Recipes — Soups For The Soul

Circa 2005


Thinking about cancer is something most of us would rather avoid, but today we know that paying more attention to our cancer risk is something that can yield real dividends. Researchers tell us the majority of cancers we face are preventable—not through new drugs or medical breakthroughs, but through simple lifestyle choices.

The foods you choose each day are one of the most important factors in protecting you and your family from cancer. Most Americans eat a diet that is far too high in fat and calories. Even more important is what the average U.S. diet lacks: a variety of vegetables, fruits, beans and other plant-based foods.

Soup, can be a healthy, hearty and refreshing meal any season of the year. Here are a few of our favorites:



1 large celery rib, thinly sliced

1 medium bunch broccoli, florets only, coarsely chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 small parsnips, peeled and sliced

4 cups fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2-3 tsp. lemon juice, optional

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions: 1. In deep saucepan, place celery, broccoli, onion, parsnips, broth, and pepper. Cover tightly and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes.

2. In blender, puree soup until velvet-smooth. Serve in bowls or pour into mugs. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serves 4.

Nutritional Information:

Per Serving: 106 calories, < 1 g. total fat (<1 g. saturated fat), 23 g. carbohydrates, 6 g. protein, 6 g. dietary fiber, 613 mg. Sodium.

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4 ears fresh corn

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 medium yellow-flesh potato, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch cubes

4 cups cold water

1/2-3/4 cup evaporated milk, preferably low-fat

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp. sugar (optional)

1/4 cup chopped scallion, green only

12-16 medium shrimp, cooked, shelled (optional)


1. On a chopping board, cut off the corn kernels from each cob and transfer to a medium Dutch oven or deep saucepan. Scrape cobs with the back of the knife to extract milk and remaining corn bits, and add to the pot. Add the scraped cobs to the pot.

2. Add the onion, potatoes and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove cobs and discard.

3. Strain soup into bowl, reserving cooked vegetables; there should be about 4 cups of broth. Take out 1/2 cup of the vegetables and reserve.

4. In a blender, purée remaining vegetables with 2 cups of broth (about half) until mixture is creamy and smooth. Return purée to the pot.

5. Mix in 1/2 to 3/4 cup evaporated milk, depending on thickness of purée. Reheat until hot. Season to taste with cayenne, salt and pepper. If the sweet taste of fresh corn seems weak, add up to 1 teaspoon sugar, if desired.

6. Divide chowder among 4 bowls. Garnish each with reserved corn and scallions. If desired, garnish soup with cooked, shelled shrimp. Serve.

7. Refrigerate or freeze remaining corn broth to use in making vegetable soup.

Nutritional Information:

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 152 calories, 2 g. total fat (less than 1 g. saturated fat), 27 g. carbohydrate, 9 g. protein, 3 g. dietary fiber, 76 mg. sodium.

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1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 small sweet onion (e.g., Vidalia), finely chopped

1 boiling potato (about 4 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 tsp. salt

3 1/2 cups water

1 lb. frozen baby peas, thawed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 Tbsp. low-fat sour cream (optional) Fresh mint leaves, minced (optional)


1. Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add potato and salt and cook, stirring, another 2 minutes.

2. Add water, cover and simmer until potato is tender, about 15 minutes. Add peas and simmer, uncovered, 2 minutes.

3. Cool slightly, then purée in small batches in a blender. Force mixture through a very fine mesh sieve into a saucepan.

4. Reheat and season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Top each serving with a dab of sour cream and fresh mint leaves. Makes 6 servings. Nutritional Information: Per serving: 86 calories, 1 g. total fat (<1 g. saturated fat), 15 g. carbohydrate, 4 g. protein, 4 g. dietary fiber, 280 mg. sodium.

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1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tsp. olive oil

1/2 cup thinly sliced celery

1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot

1 tsp. finely chopped garlic

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes in juice

2 1/2 cups water

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried cumin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 can (15 oz.) cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained (puree beans for thicker soup) 1 jarred roasted red bell pepper, rinsed, patted dry, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup cut green beans (optional)


1. In large saucepan, cook onion and olive oil over low heat until onion begins to color, about 5 minutes. Add celery, carrot and garlic; cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, water, oregano, basil and cumin. Cover and cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender, 5-10 minutes.

2. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add cannellini beans, red bell pepper and green beans, if using.

3. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until greens beans are tender and flavors are blended. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Nutritional Information: Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 74 calories, <1g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 14 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 423 mg sodium.

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the nation’s third largest cancer charity, focusing exclusively on the link between diet and cancer. The Institute provides a wide range of consumer education programs that help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. AICR also supports innovative research in cancer prevention and treatment at universities, hospitals and research centers across the U.S. The Institute has provided more than $65 million in funding for research in diet, nutrition and cancer. AICR’s Web address is

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