Seasonal Flavors with MVP Health Care: Hearty & Healthy Soups


As temperatures begin to drop, what could be better than finishing the day with a warm bowl of hearty soup? In this month’s virtual Seasonal Flavors hosted by St. John’s and MVP Health Care, we dived into three hearty and healthy soup recipes perfect for a cozy night in. St. John’s Meadows Chef Mike Schnupp walked a group of over forty virtual participants through each step in the recipes, making sure to answer any questions and discussing potential ingredient substitutions so you can make the recipes your own.

To learn make Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, Mushroom Lentil Barley Stew, or Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple, and Red Lentil Soup for yourself, check out the recipes below. Stay tuned for more upcoming Seasonal Flavor programs such as the festive holiday appetizers session on December 2. To register, call Stephanie Krebbeks at 585-242-7005.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Serves: 6


  • ¼ pound orzo pasta
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • 1½ carrots, chopped, or more to taste
  • 1½ ribs celery, chopped
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pinch of salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ bay leaf
  • 32 ounces fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • ¼ pound cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 8 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • ½ lemon, sliced for garnish (optional)
  • 1½ Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook orzo in the boiling water until partially cooked through, but not yet soft, about 5 minutes; drain and rinse with cold water until cooled completely.
  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir carrots, celery, and onion in hot oil until the vegetables begin to soften and the onion becomes translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Season mixture with thyme, oregano, black pepper, and bay leaf; continue cooking another 30 seconds before pouring chicken broth into pot.
  • Bring the broth to a boil. Partially cover the pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir orzo, lemon juice, and lemon zest into the broth; add chicken. Cook until the chicken and orzo are heated through, about 5 minutes. Add baby spinach; cook until the spinach wilts into the broth and the orzo is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with lemon slices and Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Information: Calories 91.4 per serving, Total Fat 1.5 g (Saturated 0.4 g,

Polyunsaturated 0.2 g, Monounsaturated 0.6 g), Total Carbohydrates 12.3 g (Dietary Fiber 1.6 g,

Sugars 2.2 g), Cholesterol 12.7 mg, Sodium 140.2 mg, Protein 7.0 g



Mushroom Lentil Barley Stew

Serves: 8


  • 2 quarts low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups fresh button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 ounce dried shitake mushrooms, torn into pieces
  • ¾ cup uncooked pearl barley
  • ¾ cup dry lentils
  • ¼ cup dried onion flakes
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried summer savory
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Ground black pepper to taste


  • In a slow cooker, mix the broth, button mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, barley, lentils, onion flakes, garlic, savory, bay leaves, basil, and pepper.
  • Cover and cook 4 – 6 hours on HIGH or 10 – 12 hours on LOW.
  • Remove bay leaves before serving.


Nutrition Information: Calories 127.3 per serving, Total Fat 0.2 g (Saturated 0.0 g,

Polyunsaturated 0.1 g, Monounsaturated 0.0 g), Total Carbohydrates 27.4 g (Dietary Fiber 8.6 g,

Sugars 3.4 g), Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Sodium 96.5 mg, Protein 7.3 g



Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple, and Red Lentil Soup

Serves: 6


  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ cup red lentils
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ cup plain, non-fat yogurt


  • Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Place the chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, apple, and onion in the pot. Stir and cook the apples and vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir the lentils, ginger, ground black pepper, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and vegetable broth into the pot with the apple and vegetable mixture. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.
  • Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and pour into a clean pot. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender and puree the soup right in the cooking pot.
  • Return the pureed soup to the cooking pot. Bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes. Add water as needed to thin the soup to your preferred consistency. Serve with yogurt for garnish.

Note: This soup is also great served with crumbled feta cheese instead of yogurt as a garnish


Nutrition Information: Calories 194.0 per serving, Total Fat 8.0 g (Saturated 4.9 g,

Polyunsaturated 0.4 g, Monounsaturated 2.0 g), Total Carbohydrates 29.2 g (Dietary Fiber 7.9 g,

Sugars 10.1 g), Cholesterol 20.6 mg, Sodium 193.8 mg, Protein 5.7 g


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