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    • #32075
      Jen Cueva

      Fall has arrived- well, for most of you. Here in Texas, it is about 90 degrees and humid. Despite that, it is October, and I love eating soups and pot of beans as the weather cools off.

      Actually, I enjoy soups year-round. Manny, my hubby, can do without soups unless it is cooler or rainy.

      One of my favorite soups is homemade chicken tortilla soup. I use my instant pot for the chicken and, at times, the soup, too. This recipe is similar to what I make. I use low sodium chicken broth and black beans. I also rinse my canned beans.

      I add some veggies to mine sometimes, like carrots, onions, and whatever I ma have extra that I can add. Corn is not my favorite, but I do add that at times, too. I use frozen if I do.

      I am sharing this recipe that will start you off. Feel free to add or omit ingredients as your diet and taste requires.

      I top mine with slices of diced avocado, pico de gallo, monterey jack cheese (a little, well, a tad more), and tortilla strips. I baked these if I had tortillas. If not using a few lower sodium tortilla chips and crushing them up.

      Now, as I typed this, I am craving this soup. But I picked up my grocery order today and did not plan to make this.

      Do you have a favorite soup or bean recipe that you adjust for lower sodium restrictions? If so, tell us about it and share a recipe.

    • #32077
      Jimi Mcintosh

      Now, I am really hungry, a good soup and a pot of beans.  I love pinto and reds beans with a juicy ham-hock, carrots, crushed tomatoes, chopped onions and corn bread. It is not on my low sodium diet but dreaming of it is filling. I cook it, watch the family enjoy while sipping my “wish it was meat” vegetable soup

      • #32090
        Jen Cueva

        Hi @jimi, I also enjoy beans when it’s cooler out. I have some baby lima beans to make one day here soon. I use turkey instead of ham and also like to use carrots, onion. I also have had them with ham hocks, much better as far as flavor. But I like extra garlic, so that adds to mine, too.

        Oh yes, cornbread goes great with beans and rice. But if we have rice, we do without the cornbread. I do miss it, though, LOL.

        I do enjoy vegetable soups and stews, too. My momma always makes the best; mine never tastes as good as hers, LOL

      • #35989
        Colleen Steele

        @jimi haven’t heard from you in a while and since we are talking soup again, thought I would check-in and see if you have discovered any delicious low-sodium recipes. Also hope to hear an update on how you are doing.

    • #32081
      Colleen Steele

      Have you been reading my mind again @jenc? I’ve been craving homemade soup but Brian and the boys aren’t big soup eaters. They like soup but not to the point of really craving a bowl of anything like I often do.

      My all time favorite soup is my dad’s homemade chicken noodle soup. I can make it but for some reason it never tastes as wonderful as when my dad makes it.

      Brian loves split pea soup and ham…I do not. We all enjoy clam chowder but have never made it homemade. And we all like the old comfort meal of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.

      Chili anyone? That is something we make A LOT during the winter. We make two crock-pots of it at a time because it goes fast in our house. Fun fact…Brian’s very spicy chili is what I craved when pregnant with Aidan. He was born with a full head of blond hair with cowlicks sticking out everyone. The doctor laughed and my husband told him it was because of all the chili I had eaten. LOL!

      • #32091
        Jen Cueva

        So funny story @colleensteele, as you know, my momma came to visit some today. She wanted to be lunch and asked what I wanted. I told her not much as I had not had much of an appetite.

        She shows up with Panera chicken tortilla soup, broccoli cheddar soup, lightly salted crackers, chai lattes, and pumpkin muffins. LOL

        Of course, I chose the tortilla soup; we both had that one and. a few crackers. I ate a bite of my muffin and let Manny have it when he came in., What part of not eating much did she miss? Too funny.

        Yes, I make chili often when it is cooler. About once or twice per month. Unlike the authentic Texas chili, I do like beans in my chile. I like it hot and add a variety of pinto, kidney, or black beans.

        What does Brian add to his spicy chili? Any certain chiles? I usually added serrano and jalapeno but have used habanero a few times.

        Your dad’s chicken noodle soup sounds like my mom’s vegetable soup. I now cook more than she does, but still, hers tastes better.

        I am no fan of split pea soup but like other peas and beans.

        • #32459
          Joyce Sandberg

          Try this italian hearty comfort soup:

          Hot italian sausage, cut each link in thirds.  Saute olive oil sausage, add garlic, add a container of chicken broth add in escarole or spinach, or both.

          Serve with grated parmesan and a glass of red wine.  Enjoy!

