As the temperatures start cooling down there is nothing better than a hearty soup to warm your innards! Great soups can include rice and vegetable soup, stew (minus the potatoes and tomato sauce…check out this beef stew recipe from Davita.com), italian wedding soup,etc… Finding a lower sodium canned option can be challenging but is definitely possible. For this quick and easy soup we used the richness of roasted vegetables to make sure there was plenty of flavor but little sodium.
Garnishes for a Renal-Friendly Diet: In the original recipe, the soup was topped with roasted pumpkin seeds – not such a great idea if you’re watching the potassium and phosphorus diet. However, there are plenty of other great options to top your soups and salads.
“Garnishes to Avoid:” Some common “soup toppers” just don’t work for someone watching their sodium and potassium closely. Onion strings – bad idea, Texas Toast croutons – High in sodium for the quantity to need for a soup. One crouton usually just doesn’t cut it for several bites of soup. Seeds – High in potassium and high in phosphorus. Cheese- Phosphorus and sodium. For CKD patients you can get away with a small amount of swiss cheese (2 tbsp shredded) for a lower sodium option, and for a lower phosphorus option 1 tbsp Feta cheese. Make sure and get a good Feta cheese so that you have plenty of flavor.
Garnishes to Enjoy
- Low sodium crackers. Kudos to Nabisco for their line of “Hint of Salt” products. While not salty (obviously) they hold true the rest of the flavor and texture of their Wheat Thins, Triscuits, and Ritz. Some stores will carry lower sodium oyster crackers which can also be a great choice. Regular oyster crackers can run as much as 175mg sodium per serving, which is way too much, when you can Ritz for 40mg.
- Lower sodium croutons or homemade croutons. Homemade croutons are not hard to do and are by far the best and most flavorful way to add some crunch to your soups or salads. Dice your bread, toss with olive oil and your favorite herb blend, and roast at 400’F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown for a crunchy low sodium topping. I also found these in the store. Rolling in at 50mg sodium per 2 tbsp, you can enjoy a full serving on your soup without loading up on salt.
- Corn Chips: Low sodium corn chips (<80mg/serving….aka not regular Fritos or Doritos) can be fantastic topping for soups with southwestern undertones. Fritos actually makes a low sodium corn chip now which can be a great option.
- Vegetables. Roasted, sauteed, and fresh vegetables can make great garnishes for soup. Corn, peppers, slivered onions, and green onions can be a very flavorful topping for soup. Also consider trying diced jicama or water chestnuts for other unique flavors. Last, but not least, roasted, sliced garlic makes an incredible topping (just don’t over-roast it because it becomes bitter!).
- Fruit. Not many soups can be topped with fruit, but some can and go great with the sweet and crunchy contrast from diced apples or pears.
- Big Bam Flavor. Using highly flavored toppings in very small quantities can add a lot to a soup. Foods that typically would be avoided like cheese and bacon, can be added in very small amounts. For our soup we used a very small amount of extra-aged blue cheese. Wow! With the roasted flavor of the carrots and the tang of the blue cheese, this topping brought this soup from good to “Ooh-la-la- WOW!” We used a very small amount (<1 tsp, but it was enough. Another toppings like small amounts of crumbled bacon or crumbled sausage can go a long way to make your food super delicious without adding too much salt. Don’t forget seasoning blends like McCormick Perfect Pinch or Mrs. Dash that can also add a lot of flavor!
Kidney Grub Verdict:
Yes! This was good. With a touch of the blue cheese on top it was amazing! The croutons added a nice crunch and a swirl of sour cream made it pretty enough for company! Better the second day after it could sit and flavors could all melt together. AND, even better this can be a great vegetable based meal to cut back on some animal protein in your diet. Just a few culinary notes…peeling any winter squash is a pain. I usually pierce the skin and microwave it for a few minutes on a plate of water to soften the skin. Also, using frozen carrots can really help cut back even more on potassium and prep time. They roast just as well as fresh carrots, though much faster.
Roasted Carrot and Squash Ginger Soup
Serving Size 1 cup. Total Time 50 min. Active Time 10 min.
A hearty soup for those cold winter days. Great as a plant-based meal.
|3 cups||Carrots (can use fresh or frozen)|
|3 cups||Spaghetti Squash, peel and cubed|
|6 cups||Vegetable or chicken stock (not broth)|
|1 head||Garlic, wrapped in aluminum foil to roast|
|2 Tbsp||Ginger root, shredded|
|4 tbsp||Olive Oil|
|1 medium||Onion, yellow|
|½ tsp||Oregano, dried|
Preheat oven to 425’F. Cut spaghetti squash in pieces and carrots and toss with olive oil. Place carrots and spaghetti squash and wrapped garlic on pan and roast for about 30-45 minutes. When carrots and garlic have 5 minutes remaining, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot. Add onion, ginger and the rest of the spices. Cook for about 5 minutes until fragrant and soft. Squeeze the garlic into the pot and add the roasted carrots. Add the vegetable stock, cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and puree using an immersion blender or a regular blender. Reheat if necessary, season if needed. Possible toppings:Sour cream, toasted cumin seeds, green onions, bread croutons, small amount of aged blue cheese, small amount of bacon. Toppings are key to make the flavor in this soup pop! Can refrigerate up to 5 days.
Nutritional Info (per 1 cup serving, not including toppings): 106 calories, 11gm Carbohydrate (1 carb exchange), 6.5 gm Fat, 72 mg sodium, 2 gm Protein, 201 mg Potassium, 44 mg Phosphorus, 2.5 gm Fiber
Photo Credits: Rebecca Barksdale
Article: Jessianna Saville, MS, RDN, CSR, LD