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Souped Up: Healthy, Hearty Soup Recipes

Get ready to be bowled over. These seven filling and delicious soups and stews will satisfy your fall cravings -- without the fat and calories.
Meatball Escarole Soup Meatball Escarole Soup

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

1/2 pound 93 percent lean ground beef
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 cups packed shredded escarole, rinsed and drained
3 cans (14 ounces each) low-sodium chicken broth

1. Combine beef, 4 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, pepper, and eggs in a large bowl. Form into 24 meatballs, using about 1 level tablespoon for each.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add meatballs; cook on each side until nicely browned and transfer to a plate.
3. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot with the onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Stir in escarole; cook 3 minutes.
4. Add meatballs and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve soup with remaining Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Nutrition facts per serving: 205 calories, 15g protein, 15g carbohydrate, 10g fat (3g saturated), 4g fiber

Souper Satisfying
Soup's not just delicious and easy to make, it's a proven weight-loss aid. "Soups and stews are incredibly filling because of their very high water content," says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a FITNESS advisory board member. "That means you get full on fewer calories than if you eat something like, say, a casserole, which has much less water in it." In fact, people who have a bowl before a meal consume 20 percent fewer calories, research shows. Plus, many soups and stews are a mix of whole grains, lean protein, and vegetables, so you're able to get a complete meal (as much as two servings worth of veggies) in just one bowl.