Soups On! A Roundup of Five Simple And Healthy Soup Recipes

Healthy soup recipes: Turkey and lentil soup. Photo by Lori Lynn Smith

Wondering what’s for dinner tonight?

When the weather’s wet and the temperatures dip, my mind naturally turns to soup.

Actually, I love soup year-round. Nourishing and comforting, soups are are such a tasty way to get your veggies in.

But I’m not talking about that bland, salty stuff that comes out of a can! I’ve never understood the appeal of canned soup – it’s overpriced, and really not that satisfying compared to homemade.

Oh sure, I get it. There’s this perception that making homemade soup is this huge, laborious, time-consuming task. Well, hey, I’ve got news for you!

You can whip up a tasty, nutritious homemade soup in 15 or 20 minutes, sometimes even less!

(I know that’s a little longer than heating up a can – but you make up for the time ‘lost’ with an exponential increase in flavor.)

And besides, those extra minutes spent chopping, seasoning and stirring are nutritive in their own right. Call it spirit nutrition.

The act of preparing food to nourish yourself and your loved ones brings a sense of joy and accomplishment – benefits that are difficult to measure, but nonetheless add up.

And, if you’re after saving time, don’t forget the crock pot! If you have one of these versatile kitchen tools, you have a busy soup-maker’s best friend. When I had a family to feed that thing practically lived on my counter during the winter

I’d fill it up with veggies and beans or meat before taking off for work. Add some seasonings and maybe a few more veggies when I got home, and voila – delicious soup a half hour or so later. With minimal after-work slaving in the kitchen.

In fact, yummy crock pots soups might deserve a whole post of their own sometime soon…

You may already have an extensive repertoire of soup recipes, but if you’re like me you enjoy checking out someone else’s take on a tried and true recipe. And it’s always great to get ideas for brand new ways to mix up familiar ingredients.

So I asked some a few top health coaches and healers for a favorite soup recipe to share with you.

(Okay, I’ll admit it:  I was trolling for some new and fun recipes for myself too!)

For my own contribution to this soup-a-thon, I decided to opt for the ‘Simple’ in the title and give you a ‘cheat’ recipe that works so well when cooking for one.

Keep in mind though:  one of the beauties of soup is its flexibility. Soup recipes are very forgiving. So if you don’t have a particular ingredient, feel free to substitute another. You may end up inventing your own new and even more awesome recipe!

So here you are:  Five simple and healthy soup recipes. I know you’ll find something here to add some warmth and spice to your Autumn days. Bon Appetit!

Turkey Lentil Soup

Contributed by Lori Lynn Smith

I love this time of year and I love my crock pot.  It makes it so easy to create great soups and stews.  I just happened to have a cooked turkey, so I quickly threw it in the oven with some water and spices to make a fresh stock. I like to do it in the oven as you can just throw everything together and forget about it for a couple hours.

1 c. Red Lentils – rinsed
1 c. Green Lentils – rinsed
½ c. Green Peppers
1 c. Diced Carrots
1 c. Diced Onions
1 c. Diced Celery
4 Cloves of Garlic – diced
540 ml Diced Tomatoes – garlic and olive oil flavored – optional
    (Ed. note: this is about a 15 oz. can)
1 tsp Bay Leaves
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Savory
1 tsp Parsley
1 tsp Thyme
½ tsp Salt – you can add more to taste after you have finished cooking.
8 c Turkey Stock – Chicken, Beef, Veggie or just plain water will also work

4 c Turkey Diced

Add everything except diced turkey to the Crockpot and cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.

Then add turkey – I add mine right at the end as I prefer the texture. You could also add it with all the other ingredients.

Dish up and Enjoy!!

Lori Lynn Smith is the Founder and CEO of Sacred Earth Partners Training and Retreat Center, an eco-spiritual company that brings you  programs, courses and products to support  holistic lifestyles and businesses.

Easy Thai Peanut Stew

Thai Peanut Lentil Stew. Photo: Meg Worden
Contributed by Meg Worden

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped

1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 pound white potatoes, peeled and diced
6 cups vegetable stock
2/3 cup peanut butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crushed peanuts
1 tablespoon chopped chives

Lime wedge (optional)

Method

1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil . Add onion, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Add crushed red pepper and cook for 1 more minute to open up the spicy flavor.

3. Add potatoes and stock and cook until potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes.

4. Stir in peanut butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. To obtain a smooth soup: with a hand blender, or in a blender or food processor, purée the mixture. If needed, return to the pot and heat over medium heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Serve garnished with the chives, crushed peanuts and a squeeze of lime.

