Low Calorie Chicken Creole Soup

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chicken stew 1
There’s a wonderful kick to this fabulous, Southern, main course soup. The small amount of bacon adds a little smokey flavor. The heartiness comes from the bounty of chicken and assorted veggies. Each yummy, large bowl of soup has just 228 calories, 3 grams of fat and 6 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. Enjoy!


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes


Ingredients

2 slices of bacon, diced, see shopping tips

1 cup onions, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1 cup red bell pepper, diced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

¼ cup all purpose flour

4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth, I like Swanson’s

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice

2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 to 1½ teaspoons Tabasco sauce or hot sauce, to taste

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon sugar

1 bay leaf

2 cups cooked chicken breasts, diced, see shopping tip

4 cups fresh spinach


Instructions

1. In a large pot, cook bacon over medium heat until almost crisp. Stir often.

2. In the meantime, add onions, celery and bell peppers to a microwave safe bowl. Cook in the microwave for 3 minutes, to soften.

3. Add the softened vegetables and garlic to the pan of cooked bacon. Continue to cook for 3 minutes, stir often.

4. Whisk in flour; cook 2 minutes.

5. Stir in broth, tomatoes, vinegar or lemon juice, Worcestershire, Tabasco sauce, thyme, sugar and  bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken. Stir often.

6. Add in chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the spinach and mix well. Cook for 1 more minute.

Makes 4 main course servings. Each serving, 2 cups.


Food Facts
Common Creole ingredients are onions, celery, bell peppers, tomatoes and Tabasco sauce. Using broth as the base transforms it into a wonderful Creole soup.

Tabasco sauce is a popular brand of hot-pepper sauce, produced on Louisiana’s Avery Island.


Shopping Tips
I’ve combed the supermarket shelves looking for one of the leanest regular bacon choices and Oscar Meyer Center Cut Bacon is my favorite, compared to most regular bacon. It’s much lower in fat and calories, 3 slices contain 70 calories and 4.5 grams of fat. Once cooked on paper towels, most of the fat soaks into the paper, not in the bacon, so the fat is further cut down.

Trader Joe’s sells packages of cooked, sliced or chopped chicken breasts that are really tasty.  If you buy a cooked chicken from the supermarket, be sure to remove the skin before chopping and adding to this soup.


Weight Watchers (old points) 4
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 6

SKINNY FACTS: for a 2 cup serving
228 calories, 3g fat, 0g sat. fat, 0mg chol, 28g prot., 23g carbs, 4g fiber, 842mg sod, 8g sugar
FAT FACTS: the skinny and fat facts are the same for this recipe.