        • #32465
          Jen Cueva

          Hi @joyce-sandberg, this sounds like a simple soup to make. Do you use low sodium broth? I know some have more issues with sodium more than others.

          Red wine, huh? I react to red wines. I think it is the tannins. But I do like a glass of white wine occasionally.

          Thanks for sharing. Have you made this lately? I hope that you are doing well.

    • #32087
      Susi Steppins

      @jenc the chicken tortilla soup sounds delicious.

      I will have to try it soon.

      I love soups.

      I have confessed here a couple of times that I have trouble with the low sodium recipes and always want to add salt.

      Soup is no exception.

      I just made chili last night and it was delicious.

      I must say that I sort of have a little contest against myself to see if I can do better than the last time and I did!

      I really love to cook and enjoy making homemade anything.

      Now that it has become more difficult for me I try to find short cuts.

      But, my daughter bought me a stool that is the perfect height for me to rest on when needed while I am cooking.

      I love making green chili as well with a pork roast.

      Bring on the cold weather!

      I love it.


    • #32092
      Jen Cueva

      Hi @s-steppins, oh, I add a little salt in my soups, but it is often not missed with the extra garlic and any toppings.

      Like you, I have a foldable stool that is perfect for my counter height. I can prep and cut with that and not stand so long. I also like to find shortcuts.

      I am not one to usually follow a recipe. I constantly tweak it to my likings and taste preferences. I also compete again myself. The only problem with this is I may have forgotten what all I added. That’s usually when Manny likes it the best, LOL.

      Cooking has always been something that I enjoy. It’s been less, but I have started trying to cook a bit more lately. We make simple dinners often.

      Manny said that I was killing myself in the kitchen, but I enjoyed it. I wanted to try 1-2 new dishes per week when I did pretty well before my COVID bouts and things. So now, a little more each time.

      What’s your favorite soup or soups? Or was that the green chile soup? OIs that with chicken or pork when you make it?

      There is a Mexican wedding soup; I believe the name. It has baby chicken meatballs, with rice or this tiny pasta, carrots, broth, and I forget what else. It’s been a while since I made that.

      I prefer broth-based versus cream-based soups most days. Tomato basil with a grilled cheese dunker is probably my most liked cream-based.

    • #32093
      Susi Steppins

      @jenc, I  just finished dinner and had won ton soup from PFChangs.

      I am a big fan of split pea soup, chicken vegetable soup and I make a delicious beef vegetable soup.

      The green Chile is made with pork and one of the best things about it is I usually get 3 meals out of it.

      Now that it’s just Brad and I leftovers are the norm.

      One of the things I often do to thicken soup is add some instant potato flakes. It adds a good flavor while it thickens.

    • #32095
      Jen Cueva

      Hi @s-steppins, I love wonton soup but limit that. I have low sodium, so when this happens, wonton soup, ramen, or pho. Those are all loaded with sodium. My kidney doc reminds me not to drink all of both. That’s the best part; I told him, LOL.

      Oh, I would love to hear what you put in your green chile. I am not a huge pork fan. I wonder if I could add chicken instead?

      Oh yes, vegetable beef soup is so yummy, too.

      Like you, it is just us 2, so leftovers are always available.

      I have heard others who add those potato flakes as a thickening agent. Speaking of, what about a potato soup or clam chowder?

    • #32457
      Mike Naple

      I love soup and stews, it is the best part of the colder months of the year and my favorite time to be in the kitchen. My partner TJ loves homemade beef stew. One of my favorites is homemade New England clam chowder. I like making soups and stews from scratch because you can control the amount of sodium in the soup. You can also add extra beans or other proteins to make the soup feel more like a main course. Honestly, I love a hearty soup as a main course.

      One of my go-to recipes is this Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili. It’s paleo and it’s packed full of vegetables. I use low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth and I amp up the spices, which helps me control the amount of sodium per bowl.


    • #32460
      Jen Cueva

      Hi @mike-naple, this looks delicious! I may have to try this one soon. Like you, this is a meal for meal. What do you top yours with?

      I love that you shared how you add flavor boost while controlling the amount of sodium. Do you rinse your canned beans?

      Like TJ, my hubby, Manny likes beef stew. That is one of my least favorites, honestly. But I do make it for him at times.

      Would you mind sharing your homemade clam chowder recipe? I had a PHriend who lived near Boston, and she gave me hers years ago. I hate that I misplaced it. I love clam chowder, too. That and a small side salad, yummy.