6. Serve and eat with someone you love. xo

Serves 6

Meg Worden is a certified health coach, writer and speaker. Find more recipes, insights and other goodies at Feed Me Darling.

 

Kale & White Bean Soup

Contributed by Amy Grams

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 small onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 small fennel, thinly sliced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chopped raw kale
   (Ed. Note:  Be sure to remove the tough center stem!)
6 cups organic vegetable broth
2 14-oz. cans organic cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and fennel and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté just until it becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the kale and sauté until wilted.  Add the broth, beans and Italian seasoning.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.  Serve with chopped parsley. Serves 6.

Amy Grams is a nutrition coach dedicated to helping busy women figure out how to double their energy and lose 20 lbs. (without giving up wine or chocolate!). Learn more and check out more great soup recipes at Nutrition Accomplished.

 

Butternut squash soup. Photo by Debbie Sipowicz

Butternut Squash Soup

Contributed by Debbie Sipowicz

2 large butternut squash
1-2 large yellow onions, peeled and chopped
4 whole cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2 yams, peeled and chopped
1-2 apples, cored and chopped
1 whole cinnamon stick
8 cups water or vegetable stock or chicken stock
1/8-1/4 cup maple syrup (optional)
zest from 1 orange
salt and pepper to taste
toasted pecans for topping (optional)

To roast squash:  Cut the squash in quarters.  Put a little olive oil on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.  Place the squash cut side down on the baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for about 1 hour until it’s soft when poked with a fork.  Let cool then take the skin off and the seeds out.

To make soup:  In large soup pot, saute the onion.  Add the garlic, yams, apple, cinnamon and liquid.  Bring to a boil then simmer until the yams are tender.

While the stock is simmering, scoop out the roast squash.  Once the vegetables are tender, add it to the stock.

Once everything is cooked, remove the cinnamon stick and add the orange zest.  Puree with an immersion blender.  Taste and add a little maple syrup if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Top with chopped toasted pecans and enjoy!

Debbie Sipowicz is a natural foods cook and health coach specializing in helping women go from a place of frustration and struggle with food limitations (whether that’s because of lack of kitchen skills, or lack of ideas, or lack of knowledge) to a place of genuine joy, creativity, and personal empowerment. She blogs at Hip Chicks In Midlife.

 

Asian Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Contributed by Moi – Sarah O’Leary

I concocted this super-simple (it’s a bit of a ‘cheat’) soup recipe a couple of weeks ago when I felt a little under the weather. I was craving some warm and healing comfort food, but didn’t have much energy to get creative in the kitchen.

This recipe illustrates how flexible and forgiving soup recipes can be. The vegetables and proportions are just a guideline. No chicken in the house, or going vegan? Substitute tofu. Not spicy enough? Add more seasonings. This will make about two servings.

1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped or  minced
1 carrot, sliced thinly on the diagonal
2-3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
2-4 large kale leaves, thick center stems removed, chopped
A few other chopped veggies (optional, if they’re in your fridge)
1/2-1 cup chopped rotisserie chicken (or substitute cubed tofu)
1 package natural Asian rice noodle soup (like the ramen noodle style or those ones that come in little plastic bowls)
Pinch cayenne to taste
Tamari soy sauce or fresh lime

Sautee onion and garlic over medium heat until soft and fragrant. Add carrot and sautee briefly. Add broth or water and bring to boil. Add chicken/tofu, cayenne and optional additional veggies and lower heat. Cover and let simmer another 5-10 minutes. Add rice noodles and seasoning packet and cook a few more minutes until noodles are done.

Season with tamari or fresh lime to taste.

After a hearty bowl of that soup, I woke up the following day with no more sniffles! Soup really is the great healer! (Plus I do believe there’s something to all those cliches about chicken soup..)

 

What are your favorite soup ingredients to stay warm and healthy? Or do you have another favorite seasonal dish? Let’s get cooking in the comments! You can also share favorite recipes with other Holistic Hot Sauce-ers over at our Facebook Community Page. See you there!

 

19 Responses to Soups On! A Roundup of Five Simple And Healthy Soup Recipes

  1. Ah YEAH, Jackpot post for me. Anything food and healthy and i’m all over it like white on rice. 
    I love love love soups. I travel with a hand blender. Literally, i travel with it in my suitcases because we make so much soup and plus it comes in handy for shakes and smoothies too. 
     
    I’ll try out all these recipes for sure. Especially the Kale and bean one since I’ve never had it before.  Mmmmm

    • @AnnieAndreHacks   Yay, so glad I hit the jackpot for you on this one Annie! That’s pretty serious to tuck your hand blender into your suitcase wh en you take off on a trip. Makes sense though if you’re cooking on the road – soups, smoothies, shakes – you’ve got all the meals covered!
       
