Simple butternut squash soup is a perfect base for both creamy and crunchy toppers.
For Simple Butternut Soup:Combine 3½ pounds cooked peeled butternut squash; 4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth; 1 cup water; and ¾ teaspoon salt in a blender. Puree until smooth. Ladle soup into 8 bowls; top with one of these finishers.SERVES 8CALORIES 92; FAT 0.2g (sat 0g); SODIUM 294mg
FONTINA AND BASIL CROUTONSPreheat oven to 400°. Cut 3 ounces baguette into 8 (½-inch-thick) slices; rub each with sliced garlic. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; coat tops of bread with cooking spray. Bake 5 minutes, turning once. Combine 1/3 cup grated fontina cheese, 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh basil, and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper. Divide among toasted bread rounds. Bake 4 minutes.SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 crouton)CALORIES 41; FAT 1.5g (sat 0.9g); SODIUM 98mg
2 BEET CREAM WITH GOAT CHEESE AND CHIVESPlace ¼ cup pickled beets, 3 tablespoons light whipping cream, 3 tablespoons water, and ½ teaspoon honey in a blender. Process until smooth. Swirl 1 tablespoon cream into each bowl; top with 1½ teaspoons goat cheese and ½ teaspoon chives.SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 tablespoon beet cream, 1½ teaspoons goat cheese, and ½ teaspoon chives)CALORIES 33; FAT 2.4g (sat 1.6g); SODIUM 35mg
3 SPICED POPCORN AND BACONCook 1 bacon slice in a nonstick skillet until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings; crumble bacon. Toss 1 cup hot air-popped popcorn in reserved drippings with crumbled bacon, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, ½ teaspoon chili powder, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper.SERVES 8 (serving size: 2 tablespoons)CALORIES 37; FAT 2.8g (sat 1g); SODIUM 95mg
4 PARMESAN AND SHALLOT CRISPSPreheat oven to 300°. Sauté 1 large sliced shallot in 1 teaspoon olive oil until lightly browned. Grate 3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about ¾ cup) into a bowl. Spoon cheese into 8 equal mounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten mounds with the back of a spoon, and gently press shallot slices into each. Bake 20 minutes or until golden.SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 crisp)CALORIES 53; FAT 3.6g (sat 1.9g); SODIUM 163mg
5 CHIPOTLE KALE CHIPSPreheat oven to 425°. Toss 1 cup chopped kale leaves (stemmed) with 1 teaspoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder. Arrange kale on a baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes.SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 tablespoon)CALORIES 9; FAT 0.6g (sat 0.1g); SODIUM 66mg
6 ROASTED RED PEPPER AND CREAMPlace ½ cup bottled roasted red bell peppers, 1½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, and 1 garlic clove in a food processor; process until smooth. Drizzle 1 tablespoon puree over soup in each bowl; top with 1 tablespoon light sour cream and freshly ground black pepper.SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 tablespoon puree and 1 tablespoon sour cream)CALORIES 34; FAT 2.7g (sat 1.3g); SODIUM 30mg