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Nutrition Wise Recipe Variations for Hearty Meal Soup Mixes

We continue our Nutrition Wise Recipe Variations with our Hearty Meal Soup Mixes. Registered dietitian nutritionist, Penny Clark, was brought in to consult with Frontier Soups to provide recipe adaptations for boosting vegetables, providing vegetarian and Mediterranean options, as well as ways to reduce sodium and saturated fat. She first tackled our Homemade in Minutes Soup Mixes, but we now list Nutrition Wise Recipe Variations for our Hearty Meals Soup Mixes below. You can also find these nutrition tips on each product information page.

For Homemade in Minutes, see Nutrition Wise Recipe Variations for Homemade in Minutes Soup Mixes.

Hearty Meal Soup Mixes

California Gold Rush White Bean Chili

To boost vegetables, add 2 cups fresh, shredded cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, or chopped bell peppers in final 10 minutes of cooking time.

To go Vegetarian, substitute diced 1 large sweet potato, or 1 diced fresh or 2 1/2 cups frozen acorn squash for ground turkey.

To cut saturated fat, prepare with extra lean ground turkey or chicken, or go Vegetarian. Serve with optional lime wedges, cilantro and nonfat, plain Greek yogurt rather than sour cream or shredded cheddar cheese.

To cut sodium, prepare with low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.

Colorado Campfire Chicken Stew

To boost and vary vegetables, add 2 cups diced bell peppers, mushrooms, green beans, bok choy or parsnips in final 20 minutes.

To boost whole grains, add a crusty whole grain bread to soup rather than dumplings or chicken pot pie recipe variations suggested on the package or website.

To give a Mediterranean twist, top each serving with 1 tablespoon chopped, unsalted walnuts.

To cut saturated fat, prepare with 4 tablespoons vegetable oil instead of butter and use skinless chicken.

To cut sodium, prepare with low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.

Dakota Territory Beef Barley Bean Stew

To boost vegetables, add 2 cups fresh, chopped carrots or cubed butternut squash for final 45 minutes of cooking time.

To go Vegetarian prepare with 2 pounds of fresh mushrooms as substitute for beef. (See Vegetarian Variation on package or website.)

To cut saturated fat, prepare with 1 pound extra lean beef or bison, and trim off any visible, solid fat from meat, or go Vegetarian. Prepare with 1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1/2 tablespoon butter instead of 2 tablespoons butter to brown onions.

To cut sodium, prepare with low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.

Illinois Prairie Corn Chowder

To boost vegetables, add along with potatoes, 1 1/2 cups chopped cauliflower, broccoli, red pepper, or leeks.

To boost whole grains, and to further thicken soup add 1 cup quick oatmeal in final 10 minutes of cooking. Puree soup with hand immersion blender.

To give a Mediterranean twist, add 1 pound scallops or cut up firm white fish.

To cut saturated fat, puree 1 can low sodium corn with 1/2 cup nonfat or low-fat milk until creamy. Substitute for cream.

To cut sodium, prepare with low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.

Indiana Harvest Sausage Lentil Soup

To boost vegetables, add 2 cups chopped kale, spinach, or mushrooms in final 30 minutes of cooking time.

To boost fruit, add 3/4 cup raisins or 1 diced apple with tomatoes.

To go Vegetarian, (see Vegetarian Variation on package or website) substitute bell pepper, onion, zucchini, and eggplant for sausage and omit Parmesan cheese when serving.

To cut saturated fat and sodium, halve the amount of sausage and prepare with low-fat, lower sodium chicken sausage as substitute for Italian pork sausage, or substitute 1 pound extra lean ground turkey or beef plus ½ teaspoon each salt-free garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper, or go Vegetarian.

To cut sodium, prepare with no salt added canned diced tomatoes and low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.

Little Italy Wedding Soup

To boost vegetables, add 1 1/2 cups chopped patty pan squash or yellow squash with escarole. To vary vegetables, substitute 1 bulb chopped fennel for onion.

To boost whole grains, add 1/2 cup whole grain farro when adding broth. Look for whole grain farro versus pearled farro which is not whole grain. Serve with crusty whole grain bread.

