Comfort in a bowl. That’s what I think of soup. By its very nature, soup is warming and satisfying. It is most often good for you too. Consider a report by the University of Iowa: Those that consume soup have a significantly healthier diet than those who skimp on soup. It has more fiber, protein, key nutrients, and less total fat.
Here are some reasons why soups are nutritious and delicious, perfect for winter:
- Quality ingredients: It’s easy to pack good-for-you whole foods into a bowl of soup, from any vegetable on the rainbow-colored spectrum to fiber-rich beans and grains. Even a simple chicken soup typically starts with a healthy base of onions, celery, and carrots.
- Naturally hydrating: Most soups have a base of broth (or even just water), making each bowl naturally hydrating. That’s a good thing, particularly for folks who find it hard to drink enough water during the day.
- On the lighter side: Rich cream-based soups aside, most soups are relatively low in calories. You can fill up on a big, nutrient-rich bowl without a huge calorie splurge.
To get you inspired by all the possibilities, I’ve curated nutritious and delicious soup recipes that are bound to fill your belly, soothe your soul, and make you feel good.
Banish any ideas you have about a dreary bowl of lentil soup. This one is jazzed up with caramelized onions, toasted tomato paste, and lots of veggies. The recipe makes a big pot, which is good news because you’ll want seconds. The soup freezes well for up to six months.
Black Bean Soup
A ham hock stews with the beans in this satisfying soup, lending a smokey flavor that balances nicely with tender sweet potatoes. Set out your favorite toppings, including sliced avocado, fresh cilantro, and sour cream and let everyone dress up their bowl just as they like it.
Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup
You may want to make this a winter staple; it’s so very scrumptious and simple. The foundation of the soup is roasted onions, garlic, and tomato puréed into a creamy base. From there, roasted root vegetables, white beans, and kale seal the deal. If you’re in the mood to make croutons, they will add a pleasing crunch to every bowl.
Pasta e Fagioli
This humble soup of beans, vegetables, and pasta, is an Italian classic. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity, though, since there is a reason it has stood the test of time. It’s plainly delicious, especially with a light shower of Parmesan cheese just before serving.Continue to 5 of 19 below.
Farro, Mushroom, and Spinach Soup
A warming bowl of farro with mushrooms is true comfort in the dead of winter. It’s thick and chunky, somewhere between a risotto and a soup. It would be delicious as is or topped with a jammy fried or poached egg.
Chinese Hot and Sour Soup
Chinese Hot and Sour Soup has a long history in traditional Chinese cuisine and there is no singular way to make it. This one is done with a variety of mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tofu, and a beaten egg. It’s spicy and sour with a lovely silky texture.
Creamy Tomato and White Bean Soup
You won’t find a drop of heavy cream in this creamy tomato soup. Instead, white beans give the soup its luscious texture—it has far less saturated fat and more fiber than your typical creamy soups. Even better? You can have this on the table in under 30 minutes.
Parsnip Soup with Leeks
Talk about a bowl of goodness! The vivid green is thanks to a whole lot of parsley that balances beautifully with earthy sweet parsnips and tender leeks. Add a drizzle of olive oil, black pepper, and a pinch of chives just before serving.Continue to 9 of 19 below.
Cream of Celeriac Soup with Brussels Sprouts Chips
A super creamy (but creamless) soup made with puréed celery root, cauliflower, almonds and garlic. It's so rich and velvety, no one will miss the dairy. Celery root is a large bulbous root vegetable with a mild, celery-like flavor. Find it alongside other root vegetables in the produce aisle.
Chipotle Pumpkin Soup
This is no ordinary pumpkin soup. You’ll get a taste of the southwest in every slurp thanks to the combination of chipotle, cumin, pepitas, crema, and cilantro. Make a double batch and freeze the leftovers. Your future self will thank you.
Tom Yum Soup (Spicy Thai Soup with Shrimp)
Let the flavors of Thailand tempt you with a recipe that’s easy enough for a weeknight meal. It’s a bright and spicy thanks to a generous dose of lime, chiles, and ginger. Make it with shrimp as directed or swap in shredded chicken.
Hearty Roasted Vegetable and Chicken Stew
This satisfying chicken soup might be just what the doctor ordered when the cold blows through. It’s thick and rich with big chunks of roasted carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms. Toss in some kale for an extra boost of nutrition and let the bright, warming blend of turmeric, cumin, and harissa keep you returning for more.Continue to 13 of 19 below.
Chicken Soup with Ginger and Shiitake Mushrooms
Mushrooms and ginger are a magical duo in this soothing chicken soup. It calls for bone-in chicken, which is part of what makes it so flavorful. Spoon it into shallow bowls over freshly steamed rice.
Lemon Chicken Chickpea Soup
There is no shortage of spunk in this Moroccan-inspired soup. It’s a lemony, studded with chickpeas, and seasoned with ginger and turmeric. Serve with warm pita, naan, or your favorite flatbread for dunking into the gorgeous broth.
Chipotle Turkey Pozole
More commonly made with chicken or pork, this is a spin on a traditional pozole using leftover turkey. To the chipotle-spiked broth add hominy, tomatoes, and turkey. Top each bowl with shredded cabbage, avocado, cilantro, and a big squeeze of lime.
Soba Noodle Soup With Chicken and Bok Choy
Japanese soba noodles, bok choy, chicken, ginger, scallions, and lime team up to make a quick soup that’s a real winner for its big flavors. To speed things up even more, grab a rotisserie chicken from the market.Continue to 17 of 19 below.
Instant Pot Taco Soup
Taco soup is lighter than chili, but still hearty enough to serve as a complete meal. It’s spicy and brothy, made with ground beef, beans, and corn. Opt for lean or extra lean ground beef here or swap in ground turkey.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup
This comforting soup starts with a traditional base of carrot, celery, and chicken. Adding shallot, cremini mushrooms, and herbes de Provence really turns up the volume on flavor. A quick-cooking wild rice blend makes the dish extra satisfying and adds a welcome dose of good nutrition.
Albondigas Soup (Mexican Meatball Soup)
Here is a wholesome way to enjoy meatballs: in a nourishing soup that’s made with carrots, green beans, and peas. The meatballs are on the smaller side and get cooked right in the soup, which makes them very tender. Invite friends; this soup is worth sharing.