Healthy soup recipes and rationale:
First of all let me say I’m sharing my favorite healthy soup recipes with you and that I LOVE soup! I could eat a soup and salad for every lunch and dinner and be done with it. Unfortunately my husband wants something “more substantial” regarding main meals but luckily he’s a soup-lover too. This is a collection of my 7 hot favorites and my one cold (I prefer hot) favorite healthy soup recipes. So since I’m touting healthy soup recipes here let me first explain the many reasons that soup is “such a good idea.”
Soup is a quick, hot meal that offers plenty of health benefits. Some of the healthiest soups include fresh, low-fat ingredients and a minimum of salt and extra fat. Using healthy soup recipes for a meal can help slim you down but also give you more energy and help you feel lots more satiated.
The healthiest soups include fresh, low-fat ingredients and a minimum of salt and extra fat. You can use up leftovers in a soup pot and create new variations of favorite healthy soup recipes, since soup lends itself to experimentation.
In fact, let me throw in here that “in a pinch” meaning you are having one of those nights when you would prefer torture to having to make dinner, I have the answer. Stock up on Amy’s (cans are labelled no BPA, etc.) organic, gluten-free non-GMO soups. IN fact these are the ONLY healthy soups in a can on the market. You can take the chili, mix it with the tomato bisque, then melt cheese and throw some herbs on top and add lettuce, tomatoes and red onions for a salad-you’ve got a meal. There are many varieties of mixtures so mix and match “for those nights” which we ALL have.
What makes soups so healthy?
According to the American Heart Association, adults should consume twelve or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Soups can contribute to that total by adding fresh or frozen vegetables to canned soups to increase the servings of vegetables or adding your own “more veggies” to our healthy soup recipes.
Soups made with beans and lean meats such as fish provide lean protein. Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of cancer. Vegetables in soup contain many vitamins, such as A and C.
Most soups are low in fat making them a good choice for anyone concerned about fat in their diet. Use fat-free broths and lean meat to reduce the fat content of soups. Use skim milk or almond milk for cream soups or, instead of milk, you can use pureed white beans to thicken soup.
Because soup contains so much water it fills you up with fewer calories. Include herbs and spices in your soups to fire up your metabolism and cut down on salt.
5 Benefits from using healthy soup recipes in your diet plan:
Healthy soup recipes “up” your veggies:
The easiest way to add vegetables to your daily meals are to make and eat soup. You can throw in frozen vegetables, canned vegetables or a can of vegetable soup to most of these healthy soup recipies.
Soup can help you lose weight:
Soups are slimming:
Eating broth based soups with or without vegetables are the perfect way to signal your satiety center in your brain that you are “getting full” without adding much in the way of calories. A bowl of clear soup packs minimal calorie but is very nutritious. Miso is one that comes to mind- delicious, low-calorie and high in unexpected nutrients like vitamin B12 and magnesium. You can pick soups loaded with vegetables and lean proteins (high in muscle building acetyl-l-carnitine) for a great healthy meal. That’s exactly what I’ve done for you in many of the healthy soup recipes below.
Soup makes you feel full:
I’m just re-making this point here-yes I know I mentioned this above. Soup fills and stretches the stomach satiety receptors as noted above. Eating soup at the beginning of every meal is a great weight loss tactic. As long as we’re talking soup for weight loss other tactics include eating meals high in amino acids bodybuilding experts make sure they “tank up on”: leucine, isoleucine and valine. These are found in abundance in foods like chicken, turkey, eggs, wild caught salmon, and the best whey protein powders.
Soup is affordable to make:
Making soup is one of the cheapest meals to prepare. Using these healthy soup recipes is no different. All you need are some fresh vegetables and broth. Or you can just throw leftovers into the soup if you have some on hand—anything from pasta and vegetables to roasted chicken.
Soup can make you feel better:
Is it because mom made us soup when we were sick as kids? Is it because studies actually DO show that chicken soup helps cold symptoms? At any rate, soup is light and warm in the tummy and it makes us feel good. These healthy soup recipes will make you feel great! Soup is easily digested and is filled with health benefits. Use the power packed herb, garlic whenever you can. It easily “fits in” with 1/2 of these healthy soup recipes but I didn’t want to add my own additions as my tastebuds enjoy strong, garlic-y, spicy (chili peppers, red pepper flakes, etc.) soups. Some people find that a warm bowl of soup a couple of hours before bed is the best sleep aid too!