To go Vegetarian, prepare with 1 medium onion, 1 pound fresh or frozen cut up butternut squash, and 3 minced garlics cloves as substitute for the sausage. In a 6-8 quart pot, first sauté vegetables in oil along with bread crumb mixture and Little Italy Wedding Soup larger soup vegetable seasoning packet for 3-5 minutes; eliminating the need to prepare the meatballs. Add broth and bring to boil, and simmer for 20 minutes before adding tiny pasta and escarole.

To give a Mediterranean twist and to cut sodium, top each serving with 1 tablespoon chopped, unsalted pecans as substitute for optional Parmesan cheese.

To cut saturated fat and sodium, halve the amount of sausage and prepare with low-fat, lower sodium chicken sausage as substitute for Italian sausage, or substitute 1 pound extra lean ground turkey plus 1/2 teaspoon each salt-free garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper, or go Vegetarian. For ease of preparation, crumble and sauté sausage or ground turkey first, along with bread crumb mixture eliminating the need to prepare the meatballs. If using optional Parmesan cheese, sprinkle on just a tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese for each serving. Or instead of Parmesan cheese, garnish each serving with 3 or 4 fresh basil leaves.

To cut sodium, prepare with low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.

Louisiana Red Bean Gumbo

To boost vegetables, add 2 cups fresh or frozen chopped okra or fresh or frozen wax beans, with rice packet in the mix.

To go Vegetarian, omit meat, and substitute 1 chopped bell pepper, 1 medium chopped onion, 1 small chopped zucchini for sausage. Sauté vegetables in oil with seasoning packet.

To cut saturated fat and sodium, halve the amount of sausage and prepare with low-fat, lower sodium chicken sausage as substitute for sausage or ham, or substitute 1 pound extra lean ground turkey or pork plus either 1/2 – 1 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper spice or 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or go Vegetarian. Prepare with chicken without skin rather than duck. For the Inventive Variations suggestion on the package and website, substitute vegetable oil for the butter.

To cut sodium, prepare with low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.

Michigan Ski Country Chili

To boost vegetables, add additional can no salt added tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups fresh diced bell peppers, and 1/2 cup chopped carrots with the soup mix.

To go Vegetarian, substitute 1-2 boxes frozen or 1 pound fresh cut up butternut or acorn squash for meat.

To give a Mediterranean twist, top each serving with 2 teaspoons unsalted sunflower seeds.

To cut saturated fat, prepare with 1lb. extra lean ground chuck and 1/4 pound extra lean pork, or go Vegetarian. At serving time, blend scallions or cilantro with nonfat, plain Greek yogurt and use as topping instead of sour cream, chips or cheese.

To cut sodium, prepare with low sodium canned diced tomatoes or diced fresh tomatoes and prepare with low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.

To cut added sugar, prepare with 1 tablespoon instead of 2 tablespoons brown sugar.

Minnesota Heartland 11-Bean Soup

To boost vegetables, add additional can tomatoes and/or add 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen halved Brussel sprouts or green beans in final 5 minutes of cooking time.

To go Vegetarian, omit meat, and add 1 chopped red bell pepper, 1 large, diced eggplant, and 2 additional cloves of minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon oregano. For recipe directions: Rinse, drain and pick over beans. Place beans in a 6-8 quart pot, reduce water to 8 cups and add bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 3 or more hours. Add all vegetables to pot, bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Remove bouquet garni before serving.

To cut saturated fat and sodium, halve the amount of sausage and prepare with low-fat, lower sodium chicken sausage as substitute for sausage and ham hock, or substitute 1 lb. extra lean ground turkey or pork plus 1/2 teaspoon each salt-free garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper, or go Vegetarian. Remove any skin from chicken breast.

To cut sodium, omit salt, prepare with no salt added canned diced tomatoes or diced fresh tomatoes. For the Vegetarian Variation suggestions on the package and website, substitute 1-3 teaspoons chipotle chile pepper spice for the barbecue sauce, and prepare with brown basmati rice and wild rice blend.

Nebraska Barnraising Split Pea Soup

To boost vegetables, add 1 1/2 cups chopped leeks with soup mix, and/or 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen green beans or green peas in final ten minutes of cooking.

To boost whole grains, serve soup with crusty whole wheat bread instead of croutons.

To go Vegetarian, substitute for the bacon and ham bone, 1/3 cup chopped onions, 1/3 cup carrots, 1/3 cup celery, and 4 minced, garlic cloves. In recipe directions, simply skip step 2 and 3.

