Do you tend to eat a big dinner? Maybe even fill your plate up twice? Or have another snack later in the evening? If eating too much at dinner and through the evening hours is keeping you from slimming down, a simple solution may keep you trim.

It’s soup. Soup is warming, satisfying and filling, to help you stick to fewer calories.

All soups are not created equal. Try a bowl of broth-based soup like chicken and noodles, vegetable beef, tomato or even minestrone. Basically any soup without cream or cheese will have a slimming effect. Many soups are low in fat and cholesterol and provide many vitamins and minerals.

According to the latest weight-loss research, having a bowl of soup before a meal will cause you to eat significantly fewer total calories. In fact, people who had soup before the meal ate an average of 100 calories fewer than people who skipped the soup.

Soup is convenient so you can skip the fast-food lane. Soup is satisfying and might reduce your stress. Relax and savor the flavor. Chicken soup may even help you get over a cold. So have a bowl of soup today and one tomorrow.

Try the following recipe. It’s sure to warm you up and help slim you down!

Light and Hearty Broccoli Cheese Soup

Serves 6.

All you need:

2 cups chopped fresh broccoli

¼ cup diced green onion

1 cup water

1 can (14.5 oz) low-sodium chicken broth

1 bag (4 oz) Idahoan mashed potatoes

1½ cups skim milk

1 cup 2-percent-milk shredded cheddar cheese

black pepper to taste

All you do:

1. In a large saucepan, combine broccoli, onion, water and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

2. Stir in mashed potatoes until smooth.

3. Slowly stir in milk. Do not boil.

4. Add cheese and stir until smooth. Season with black pepper.

Daily nutritional values: 15 percent of vitamin A, 45 percent of vitamin C, 20 percent of calcium, 4 percent of iron.

Nutrition information, per serving: 140 calories, 18 g carbohydrate, 5 mg cholesterol, 0 g dietary fiber, 3 g fat, 10 g protein, 1 g saturated fat, 590 mg sodium, 5 g sugar.

Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location. The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at tshaffer@hy-vee.com.