Most soups include a wide variety of vegetables which contain essentials vitamins and nutrients. For example, carrots are good source of beta-carotene and mushrooms help to boost immunity.
Beans are also a popular soup ingredient. Beans are not only a good source of fiber but also add protein which creates a sense of fullness helping you to eat less throughout the day.
Simple substitutions can be made when creating your own soups to ensure a healthier soup than store bought or premade soups. Use low-sodium stock to manage sodium intake. In cream based soups such as chowders or bisques, substitute low-fat milk for cream to cut back on fat and calories.
Money and Time Saver
The key ingredients in soups – vegetables and beans are usually low ticket items in grocery stores. Buying in bulk, using fresh, canned or frozen ingredients, can help you stretch your dollar.
We all know that any weight loss or management regimen can be time consuming because of the prep involved in creating healthy and nutritious meals. Soup can add simplicity and convenience to losing weight. On the weekend, when you have extra time, make a large pot of soup with 8 servings or more. Then freeze individual servings to have during the week when you’re pressed for time and on the run.
15 Favorite Soup Recipes
We’ve collected fifteen soup recipes that are not only healthy but delicious and easy to prepare.
Stews are big money savers. Less expensive, tougher cuts of meat can be used along with a variety of hearty vegetables. Because of the longer cooking time, the meat will become tender while the flavors of the other ingredients blend together as it simmers.
Tomato soup is an all American favorite. This recipe is very easy to make plus the use of low-fat milk makes it a healthier version than cream based versions.
This soup is a great way to enjoy butternut squash, especially during the fall and wintertime when squash is readily available. Pureeing makes the soup smooth and creamy, without adding fattening cream.
Mushrooms add a great flavor and texture to any dish, but they can also add immune boosting nutrients, something especially important during the cold winter months. Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium, selenium and B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin and niacin. They also support a weight management diet as they are low in calories, fat and sodium.
Chicken & Matzo Ball Soup
Matzo balls are Jewish dumplings made from Matzah Meal (ground matzo). Matzo balls are usually served in a chicken broth, creating a soup. The meal is traditionally popular during the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shabbat.
Split Pea Soup
The consumption of pea soup dates back to as early as 500 to 400 B.C. by the Romans and Greeks. Through the centuries pea soup has been noted all over the world. A well-known nursery rhyme from England originated in 1765 and says: “Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold, pease porridge in the pot nine days old.” Pease is the archaic form of the word pea.
The name minestrone translates from Italian as “The Big Soup” or the use of many ingredients. No set recipe for minestrone soup exists. Traditionally it’s made up of whatever vegetables are in season or leftover ingredients needing to be used up. This is a fun recipe to experiment with using different variations.
Beef Barley Soup
With health problems on the rise, studies have shown diets containing whole grains can reduce the risk of certain diseases such as diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. Barley, for example, contains 8 essential amino acids which may help regulate blood sugar levels.
Creole White Bean Soup
White beans are also known as navy beans, pea beans or cannellini beans. Beans have excellent nutritional value and add protein, B vitamins, iron and fiber to your diet. Plus they are low in fat and contain no cholesterol.
This is a classic Italian recipe that combines white beans with kale. This soup helps you to incorporate kale into your diet – a dark green vegetable loaded with nutrients.
Shrimp & Lobster Bisque
A soup of French origin, bisques have a thick and creamy texture and are traditionally made from a puree of crustaceans such as lobster, crab, shrimp or crayfish. Thick and creamy vegetable soups may also be referred to as a bisque.
Corn & Crab Chowder
If you love corn plus seafood, this chowder is a great combination. Corn has been an important nutritional resource for thousands of years. Corn can be traced back to Mexican or central American cultures as early as 3400 B.C. Today, corn has less starch and is sweeter. The sweetness accounts for its popularity among Americans. If fresh corn is not available use frozen or canned. The good news is that frozen or canned corn has nearly the same nutritional value as fresh corn.
The addition of ginger, red curry paste and coconut milk put a great twist on traditional butternut squash soup.
This is a classic Italian recipe that combines white beans with kale. This soup helps you to incorporate the superfood kale into your diet – a dark green vegetable loaded with nutrients.
This light soup is ideal for vegetarians and those watching their calories. It’s a perfect way to use up those extra zucchini and tomatoes that seem to flourish in the early autumn.
Try experimenting with a different soup recipe each week. That way, by spring you will have not only eaten healthier but saved enough dollars to buy a new, smaller outfit that you can fit into!
David H. Rahm, M.D. is the founder and medical director of The Wellness Center, a medical clinic located in Long Beach, CA. Dr. Rahm is also president and medical director of VitaMedica. Dr. Rahm is one of a select group of conventional medical doctors who have education and expertise in functional medicine and nutritional science. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Rahm has published articles in the plastic surgery literature and educated physicians about the importance of good peri-operative nutrition.