National Soup Month – Do M.O.R.E. with Dinner!

Jan 7, 2017

Do More With Dinner initiative of Sarah-Jane Bedwell

January is National Soup Month and a great time to snuggle in with a warm bowl of hearty, healthy goodness. I could honestly live on soup all year-round, but during the frigid cold winter months here in Chicago, I find myself reaching for it more often.

Soup is not only a comforting, nourishing meal, it’s a great fit for my Do M.O.R.E. with Dinner initiative! You can find quick and easy recipes, modify your favorites to be a bit healthier, “shop your kitchen” to use up ingredients on hand and save a trip to the grocery store, or use up those leftovers and decrease food waste!

I recently went on TV to share some soup tips and recipes, and to promote my Do M.O.R.E. with Dinner ideas and inspiration, including my FREE Resource Kit.

Celebrate Soup Month:

Did you know that soup is among the oldest foods in history dating back to 6000 BC and “Hippo Soup”? Virtually every country around the world has since created their own variety, such as African Peanut Soup, Chinese Wonton Soup, French Onion Soup, Greek Egg-Lemon Soup and Italian Minestrone.

Do M.O.R.E. with Dinner

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of family dinners and taking this ordinary ritual and making it more extraordinary through games, such as “Rose, Bud and Thorn” (Your “rose” = best thing about your day, your “thorn” = worst thing about your day, and your “bud” = what you are looking forward to) and Question Cards, both designed to inspire lively conversation and help everyone enjoy family time more. Be sure to check out my Sound Bites podcast episodes about Do M.O.R.E. with Dinner and also get your FREE Do M.O.R.E with Dinner Resource Kit!

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Super Soup Recipes:

In addition to the variety available, soup can also be healthy and economical when made with “planned overs” as part of weekly meal planning, including nutrient-rich vegetables, proteins, grains and dairy, which can help reduce food waste.

Here are three of my new faves I showed on TV, and many more delicious options below from my awesome dietitian friends!

Lasagna Soup

by Jen Haugen, RD

*What I love about this recipe (besides the fact that it combines two of my favorites – lasagna and soup) is that it uses lean ground beef that can be cooked ahead of time for easy assembly, and canned tomatoes which I always have in my pantry. And it takes less than 30 minutes so I can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with my family!

Servings: 6


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1 pound 90/10 lean hamburger, cooked and crumbled

1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes

1 (14.15 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

24 ounces (3 cups) reduced sodium chicken broth

1 (8 ounce can) no-added-salt tomato sauce

3 cups uncooked whole grain egg noodles

2 tablespoons pesto (plus more for drizzling)

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1-1/2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese



  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat, add oil and garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds, stirring gently. Add cooked hamburger, petite diced tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, chicken broth, tomato sauce and uncooked noodles.  Simmer, covered, for 8-10 minutes or until noodles are cooked.
  1. Stir in pesto sauce and Italian seasoning. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes more.
  1. Top each soup bowl with ¼ cup shredded cheese and small drizzle of pesto sauce.

Per 8 ounce serving: 374 calories, 18 grams fat, 6.5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 69 mg cholesterol, 758 mg sodium, 25 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar, 29 grams protein, 883 IU vitamin A, 16 mg vitamin C, 284 mg calcium, 3.44 mg iron.


Broccoli Cheddar Soup

by Ellie Krieger, MS, RD

*What I love about this soup is that Ellie did a “makeover” of traditional Broccoli Cheddar Soup in her Comfort Food Fix book, taking the original with 700 calories and 36 grams of saturated fat down to this one with 290 calories and 7 grams of saturated fat! I like to use my immersion blender instead of taking the time to let the soup cool and put it into the blender in batches – especially if I’m doubling the recipe.

Servings: 4 (makes about 6 cups)


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 large head broccoli, florets and tender part of stems, chopped (about 6 cups)

3 cups no-salt-added chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup canned, no-salt-added Great Northern or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

½ cup low-fat (1 percent) milk

1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (3 ounces)

1 teaspoon powdered mustard

½ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed



Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Once the oil is simmering, stir in the onion and cook for about 4 minutes, until tender but not browned.

Add the broccoli, broth and beans; increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low.  Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Let the soup cool for 15 minutes, then puree it in a blender in three batches, until smooth.  Wipe out the saucepan as needed.

Return the blended soup to the saucepan over medium heat.  Once the soup is bubbling at the edges, reduce the heat to low.  Stir in the milk, ¾ cup of the cheese, the powdered mustard and ½ teaspoon of salt.  Cook until just warmed through.

Taste and add more salt as needed.  Divide among individual bowls or deep mugs, and garnish each portion using the remaining ¼ cup of cheese.  Serve hot.

Per serving: 290 calories, 14 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 16 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 520 mg sodium, 7 g dietary fiber, 9 g sugar

Grilled Cheese Croutons

by Deanna-Segrave Daly, RD and Serena Ball, MS, RD

*What I love about this is obvious – what a great idea to turn a grilled cheese sandwich into croutons! Genius!

Servings: 6


6 thin slices whole grain bread

2 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, sliced, such as Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar


Place 3 slices of bread on baking sheet, top with cheese and then remaining slices of bread.  Toast in toaster oven (or regular over) at 400-degrees until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes (watch carefully!)  Cut into bite-sized croutons.

Deanna also shared this other Healthy Kitchen Hack with us on her guest blog, check it out.

How to Make Ironed Grilled Cheese

  1. Turn your iron on high.
  2. Make a cheese sandwich and brush both sides with melted butter or olive oil.
  3. Wrap in aluminum foil.
  4. Press iron down on one side for about 45 seconds. Flip and iron other side.
  5. Unwrap and enjoy!


I only had time to share 3 recipes on my TV segment, but here are some more great options to try!

Jessica Levinson, MS, RD, CDN, has a bunch of soup recipes here and lists out some of her favorites for this time of year:

Janice Bissex Newell, MS, RD, shares a few of her favorites:

Judy Barbe, MS, RDN shares these faves:

Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN shares these:

For even MORE soup recipes, check out my Pinterest Board “No Soup for You!

Let me know if you like any of these recipes and share with me how YOU are doing MORE with dinner! Use #domorewithdinner on twitter, Instagram and facebook!


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  1. Janice Bissex on January 10, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    So many great ideas – I want to try every soup!

    • admin on January 10, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      Thanks Janice! And thanks for sharing your Meal Makeover Moms recipes – especially your slow cooker favorites!

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ABOUTI’m the Guilt-Free RD® – “Because food shouldn’t make you feel bad!™”. So, on my Food for Thought blog I’m exploring the secret ingredients needed to enjoy your food with health in mind.  I’m also a “Dietitian Enthusiast” so I’m showcasing interviews with dietitians.  My “How To” Series shares practical advice to help boost communication skills and gain more visibility, influence and success.

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