What are the Health Benefits of Zucchini?
Our Chicken Zucchini Soup has 1.5 servings of vegetables; mostly coming from the zucchini. A favorite summer squash that is easy to grow and full of health benefits. Zucchini is a low glycemic food that is rich in vitamin B6 which can help regulate blood glucose. Also, lowers the risk of heart problems by promoting HDL (good cholesterol) and reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. These are just some of the health benefits of zucchini. Medicinenet.com has a really good article about zucchini that includes the nutritional breakdown of the veggie and more healthy benefits.
- Low Saturated Fat
- Low Sodium
- Low Carb
- High Protein
- Make Ahead Meal
Make Ahead Options
When making soup that you plan to freeze or even as a meal for later in the week, it’s best to slightly undercook any vegetables. We do the same in this recipe. Cook the veggies about 5-8 minutes less than the recipe. Then divide soup between six 3-cup containers. Let the soup cool; then seal and date the containers. Can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, or freeze 4-6 months. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. No need to thaw when reheating from the freezer.
Ingredients for Chicken Zucchini Soup
- Grapeseed Oil – Canola Oil or Avocado Oil work just as well.
- Onion – Brown or White
- Celery – I slice them, but you can also chop.
- Garlic – mince with a knife or a garlic press.
- Chicken Broth – Use reduced sodium. If you get the regular broth, omit the salt in the recipe.
- Carrots – sliced or chopped
- Cooked Chicken Breast – Rotisserie or try Salt Free Baked Chicken. It has less Sodium than Rotisserie Chicken and just as moist.
- The Spices – Dried Basil, Oregano, and Thyme.
- Zucchini – You need two large, or about 2 pounds. It’s faster to slice these, but a large spiral cut can imitate “noodles”.
The SMART Menu
What’s a SMART Menu? I call them smart because the Sodium and Fat (specifically Saturated Fat) are lower than most meals.
- Low Saturated Fat
- Low Sodium
- Low Carb
- Fast Carbs (FC) and Slow Carbs (SC) are balanced to keep blood sugars level.
- Food Groups give the meal variety.
Swap the Yeast Roll for:
- 1 slice (43-49 grams) Whole Wheat Bread
- 2 rolls (41 grams) Sister Schubert’s® Parker House Style Yeast Rolls
- 1 roll (43 grams) Sara Lee® Artesano™ Bakery Rolls
- 1 roll (40 grams) of either the Brown Bread or Whole Wheat from The Cheesecake Factory at Home™
Benefits of Homemade
The closest comparison I could find is Campbell’s® Well Yes!® Soup Roasted Chicken with Vegetable. The ingredients do include chicken, carrots, and zucchini. Plus, a lot more carbs with sweet potatoes, pasta, and corn. One 16.3 ounce can is one serving per the nutrition label, or about 2 cups. That serving size is comparable to the recipe, Chicken Zucchini Soup. However, there is a Big difference in Sodium. Our recipe has 252 milligrams per serving and the canned soup is a whopping 1,210 milligrams. I think we all know that “canned” products in general contain a lot of Sodium. Make this soup ahead and freeze single servings so you will have Lower Sodium choices.
Chicken Zucchini Soup
- 2 tablespoons Grapeseed Oil
- 1 cup Onion chopped
- 1 cup Celery chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 2 (32-ounce) boxes Low Sodium Chicken Broth
- 1 cup Carrots sliced
- 12 ounces Cooked Chicken Salt Free Baked Chicken or Rotisserie Chicken
- ½ teaspoon Dried Basil Leaves
- ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
- ¼ teaspoon Dried Thyme
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 pounds Zucchini sliced in half moons
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery. Cook and stir for 5 minutes, or until veggies are soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in broth, carrots, chicken, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add zucchini and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.
To Make Ahead:
- Step 1 - No change.Step 2 - Reduce simmer time to 15 minutes.Step 3 - Simmer 3-5 minutes.Package soup in six 3-cup containers. Let soup cool. Seal and label containers. Freeze 4-6 months. Refrigerate up to 5 days. Reheat in microwave or stovetop. No need to thaw frozen soup before reheating.