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Heart-Healthy Soup for Valentine’s Day

Posted on February 14, 2018 by Nikole Gavriilidis, MS, RD, CDE

Do you need some ideas on how to warm your Valentine’s heart this February? Why not try this heart-healthy soup in honor of American Heart Month! Simmering with flavor and packed with vegetables, this soup will become your sweetheart’s winter favorite. The featured ingredient is butternut squash, a seasonal vegetable that is a great source of vitamin A. Vitamin A plays an essential role in immune function, which is crucial during these cold winter months. Butternut squash is also a good source of fiber. A half-cup serving of butternut squash has three grams of fiber, which helps keep you full longer.  
If you can’t get enough butternut squash from this recipe, try incorporating it into other dishes. For example, you can substitute butternut squash for pasta.  It will not only add color to your plate, but it will also cut carbs. You can also toss butternut squash on top of salads or substitute it for potatoes in your favorite chili. One last heart-healthy bite—to maximize the health benefits in this soup, choose a low-sodium chicken broth to cut the sodium content by almost half! 
Butternut Squash Soup
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
3 cups peeled, diced butternut squash (about 1 small squash)
2 cups thinly sliced carrots (4 medium carrots)
¾ cup thinly sliced leeks or chopped onion
2 (14.5 ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup regular or fat-free half-and-half or light cream
Fresh tarragon leaves (optional)
In a large saucepan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat.  Add squash, carrots and leeks or onion to pan. Cook, covered, for eight minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Place one-third of the squash mixture in a food processor bowl or blender container. Cover; process or blend until almost smooth. Repeat with remaining mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Add white pepper and nutmeg. Bring just to boiling. Add half-and-half or light cream; heat through.  Ladle into soup bowls. If desired, garnish with fresh tarragon.  
Total servings: Six

Serving size: 1 cup, 82 calories, 3 grams fat, 2 grams fiber, 12 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams protein, 364 mg of sodium
References: Krause’s Food and Nutrition Therapy


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