From the AICR Test Kitchen
Week of April 16, 2012
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Contact: Alice Bender, (202) 328-7744

Make Do Veggie Soup

from the
American Institute for Cancer Research

We are all faced with time pressures, which affect our food choices. This make do soup helps you make more healthful choices even during busy times. You can even make the basic soup foundation and add in the veggies when needed to create a fresh versatile meal in a bowl.

The chicken broth forms a rich base. The light, buttery nature of the garbanzo beans readily absorbs the other flavors. They are nutrition powerhouses including lots of fiber and protein. The tomatoes, spinach and asparagus add color and nutrients like vitamins A and C.

Collard greens are low in calories, rich in vitamins A, C and K, and contain phytochemicals (plant substances) with potent anti-cancer properties. Collard greens originated in Eastern Europe and Asia Minor and are now grown in cooler temperate regions worldwide.

Getting your minimum daily servings of vegetables can be difficult. Fortunately, this recipe provides a way to help achieve that in a single dish. Soup is also a great way to stretch your food dollars by using leftover vegetables from your refrigerator. Keep some soup base on hand and you always can create the ultimate "make do" meal.

American Irish Stew

Make Do Veggie Soup

  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cups reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth (water may be substituted)
  • 1 can (15-oz.) no-salt-added garbanzo beans (or rinsed and drained if added salt)
  • 1 can (28-oz.) diced plum tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 tsp. Cajun spice mix, with no MSG
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley and cilantro, finely chopped, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • *1 cup cooked corn kernels
  • *2 cups cooked collard greens
  • *2 cups cooked spinach
  • *1 cup cooked asparagus, sliced into 1 pieces
  • Salt to taste

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally.

Add broth or water, beans, tomatoes, Cajun spice mix, 2 Tbsp. parsley and cilantro mix and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Cover pot, reduce heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add in cooked or freshly steamed vegetables. Warm through. Adjust salt to taste.

Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley-cilantro mix. Serve hot.

*For convenience you can make the basic soup (all the ingredients except the veggies) and store it (refrigerate or freeze). Then when ready to serve, just warm and add vegetables on hand to make a great soup, including greens, beans, carrots, celery, and broccoli. The list is almost endless, add whatever vegetables you have in your refrigerator or freezer.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 1 1/2 cup

Per serving: 178 calories, 4 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 30 g carbohydrate, 10 g protein,
8 g dietary fiber, 370 mg sodium.

Our Mission: The American Institute for Cancer Research champions the latest and most authoritative scientific research from around the world on cancer prevention and survival through diet, weight and physical activity, so that we can help people make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their cancer risk.

We have contributed over $105 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. Find evidence-based tools and information for lowering cancer risk, including AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention, at

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