To cut saturated fat and sodium, halve the amount of bacon and prepare with lower sodium, bacon as substitute for regular bacon and meaty ham bone, or substitute 1/2 pound extra lean ground turkey plus either add 1/2 -1 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper spice or 1/2 teaspoon chili powder , or go Vegetarian.

To cut sodium prepare with low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.

New York Corner Cafe Minestrone Soup

To boost vegetables, add 1 large chopped fennel bulb with the tomatoes and Brussel sprouts, and/or add 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas in final 5 minutes of cooking.

To go Vegetarian, omit bacon and prepare with vegetable broth, and add 3 cloves minced garlic and 2 cups finely chopped parsnips. In recipe, skip bacon directions and sauté onion in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat in a 6 quart pot for five minutes. Stir in garlic with vegetable packet.

To give a Mediterranean twist, substitute 1 pound scallops or firm white fish for bacon, and add in final 10 minutes of cooking.

To cut saturated fat and sodium, halve the amount of bacon and prepare with lower sodium, turkey bacon as substitute for bacon, or substitute 1/2 pound extra lean ground turkey plus 1/2 teaspoon each salt-free garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper, or go Vegetarian or go for a Mediterranean twist. Garnish each serving with 3 or 4 fresh basil leaves rather grated Parmesan cheese, or sprinkle on just a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese per serving.

To cut sodium, prepare with no salt added canned diced tomatoes or diced fresh tomatoes, and prepare with low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.

Ohio Valley Vegetable Soup

To boost vegetables, add 1 1/2 cups yellow summer squash and/or 1 1/2 cups celery with pasta for final ten minutes of cooking.

To go Vegetarian, skip turkey or substitute 14 ounces extra firm tofu (drained and crumbled) for turkey and prepare with vegetable broth.

To cut saturated fat, use 3 tablespoons olive oil to sauté garlic.

To cut sodium prepare with low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.

Pacific Northwest Squash and Lentil Soup

To boost vegetables, add 2 cups chopped carrots with the squash.

To cut saturated fat, use 2 tablespoons vegetable oil instead of butter to sauté onion and butternut squash and carrots.

To cut sodium prepare with low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.

To cut added sugars, prepare with 100% orange juice and go for mandarins canned or packed in 100% juice or water. Like adding wine to a stew, orange juice adds a touch of sweetness.

Texas Wrangler Black Bean Soup

To boost vegetables, add 2 cups fresh or frozen, chopped carrots or sweet potatoes in final 30 minutes of cooking before pureeing the soup.

To boost fruit, add 1 1/2 cups fresh orange segments or mandarin oranges canned or packed in 100% juice or water.

To give a Mediterranean twist, top each serving with 1 tablespoon unsalted cashews.

To cut sodium, omit the salt and prepare with low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.

To cut added sugars, prepare with 100% orange or grapefruit juice. Like adding wine to a stew, orange juice adds a touch of sweetness.

Vermont Farmhouse Apple Sausage and Bean Soup Mix

To boost vegetables, add 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen, diced butternut squash or shredded green cabbage when adding apple pieces.

To boost fruit, prepare with 2 large diced apples.

To go Vegetarian, substitute 1 diced medium eggplant, 1 chopped small onion, and 3 minced garlic cloves for sausage.

To cut saturated fat and sodium, halve the amount of sausage and prepare with low-fat, lower sodium chicken sausage, or substitute 1/2 pound extra lean ground turkey plus either 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper spice or 1/2 teaspoon each salt-free garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper, or go Vegetarian. To make spicy, add 1 finely chopped small hot chili pepper, such as a jalapeno or serrano chili pepper, when adding drained beans, broth and apple pieces. Or add 1-3 teaspoons curry powder.

To cut sodium prepare with low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.

Wisconsin Lakeshore Wild Rice Soup

To boost vegetables add 1 1/2 cups chopped celery and/or 1 1/2 cups bok choy with the peas or asparagus in the final 10 minutes of cooking.

To give a Mediterranean twist, add 1/2 cup sliced, blanched, unsalted almonds in final 5 minutes of cooking.

To cut saturated fat, use vegetable oil rather than butter to sauté vegetables. Remove any skin from chicken.

To cut sodium prepare with low sodium broth. To cut sodium further, substitute water for half of the broth.

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