The bitter cold that a polar vortex is pushing into much of the United States is not just another winter storm. It's the coldest in 20 years in many areas, and breaking records. New York City's certified nutritionist, fitness trainer and exercise physiologist Franci Cohen shares these warm winter soups to help you through this arctic weather.
1. Cozy and Comforting Chicken Soup
This is an Italian twist on the traditional kid-friendly chicken soup. Healthy, nourishing, and packed with flavor, this soup has no added salt, sugars, fats, or preservatives, and the occasional floating gnocchi adds a richness that warms the heart and body!
-6 leeks, cleaned well and diced
-6 carrots, peeled and sliced
-1 bunch fresh dill, cleaned
-1 bunch fresh parsley, cleaned
-6 chicken capons (chicken thighs with skin but deboned)
-4 white meat chicken capons (chicken breasts with skin but deboned)
-1 1/2 cups gnocchi
-3 boxes all natural, low-sodium chicken broth
-1 tablespoon canola oil
- In a large soup pot, sauté leeks in canola oil until translucent and tender
- Add carrots and sauté for 4-5 minutes more
- Place chicken capons skin-side-up on top of sautéed vegetables
- Place dill and parsley bunches on a mesh bag, tie a knot to keep any from leaking out during cooking, and place on top of chicken capons in pot
- Add 3 32 oz. boxes of chicken broth
- Cover pot with lid almost entirely, and put on high heat on stove until soup begins to boil
- Reduce heat and cook for 1 hour
- Uncover and remove pot from heat
- Take mesh herb bag out of pot, squeezing soup out into pot before discarding the herb bag
- Remove chicken pieces from pot, remove and discard the skin from each, and then break chicken meat into large pieces and return to pot
- Stir the pot of soup once or twice will a ladle to incorporate all flavors, and return pot to stove on high heat until soup boils
- Add gnocchi, and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes on medium heat
- Remove pot from stove and serve!
2. Winter Wonderland Pancakes
This recipe is truly the breakfast of champions, containing green apples and raw oats that are high in fiber, healthy protein from egg whites, vitamin C from the apple and orange juice, and a bit of calcium from the skim milk. All the elements of a perfect breakfast fused into one tasty, fluffy, apple cinnamon delight! No syrup necessary! The powdered sugar adds a warm wintery touch.
-1 cup raw oats
-6 egg whites
-1/4 cup skim milk
-2 tablespoons orange juice
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 shredded green apple
-Pam cooking spray
1. Mix all ingredients together (except powdered sugar and cooking spray).
2. Spray non-stick griddle with cooking spray, and heat on medium flame
3. Spoon 2 tablespoons batter onto griddle.
4. When pancake begins to bubble, flip
5. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
6. Repeat until batter is finished and all pancakes are done.
7. Put pancakes on a serving plate and dust generously with powdered sugar.
8. Serve warm
3. Corn and butternut squash chowder
This thick and rich chowder is filling and deliciously sweet enough to satisfy even picky eaters. The smooth-as-silk blended soup mixed with the chunky veggies yields a wonderful contrast that is quite pleasing to the palate on a cold winter day!
-2 tablespoons canola oil
-5 cup butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch squares
-1 large Spanish onion, chopped
-4 ears fresh corn on the cob, cooked and shucked
-1 teaspoon curry powder
-2.5 tsp kosher salt
-3/4 tsp ground black pepper
-1 32oz. box low-sodium vegetable broth
-1/2 cup heavy cream (or substitute with 1/4 lowfat ricotta cheese and 1/4 cup fat free sour cream)
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat
2. Add onion. Sauté until onion is soft and caramel in color-about 6-10 minutes.
3. Add squash, and sauté for 5-8 minutes more.
4. Add corn and curry powder, and cook for about 2-3 minutes more.
5. Add salt and pepper.
6. Add vegetable broth and simmer until squash is tender (about 20 minutes).
7. In a blender, blend half the soup until smooth. Return to pot and stir in cream
8. Cook on low flame for another 5 minutes until soup is heated thoroughly.
Franci Cohen is a personal trainer, certified nutritionist, exercise physiologist and creator of SPIDERBANDS®, a total-body cardio resistance workout.