The Energy Chef: Cooking Soup Con Sabor

Herb Mesa standing behind large cooking pots and in front of a hangling ladle

Photo by: Peter Thron

Peter Thron

Fall weather is here, and nothing makes me happier on a cold day (or any day, for that matter) than a bowl of soup. Soup can be the perfect healthy cool-weather meal: it's low-maintenance, chock-full of vegetables and can be low-calorie if you limit fatty ingredients and garnishes.

In Latin culture, soup is a staple, like my flavorful version of caldo callego made with kale, chorizo and white beans. We like to serve our soup with a lime wedge and a little hot sauce -- believe me, it makes the flavors pop!

Herb's Caldo Callego  (Kale and White Bean Soup)

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:
4 packets  powdered chicken bouillon or bouillon cubes
8 cups water
1 4-ounce link Spanish chorizo, sliced
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 turnips, peeled and sliced
1/4 pound smoked ham, diced
1/2 pound fresh kale, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
1 can (15.5 oz.) Cannellini beans, undrained
1/2 tsp.  adobo all-purpose seasoning with pepper

1 packet sazon without annato (available in the Latin section of most grocery stores)

Directions:

In a large pot on medium high, combine bouillon, water, chorizo, potatoes, turnips, ham, greens and onion. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 50 minutes. Stir in beans, adobo and sazon. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Nutrition Information Per Serving ( 1 1/3 cups each) :

Calories: 317
Total Fat: 7 grams
Saturated Fat: 2.5 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 46 grams
Protein: 16 grams
Sodium: 1348 milligrams
Cholesterol: 23 milligrams
Fiber: 8 grams

Next Food Network Star season 6 finalist Herb Mesa is a restaurant-trained chef, a self-taught healthy cuisine chef and a certified personal trainer. Herb teaches "balance through food and fitness," and works as a personal chef and trainer in Atlanta.

You Might Also Like:

Keep Reading

Next Up

The Energy Chef: Game-Time Snacks

Football season is under way, and most of us love to sit around and watch our favorite team play. We love eat to eat salty snacks such as chips, pizza, popcorn -- you get the picture. Let’s play with these favorites to avoid getting tackled by empty and high-caloric, fatty snacks.

The Energy Chef: Tailgate Favorites, Made Healthy

Who doesn't love a good, old-fashioned tailgate party? There's football, there's friends and of course, food. Typical football party foods can be super-high in fat and calories, but my lighter burgers and potato salad have all the classic flavor, without the guilt.

The Energy Chef: Tips For a Lighter Girls' Night

What is it about girls' night out that’s different from any other event? I've done my share of dinner parties where ladies love to eat, drink and be merry, but I still needed to do a little research on my own. I asked the ladies -- my clients, my wife, all my female friends. The answers were the same: Girls just want to have fun, with great food, great drinks and great friends. Luckily, you can do all that without going overboard -- here are my tips to avoid overindulging.

The Energy Chef: Herb Mesa's Back-to-School Bites

As the first day approaches, I start to think about the age-old question: What should I make them for lunch? I look at lunchtime as an opportunity to introduce them to healthy, delicious food combinations. Here's a peek at what I'm packing up for them.

On TV

The Pioneer Woman

9:30am | 8:30c

Cupcake Wars

10am | 9c

Cake Wars

11am | 10c

Cake Wars

12pm | 11c

The Pioneer Woman

1:30pm | 12:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

2:30pm | 1:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

3:30pm | 2:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

4:30pm | 3:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

5:30pm | 4:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

6:30pm | 5:30c

Chopped

7pm | 6c

Chopped

9pm | 8c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Beat Bobby Flay

10pm | 9c

Beat Bobby Flay

10:30pm | 9:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

11:30pm | 10:30c

Chopped

12am | 11c

Beat Bobby Flay

1:30am | 12:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

2:30am | 1:30c

Mystery Diners

4:30am | 3:30c

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.