      I hope that you are doing well and enjoying the cooler temps.

      • #32463
        Mike Naple

        I usually only top my chili with some sour cream. If I have tortilla chips, I might crumble up a few to add a texture component. I drain the beans but I don’t always wash them. I’m not sure if I should always wash them or not.

        This is the base recipe I use for the New England Clam Chowder. Sometimes I will use coconut milk instead of heavy cream. Also, the recipe does call for bacon — what chowder recipe doesn’t — but that adds on the sodium. I will cook the four slices it calls for but then remove maybe two slices worth (to use for another meal) and that way you still get the bacon flavor without eating all the pork.

        My PH diagnosis has forced me to be more creative with flavors in the kitchen to ensure not everything I make is a sodium bomb. It’s a good thing I like to cook!

        Jen, I hope you’re settling in nicely in San Diego!


    • #32466
      Jen Cueva

      Cool, thanks for sharing this @mike-naple. I think your chowder recipes sound and look good. Yeah- it’s time for my lunch, LOL.

      Of course, what chowder is made without a tad of bacon?

      As far as the beans, I was always told to drain and rinse them. Most of the liquid is starch and sodium, and things that increase shelf-life. I also find better flavors if I rinse mine with cold water. Pre-PH, I thought that draining was enough, and I would rinse away flavor.

      Yes, cooking at home helps us control those sodium bombs. 😀 Speaking of that, so many pizza and brew places, I am happy that I can order an occasional slice.

      Are you going to come to SD for the holidays this year? I am enjoying SD and settling in well; thanks, Mike. I didn’t realize that you also enjoy cooking. Have a great weekend, my PHriend.

    • #32471
      Colleen Steele

      @mike-naple is nice to hear from you on the forums. Everyone, Mike is one of our PH columnists and they are always an excellent read! (Link provided below.)

      Mike, homemade New England clam chowder sounds amazing! I really enjoy it but I’ve never made it homemade. We did have homemade chili this week which really hit the spot during this chilly, rainy weather Seattle has been having.


    • #33495
      Jen Cueva

      Hey y’all, it’s going to be a wet and colder few days here in San Diego this week. This means I probably should make a bowl of warm soup. Have y’all made any tasty soups lately? Did you try a new recipe, or is this your go-to version each time you need a bowl of comfort?

      I have the ingredients to make chili but also thought of making a taco-inspired soup because it’s Taco Tuesday, hehe. Any ideas? I’ll be looking around Pinterest later today.

      What have you been eating lately that you’ve enjoyed? I love food and enjoy cooking when I’m feeling better. I am grateful that my cooking has been about 3-4 times per week. Although a few times, that means simple fixes. How about you?

      Let’s share some ideas and new recipes.

    • #33501

      Hi Jen! We love soups too and I can’t wait to try yours. I have many recipes, but I’ll share one I made last night: Creamy Broccoli Soup.  I don’t use heavy cream or milk to make it creamy (too much fat), so I simply roast a white sweet potato along with an onion, garlic and a bag of frozen broccoli. Then I blend it all together in low sodium chicken broth. Then I bring it to a low simmer in a pot and add favorite herbs (fresh or dried). The sweet potato acts as a thickener (like cream) and adds wonderful flavor and sweetness. I add a squeeze of lemon to mimic the taste of salt. It’s very filling with baguette bread slices and some grated parmesan sprinkled on top. Looking forward to your future contributions!

      • #33503
        Jen Cueva

        Hi @pmam2009, funny you mention it; I’ve never had a white sweet potato. But I do love broccoli cheese soups, and yes, they are full of fat usually. Your recipe sounds good. Plus, it makes me want to try the white sweet potato. I’ve used the usual sweet potatoes to thicken things before, so this interests me.

        Aww, nothing like a warm, comforting bowl of soup accompanied by a nice warm baguette- yum!

        I have yet to look on Pinterest, but about to start that now while I’m resting before dinner.

        Thanks for your tips. I’m grateful to see you join us here. IDK if I’ve met you at a PH conference or only on SM.

    • #33510
      Jen Cueva

      Last night, I created my taco-themed chili using ingredients on hand. I used lean sirloin, tri-colored beans, including pinto, kidney, black beans, extra spices, and jalapeno. I also added little roasted hatch chiles that I diced up. Of course, diced tomatoes were added, too.

      The toppings were what made it a bit more taco-inspired for me. I added some grated cheddar with Monterey jack mix, red onion, diced jalapenos, sour cream, and hot sauce. I used two corn tortillas and air-fried them to make a few tortilla chips to top with. Manny said it looked like a picture; sadly, he ate it so fast, I forgot that pic.