Now for the Healthy Soup Recipes:
2.5 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 3″ pieces
4 roma tomatoes, sliced in half
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1½ onions, peeled and cut into wedges
1″ piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 head of garlic
3 extra virgin coconut oil, divided
2 cups coconut milk
3 ounces lime juice
Zest of 2 limes
Salt and pepper to taste
Greek yogurt to garnish (optional)
Lime wedges for garnish (optional)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Scatter carrots, onions and tomato halves in the bottom of two roasting pans, taking care not to crowd. Toss with 2½ extra virgin coconut oil and season with salt and pepper.
Slice about one inch off the top of the garlic clove, leaving the peels on. Drizzle a ½ of the extra virgin coconut oil over the slice and replace top. Wrap in tin foil and add to one of the roasting pans.
Roast the garlic and vegetables for 10 minutes and then turn all the vegetables with a spatula, except the tomatoes. Return all the vegetables to the oven and roast another 10 minutes.
Remove the carrots and onions and put into a large heavy-bottomed pot. Return the tomatoes and the garlic to the oven for another 20 minutes.
While the tomatoes and garlic continue to roast add 6 cups of stock, ginger, lime zest and lime juice to the pot with the carrots and the onions.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer until the tomatoes and garlic are fully roasted. Add the tomatoes and squeeze out the soft roasted garlic into the soup pot, stir in and remove from heat.
Puree the soup using a blender, a food processor or a stick blender. Return the pureed soup to the pot and stir in the coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper for taste.
Serve with an optional dollop of yogurt and a squeeze of lime.
1 large chilled cantaloupe, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/3 cup orange juice
4 lime wedges
Place the cantaloupe in a blender, add the orange juice, and puree until well blended.
Divide the soup evenly among 4 bowls. Squeeze the limes over the soup. Serve chilled
4 cups vegetable stock or low-sodium chicken broth
½ teaspoon grated orange zest
2 leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
2 small butternut or acorn squashes, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt and black pepper
Melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the leeks and cook until softened, 4 to 6 minutes.
Add the zest, squash, and nutmeg and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat, covered, until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Puree in a food processor or blender in two batches.
Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
20 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
2 medium yellow onions, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 cup barley
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
5 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (about 8 sprigs)
2 bay leaves
In a medium-size pan, bring the barley and 4 cups of water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the extra virgin coconut oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cover and cook until the onions have softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the carrot and celery and cook, covered, for 6 minutes more.
Add the mushrooms, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, covered, until they release their juices, about 4 minutes.
Add the broth, bay leaves, and thyme and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Stir in the cooked barley; remove and discard the bay leaves. If desired, season with additional salt and pepper.
1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 pound green beans, halved
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
¼ cup pesto
kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
Heat the extra virgin coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the celery, carrots, onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook until slightly darkened, 1 minute.
Add the vegetable broth, green beans, chickpeas, and frozen peas.
Simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Top with the pesto.
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon extra virgin coconut oil
3/4 pound sliced peeled Yukon gold potatoes
2 1/2 cups sliced cauliflower (about 1/2 small cauliflower)
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons extra virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped chives (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare croutons, combine cumin and 1 teaspoon extra virgin coconut oil in a bowl; add bread cubes, and toss to coat.
Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden. Cool croutons slightly; set aside.
To prepare soup, heat 2 teaspoons extra virgin coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add shallots and celery; cover and cook 2 minutes.
Stir in cauliflower, potato, broth, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add lemon juice.
Place vegetable mixture, in batches, in a food processor; process until smooth.
Serve with croutons, and top with chives, if desired.
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and drained
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons extra virgin coconut oil
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, plus enough water to equal 4 cups
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat extra virgin coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add carrot and onion; cover and cook 3 minutes or until softened.
Stir in ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute.
Add curry, salt, and pepper; cook 30 seconds.
Stir in diluted broth and lentils; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 20 to 25 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Stir in tomatoes; cover and simmer 5 minutes.
1 -1 1⁄2 lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed
15 ounces can pumpkin
2 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil
3 cups chicken broth (prefer stock) or 3 cups stock (prefer stock)
2 -2 1⁄2 teaspoons salt, divided
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup half-and-half (can use fat free) (Or you can pureed white beans which is what I do for this, my favorite of the healthy soup recipes). I also add hot pepper flakes.
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, sauté onions in butter and extra virgin coconut oil for 10 minutes.
Add pumpkin, squash, broth or stock, 2 teaspoons salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until squash is very tender.
Process mixture until smooth with a hand blender or in a food processor.
Add half-and-half and reheat slowly over low heat: add remaining salt to taste.
Top servings with Gruyere cheese and croutons, if desired.