. It’s low in fat and sodium. This recipe calls for chicken, but it can be made vegetarian by substituting water or vegetable stock for the chicken and bouillon. Preparation time is 45 minutes. This serves four.




2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut to ½-inch cubes)

1 medium onion (chopped)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 15-ounce can yellow corn (no-salt-added, drained)

2 red apples, such as Braeburn, Empire or Fuji (chopped, skin on)

½ tablespoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if desired)

1 15-ounce can black beans (no-salt-added, drained and rinsed)

4½-ounce can diced green chilies (drained)

2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (sodium-free)

2 cups water


For the topping

¼ cup sour cream (reduced-fat)

¼ cup fresh, chopped cilantro (if desired)



1. In a stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil; add chicken and brown (about 5 minutes). Remove chicken from pan.

2. Heat remaining olive oil in same pot; add onions and garlic and sauté until soft.

3. Add corn and sauté until golden brown. Add apple, cumin, and cayenne pepper (if desired); cook about 3-4 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes.

4. Set aside about 1 cup of mixture. Purée remainder in food processor or blender, adding a portion of water, if needed, and return to pot.

5. Add browned chicken, black bean, chilies, bouillon and water. Bring to boil and simmer about 15 minutes. Chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees F.

6. To serve, ladle soup in bowls and top with non-puréed portion of apple corn mixture.


Nutritional information

Calories: 360

Total fat 11 g

Saturated fat 3 g

Cholesterol 35 mg

Sodium 140 mg

Total carbohydrate 48 g

Dietary fiber 9 g

Total sugars 15 g

Added sugars included 0 g

Protein 20 g

Vitamin D 0 mcg

Calcium 100 mg

Iron 3 mg

Potassium 897 mg


Corn chowder soup


10-Minute Corn Chowder

Just 10 minutes to put together this recipe from Food and Health Communications? Sounds good to us. This serves four.



1 teaspoon vegetable oil

½ onion (chopped)

1 teaspoon garlic (minced)

4 tablespoons flour (all purpose)

3 cups non-fat milk

2 teaspoons mustard

¼ teaspoon thyme (dried)

Black pepper (to taste)

2 cups corn kernels (frozen)

4 tablespoons cheddar cheese, shredded reduced fat



1. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and sauté the onion and garlic until golden, about 2 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, place the flour, milk, mustard and seasonings in a small bowl and mix well.

3. Add the milk mixture to the skillet followed by the corn; mix well until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, for about 3 minutes. Stir frequently to keep the mixture from burning.

4. Divide into four bowls and top each with 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese.


Nutritional information

(For 1¼ cup of chowder, or ¼ of this recipe, 305 g)

Calories 210

Total fat 3 g

Saturated fat 1 g

Cholesterol 5 mg

Sodium 150 mg

Total carbohydrate 37 g

Dietary fiber 3 g

Total sugars 10 g

Protein 12 g