      But this is one of my favorite simple yet comforting soups that I enjoy if I am sick. I prefer to order it from a Greek restaurant, but making our own recipes help us watch the sodium content. Extra lemon for me, please.

      I also think the chicken pot pie soup featured at the bottom of this recipe sounds yummy. Plus, it has a cute little puff pastry to serve on top. I love a homemade chicken pot pie. How about y’all?

    • #33511
      Colleen Steele

      @jenc – Manny ate it so fast you forgot the pic LOL!!

      Well, now I’m craving chili. Might be what’s for dinner this weekend.

    • #33513
      Jen Cueva

      Hehe, @colleensteele, that was true. He grabbed his bowl, and after we blessed our food, he stirred his up and ate it all. Then ate a second serving. But the first one I made him looked like a pic, he said. But once he stirred it up and smashed it, it was too late for me to grab my phone.

      You will have to let us know what kind of chili you make- more importantly, the toppings, LOL. Do your guys like chili, or are they picky eaters?

    • #35870
      Jen Cueva

      After reading the topic about Fall, it reminded me of warm soups. Plus, I’ve wanted soups more lately. I find that soups and smoothies are easier for me to get nutrients in when I have problems chewing. Chewing can be exhausting when you are already experiencing SOB. Do you have these days?

      But then we have the issue of added fluids as smoothies and soups count toward my fluid intake. It’s a balance- I know many of you can relate.

      But I plan to make a soup this week in my Instapot that is freezer friendly. That way, I can freeze it in smaller portions for when I want soups. Does anyone here do this with your soups or other meals? I would think it’s helpful when cooking for 1-2 people.

    • #35960
      Debbie Moore

      My favorite soup to make is Pasta e Fagioli.  It is the one soup I make every year and love to serve it with Cheese Dreams (a twist on the grilled cheese sandwich).  I always have grand visions of making different soups all fall and winter.  I even collect recipes, and it never happens.  This year will be different.  Soup will be made.  Now that I’m not working I am giving myself all these challenges.  It is very exciting and, perhaps, very delicious!

      • #35994
        Jen Cueva

        Yummy, @debbie; I love pasta e Fagioli soup, too. What are these Cheese Dreams? What do you use to make them? How are they different from grilled cheese? I also enjoy an excellent crispy grilled cheese on sourdough.

        I look forward to hearing about all of your fall soups this year.

        • #36045
          Debbie Moore

          @jenc This is a Southern Living recipe (  It is different because you cover the outside of the bread too and then bake them.  Delicious.

          I just made a Past e Fagioli casserole for my in-laws.  Looked and smelled like the soup except you use penne instead of ditalini.

    • #35970

      Hi Jen,


      I’m glad to see this topic up again as Susie and I love making soups for dinner in Fall, Winter & Spring.  We like to use our instant pot, slow cooker and blender (for creamy soups) as well.  Never tried freezing soup as the leftovers don’t last long 😀

      Some tips: I use lemon juice in place of salt (never use salt), and for creamy soups I will roast a white sweet potato and blend it with my other ingredients.  The roasted sweet potato adds a perfect creamy texture and great sweetness, too.  We love making roasted, creamy soups with all kinds of vegetables.

      • #35988
        Colleen Steele

        @pmam2009 thank you for these tips! I am going to give them a try, especially that white sweet potato. I would have never considered it without your suggestion. How are you and Susie doing? Any special plans for the Fall?

        • #35992

          Hi Colleen, we’re doing well thank you! Susie and I have another little trip planned to the Central Coast next month.  We love to explore the farmers markets in the area and definitely looking forward to the cooler temps there. Best wishes to you and your family!

      • #35996
        Jen Cueva

        Hi @mrperry009, one of my favorite soups when I worked at a nursing facility was from a local family Italian joint. It was a cream of vegetable soup. But the best version was the one with carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. A bowl of that and a small thing of their fresh baked bread sounds amazing about now, hehe.

        Thanks for sharing your tips. I am looking forward to hearing about the soups you make this year—hugs to you and Suzie.

      • #36044
        Debbie Moore

        @pmam2009 – thanks for the tip with the lemon juice!  Love it!

    • #36048
      Debbie Moore

      I would love to make sopa de pollo.  I’ve had different ones at Mexican restaurants but my favorite has chicken, tomatoes, zucchini, onion and rice.  Any one have a great recipe for it?

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