Recipe Round-Up: Nourishing Soups
If there is one redeeming quality of these freezing, snowy Midwestern days, I’d say that it’s an excuse to make a really warming batch of soup. And perfect timing, too, because January is National Soup Month. When I’m asked my recommendations for nutritious, easy-to-prep meals, I usually turn to soup. Here’s why:
Easy to prep. First, soup is really easy to prep for your upcoming week’s meals or to store in the freezer for those last minute needs. If you’re making soup, I always recommend making two different recipes that share ingredients at the same time and freezing one of them. This way you’ll have soup for this week and soup for next week (or next month!).
Use it or lose it. It’s also a great way to clean out your fridge if your vegetables and proteins are nearing their best by dates, or if it’s the end of the week and you’re getting ready to grocery shop again. This helps reduce food waste and maximize your grocery store bills.
Vehicle for veggies. But above all, soup is such a great way to incorporate a little more nutrition into your life. I like to think of soup as a vehicle for vegetables because you can really load it up with all different fresh, frozen, or canned varieties. And depending on how you flavor your soup, it can really mask the taste of different vegetables, which is helpful if you have trouble getting in your daily veggies otherwise.
Nutrition powerhouse. By using whole-grains, fiber-rich legumes, no- or low-sodium broths, and lean proteins like chicken breast or ground turkey, you can really up the nutrition content and easily make it a healthful, nourishing meal. Or, try using a boxed or canned bone broth for a protein-packed option. Using these ingredients, as well as a number of colorful veggies, you’ll have a dish that was easy to make AND rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s a no-brainer!
Easy on the wallet. Soup recipes are often easy on the wallet because they don’t require a ton of crazy ingredients. Using canned and frozen options are budget-friendly ways to still make a really nutritious soup. Look for no-sodium added canned legumes/beans and vegetables, no- or low-sodium boxed broths, frozen brown rice or quinoa, and pre-made spice mixtures to make things easier, quicker, and less expensive.
To make things easy for you, I’ve collected some of my favorite nourishing soup recipes to get you started. All of these recipes can be totally customized for your personal needs. Swap in tofu or beans instead of meat to make a recipe vegetarian or vegan. Or add lean protein like chicken breasts or ground turkey to make a dish a little more filling. Try brown rice noodles or garbanzo bean pasta in place of another grain. Switch up the seasonings to make something more or less spicy. Add in a big handful of greens at the end of cooking for even more vegetables (my favorite tip!). It’s all up to you, which is another reason why I love soup! Check out these recipes below and let me know what you think.
African Peanut Stew (my absolute favorite… I add stewed lamb)
Creamy Zucchini Soup (something a little different!)
Curry Cashew Cauliflower Soup (a little more involved but such delicious flavors)
Garbage Soup (super customizable)
Garden Green Soup (I would definitely recommend adding a protein to this one)
Hearty Minestrone Soup (try garbanzo bean pasta in here!)
Happy soup-ing! I hope these recipes to help warm up all you Midwesterners this winter!