Winter’s just around the corner and the air is already a little nippy, which means soup makes a perfect supper! Store-bought soups are often high in sodium and full of unhealthy additives, so what are healthy soup options for these cold nights? We’ve collected a few recipes that are healthy and fairly simple:
Classic Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is often high in sodium, but opting for a fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth makes this classic a healthy option for nursing a cold or just warming up on a chilly evening. Using whole-wheat pasta or adding your favorite veggies can increase the health factor as well.
Black Bean Soup
This hearty soup is great for two reasons. First, beans are a source of protein and fiber, so the soup will really fill you up. Secondly, the jalapeno and cilantro add a fat-burning kick. Studies show that spicy food boosts your metabolic rate, which means you’ll burn more calories. Filling, delicious, and calorie-burning–what’s not to love?
Butternut Squash-Apple Soup
Lighter, but no less healthy, than other soups, butternut squash-apple soup is low-sodium and low-calorie. Additionally, butternut squash and apples are both power foods—full of vitamins and antioxidants, they provide significant health benefits.
Enhance your boring tomato soup with a touch of metabolism-boosting spices and healthy peanuts. The peanut butter not only increases the creaminess, but also adds protein to an otherwise simple soup, which means this meal will fill you up on those cold nights.
Split-pea soup is an easy way to add vegetables and protein to your diet—the peas serve a double function as protein and vegetable. For an added protein boost and extra flavor, crumble boiled eggs on top.
A classic fall comfort food, potato soup seems to hit exactly the right spot. Thankfully, it’s also easy to adapt into a healthy meal. Consider adding broccoli to your existing recipe, substituting sweet potatoes for white potatoes, and using low-fat creams. One neat substitute for fat-heavy creams is pureed cauliflower—not only does it add nutrients, it replicates the thick, smooth feel of cream. The potatoes and other flavorful ingredients keep the cauliflower from becoming overwhelming.
In addition to being warm and delicious, most soups are easy to store, which means you can take soup to work the next day and freeze some for a rainy Tuesday next month. Whatever you do, don’t let the cold weather drive you to unhealthy choices.
Let us know which soup you like best!