Healthy Soup Recipes to Keep You Slurping for Weeks | Yummly

Healthy Soup Recipes to Keep You Slurping for Weeks

Our favorite vegetable soups, bean soups, and more, plus 5 reasons why eating soup can make you healthier

Above: Immunity-Friendly Carrot Ginger Soup. Photo by Olga Ivanova

I’m pretty sure soup runs through my veins. A steaming bowl of comfort is on my menu multiple times a week, all winter long. And why not, when soup is so good for you? If you’re not on board the soup train yet, I bet you will be after you read this.

Jump ahead to:

To your health: 5 reasons to eat more soup >>

Healthy soup recipes >>

Nutrient-rich vegetable soup recipes >>

Light but filling broth-based soup recipes >>

Protein-packed soup recipes >>

Healthy bean soup recipes >>

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To your health: 5 reasons to eat more soup

While a big bowl of soup definitely hits the spot on a cold day, it turns out soup is also a win for your health.

1. Soup eaters have a healthier diet in general

Researchers at Iowa State compared people who ate soup to those who didn’t. They found that soup-ers’ diet included less fat and more protein, fiber, and several other key nutrients than those who live mostly soup-free.

2. Soup lowers your odds for obesity

Over the years, numerous studies have found an inverse link between soup and obesity: The more soup you eat, the less likely you are to have obesity. Experts believe one reason is that soup has a higher water content than many other foods, so you feel full while taking in fewer calories.

3. Soup keeps you hydrated

The same water content that helps keep your calorie count down also helps you stay hydrated. Your body needs H2O, and plenty of it, to stay healthy. 

4. Soup helps you eat more vegetables

How many soups can you think of that don’t start with a mix of aromatic vegetables? And then have even more veggies added to the pot? When my super-picky son was little, a big bowl of soup was one of my few sure-fire ways to boost his vegetable intake.

5. Chicken soup really could help you fight off a cold

For hundreds of years, a case of the sniffles has called for a steaming bowl of chicken soup. While there hasn’t been a ton of research looking at soup’s specific effects on the common cold, what’s out there does suggest that chicken soup in particular can be helpful. Researchers suspect it helps your body’s inflammatory response to a cold.

Healthy soup recipes

Let’s be clear about one thing: Not all soups are healthy. If you opt for something cream-based with relatively few vegetables, you’re not doing yourself any favors. But check out the following soup recipes — each one soars in both nutrition and flavor.

Nutrient-rich vegetable soup recipes

When I want a quick, easy, nourishing meal, I turn to vegetarian soups. All those veggies provide fiber to keep me satisfied and oodles of vitamins and antioxidants, plus they don’t need hours of simmering on the stovetop.

Immunity-Friendly Carrot Ginger Soup

Yummly Original

The glorious hue of this carrot soup comes from the vegetable’s ample amounts of good-for-you beta-carotene and a healthy dose of turmeric, which has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. But you’ll want to eat this soup even if you’re not looking for health benefits, thanks to huge flavors from ginger, garlic, and leeks, and an umami punch from white miso paste.

Quick and Healthy Vegetable Soup

Yummly Original

Think of this recipe as a flexible, clear-out-the-crisper formula. It’s positively bursting with colorful veggies like zucchini, green beans, carrots, and celery, but there’s always room for more — or for swapping, say, sweet potato for red potato. Keep a batch of this in the fridge for easy lunches and satisfying snacks.

Curried Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

Yummly Original

Pre-cut butternut squash and Thai red curry paste keep the prep time to a minimum for this luscious puree. It’s got just the right level of heat — spicy, but not overwhelming. Thanks to vegetable broth and coconut milk, it’s dairy free and vegan, too. 

15-Minute Tomato Soup

This simple recipe really is on the table in a mere 15 minutes. You won’t believe how much flavor you can muster with a handful of ingredients and a few clever cooking tricks. And with less than 200 calories per serving, you can go right ahead and dunk a grilled cheese sandwich. (Make it in the air fryer to shave off calories and saturated fat.)

Secretly Healthy Potato Soup

How, you might wonder, can potato soup qualify as healthy? After all, spuds are full of carbs, and recipes often call for lavish amounts of dairy products. This smooth soup has a secret: It’s a good part cauliflower. Turns out, when you simmer the cruciferous vegetable in broth until it’s very soft, you can puree it into a mild, creamy soup. Add diced potatoes and simmer until tender, then garnish with some crumbled bacon and a bit of cheese. You get all the traditional flavors with far fewer calories and fat grams. 

Light but filling broth-based soup recipes

Soups that have a higher liquid-to-stuff ratio keep you feeling full for fewer calories. Each of these would make a fine lunch or, with a side salad, a deliciously healthy dinner.

Fast and Flavorful Chicken Noodle Soup

Yummly Original

My mom’s homemade chicken soup was an all-day affair, just the thing for high holidays and sick days. This version of Jewish penicillin offers everything I remember — rich chicken flavor, big bites of chicken breast, lots of carrots and celery, and plenty of noodles — in less than an hour.

Weeknight Beef Barley Soup

Yummly Original

Don’t ask me to choose a favorite soup, but if you insist, it’s beef barley. I love the chewy whole grains, the umami depth of mushrooms and tender chunks of beef, the comfort food nature of the whole thing. Using a small amount of relatively lean strip steak provides tons of flavor while keeping the saturated fat on the low side.