      Let me know how you like the recipes – or if you come up with a brand new one when you start experimenting. Bon Appetit!

      • @saraho Sarah, i did the Thai Peanut soup. Being half Thai it was my patriotic duty to do that one first. I added coconut milk and soy sauce and thai red chilis. ( everything we eat is spicy in our house).  And i thickened a little bit with cornstarch. Results yummy.

        • @AnnieAndreHacks  MMM, love the sound of those additions. I’m not a peanut butter fan – but I love Thai peanut sauce. I’m going to give this one a try, diluting the ‘peanut’ a little with the coconut milk. Yay, so glad you got some yum!

    • @BobbiEmel   LOL, yes, just thinking of some yummy soup makes my stomach start rumbling. Almost time for dinner!

  2. I am definitely going to make the Peanut Thai Soup and the Asian Chicken Noodle.  I have been fighting an upper respiratory infection and soup is the perfect medicine…for my body and my soul.  Thanks for this timely post and great recipes.  P.S. I am a big crockpot fan – love coming home to a complete meal fully cooked.  Smells so good.

    • @JaneRobinson   Glad you’ve got some inspiration here for some new and nourishing soups Jane! Yes, soup is a great healer, especially for those nasty colds and flus that tend to show up at this time of year. Spice that soup up a bit and you’re helping to burn the infection right out. Glad you love the crockpot – and now you have more reason to pull it out. Enjoy!

  3. I agree, there is nothing nicer than a homemade soup. 
    For longer than I remember I have made a special chicken soup to feed the family when winter colds start appearing.  I have noticed that this recipe and tradition of making it when someone is not well has been passed down to my grandchildren.  This special soup seems to work miracles.  I am not sure if it is the ingredients or the comfort of caring enough to make the special soup.

    • @Priska   What a lovely tradition, and it must feel so good that your children have passed your healing soup on to their won children. This must be a special recipe! Let me know if you care to share in the next roundup. Chicken Soup really IS a great healer. And you make a good point, the healing comes from more than just the ingredients, it’s that love, caring and nurturing that goes into the preparation that works so much healing magic too!

  4. All of those soups look delicious. The best thing about soup is having it simmering away, filling the whole house up with deliciousness. I’m so happy soup season is here!

    • @Dave Rowley   I agree Dave. I love soup season – and not just because soups are so tasty. It’s such an easy dinner idea, yet so nourishing. It’s minestrone for me tonight!

  5. The only thing I can cook is ramen. Soup is way too complex for me – more than 2 ingredients? Yeah… studying rocket science would be easier. 
     
    Okay, I realize I should probably stop being so sarcastic and actually learn, for the sake of reducing my future chances of getting divorced. But no really, cooking is like a foreign beast to me – it drains me when I try, and most of the time (as in 100% of the time), I’m left with something nasty I end up throwing in the garbage.

    • @HappierHuman I’m telling you Amit – soup is about the easiest thing to cook. Basically all you need to do is chop up a few veggies, add water or broth and cook for a while. Look on the spice rack and add a few spices. Throw in a packet of ramen noodles. It’ll fill you up and taste better than just the noodles – I’m telling you.
      Check out that last ‘cheat’ chicken noodle soup recipe. Super easy if you have a handy packet of ramen noodles (although I recommend springing for the ‘natural’ style ramen that you can find at natural food stores/ aisle of grocery store. I dare you! Surprise your wife and make some soup!

      • @saraho I did it! Well, it took so much effort I’m not sure I’ll do it again (ah… grocery shopping!!), but at least it tasted okay. Thank you!

        • @HappierHuman   Yay! I’m so proud of you Amit! That is awesome. And I’ll bet you’re happier from doing it…:-)

    • @HappierHuman Aww….soup can be so easy to make. Just start off with a few basic ingredients (cooked red lentils, can of tomatoes, vegetable stock cube, salt and pepper, and throw into a blender. Add water (and chilli powder if you like it hot).  Cheap, cheerful and more importantly, easy! You can’t go wrong, I promise.

  6. Why didn’t I read this before my grocery trip this morning? Those all look sooo yummy.. I’m especially tempted by the Thai Peanut Stew. I love Thai food.. I’ll be putting this on my list for next time.
     
    Btw, I totally second the idea of a crock-pot post! I love mine and am always looking for good recipes for it.

    • @ZenCaffeine   Okay, I’ll percolate on the crockpot recipes – I have several in my own repetoire and I bet i could gather a few more from these cooking experts. I’m excited about the Thai recipe too – did you see the comment below from @AnnieAndreHacks ? She tweaked it by adding some coconut milk…double yum!

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