Creamy chowders can be a nutritional minefield. While omega-3 rich seafood is a heart healthy start, these soups often combine high fat dairy products like cream with potatoes, corn, and sometimes bacon. Delicious? You bet! But not something that you’d want to eat on a regular basis if you’re trying to slim down or keep your cholesterol in check.
My version uses skim “plus” milk, which is basically nonfat milk with added dry milk stirred into it. You can buy it under the names Skinny Cow, Over the Moon, Skim Plus, and Simply Smart. (They all taste equally good.) These milks have the advantages of tasting richer and creamier than normal skim milk, but still being lower in fat and calories than higher fat options. They also are higher in all the “good stuff”: “plus” milks contain up to 25% more protein and calcium than normal fat free milk. But the real perk is how rich they taste. With the additional creaminess of Laughing Cow Light cheese melted in, you’d never know this soup was so low in fat!
I also bumped up the amount of veggies included, and chose lower glycemic leeks, fennel, and celery for flavor over white potatoes and corn.
This hearty chowder is thick, chock full of protein, and amazingly low in fat given its rich flavor. Each serving is large enough to be a satisfying meal on it’s own. If you want it as a starter course or lighter meal, you can probably get 6 servings from it. Enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated margarine (such as Smart Balance Light)
- 1 leek, white and green parts, sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 4 ribs celery, chopped
- ½ tablespoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups skim milk “plus” (such as Skim Plus, Simply Smart, or Over the Moon)
- 8 ounces cod, raw (1/2 pound)
- 8 ounces raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (1/2 pound)
- 4 wedges Laughing Cow light cheese
- Heat the margarine in a large soup pot and add leek, fennel, celery, parsley and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until vegetables are tender.
- Add milk and cod to pot; bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer 5 minutes.
- Add shrimp to pot; simmer 5 minutes.
- Add cheese; stir continuously for 1 minute to melt. Remove from heat. Adjust salt to taste.
Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 297 calories, 5 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 113 mg cholesterol, 28 g total carbohydrate, 5 g dietary fiber, 34 g protein, 778 mg sodium.
Note: I’ve entered this recipe in the Foodbuzz Top 9 competition. If you like the recipe, I’d greatly appreciate your vote. If you have one moment, stop by and click “buzz it” in the upper right hand corner. Thank you very much for supporting me! – Georgie