Quick and Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Yummly Original

Got a hankering for Mexican food? Avoid the potential for gut-busting excess with this simple chicken tortilla soup. You’ll get all the flavors you love for just 300 calories per serving — and you’ll also get one-third or more of your daily protein and fiber requirements, plus healthy fat from avocado.

Tuscan White Bean Kale Soup

Winter squash, leeks, lacinato kale, and cannellini beans combine with vegetable broth and Parmesan cheese (vegan or dairy) to make a bowl of soup you’ll swoon over. Flavored with garlic, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves, all it needs is a squeeze of lemon juice for the perfect burst of acidity.

Protein-packed soup recipes

When you eat protein, you tend to feel full for longer than if you ate, say, carbs, and that helps you eat less. Each of these soups offers plenty of protein as well as other nutritious goodies.

Quick White Bean Chicken Chili

Yummly Original

Is chili a soup? I’m not sure, but this recipe produces results that could qualify. Soup or stew, it’s ideal for a weeknight, chock-full of rotisserie chicken, canned beans, warm spices, jarred salsa verde, and canned chili peppers. With 18 grams of protein in each bowl, you’ll feel satisfied, but not bloated, for hours. 

Split Pea Soup with Ham

Yummly Original

Yes, this soup has both bacon and ham in it, which generally doesn’t put it in the “healthy” column — but everyone’s favorite pork products can fit into a healthy diet if you use them sparingly. Here, small amounts of each combine to add smoky, meaty flavor, and cozy, creamy split peas boost the protein until you get half your daily requirement in each bowl.

Hearty Italian Beef and Vegetable Soup

Yummly Original

Lean ground beef and cannellini beans pump up the protein in this yummy bowl. You get half your daily requirements in a single serving! Roasted tomatoes and leafy greens provide valuable (and tasty) phytonutrients. Think of this as minestrone soup with meat — and don’t forget to pass the Parmesan cheese at the table.

Albondigas Soup

Here we have a spin on the classic Mexican meatball soup that works for paleo, keto, Whole30, and gluten-free diets. Not bad, right? Rather than the traditional ground beef, the herbed and spiced meatballs are made with ground turkey, a heart-healthy source of protein, and the soup features plenty of vegetables in a tomatoey broth. Did I mention it’s ready in just 45 minutes?

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup

Curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugar, peanut butter, ginger, and lime juice form the incredible broth for this Crock Pot soup. Pieces of boneless chicken breast and red pepper (bell peppers, not chili peppers) bubble away all day, so after just 10 minutes of prep time, you come home to enticing aromas and a dinner that’s ready to go.

Stuffed Cabbage Soup

Stuffed cabbage claims a high spot on my list of favorite comfort foods, but it takes a lot of effort. When I was growing up, my mom made it maybe twice a year. If you take the stuffing out of the equation and add the key components to soup instead, it becomes quite manageable. With an hour-plus cook time I wouldn’t exactly choose this for a weeknight, but simmering a big ol’ batch on the weekend lets me enjoy my ersatz stuffed cabbage all week. 

Healthy bean soup recipes

When I need a hearty soup recipe, I look for one that’s bean-based. The protein and fiber they provide make for a stick-to-your-ribs meal.

Hearty Lentil Soup

Yummly Original

A bag of dried lentils in the pantry means you always have something quick and healthy to play with. Unlike dried beans, lentils don’t need soaking and cook quickly straight out of the bag. This classic version of lentil soup uses one pound of brown lentils (not red — those cook up differently) plus a handful of ingredients I usually have on hand: smoky bacon, garlic, celery, carrots, and tomatoes. 

Harira (Moroccan Chickpea and Lentil Soup)

Technically this is a variety of lentil soup, but it’s nothing like the American version. It seasons the lentils with both harissa, the Moroccan chili paste (which is on the milder side). Canned chickpeas and toasted spices like turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and ginger add a lovely textural contrast. Serve it with lemon wedges, Greek yogurt, and whole-wheat pita for dunking.

Quick Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Beans)

Yummly Original

My Italian-American husband would eat pasta e fagioli — that means pasta and beans — every day. I would, too, come to think of it. This version starts with a saute of aromatics in olive oil, followed by fresh rosemary, canned tomatoes and white beans, vegetable broth, and bow-tie pasta. Once all those wonderful flavors have melded, you’re ready to serve.

Hearty Quinoa and Bean Soup

Two great things about quinoa: It’s a terrific plant-based protein, and it cooks fast. Like, really fast. From start to finish, this soup takes just 30 minutes. And thanks to the quinoa-white bean powerhouse combo, a single, cumin- and coriander-scented bowl gives you both 60% of your daily protein and 80% of the fiber your body needs.

Tuscan Kale Potato Bean Soup

Don’t let the long ingredients list keep you from trying this stellar soup — almost half of them are dried herbs and spices. All those, plus umami-rich sundried tomatoes, miso paste, and Parmesan cheese (vegan or not) add up to an insanely flavorful, nutrient-packed meal. And I love the chunky texture you get from the diced potatoes. Oh! Read the comments on the recipe page if you want to make this in your Instant Pot.

More soup-er recipe ideas 

While we’re talking soup, you’re going to want to check out these next articles for additional inspiration.

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