Warm, hearty soups are essential during the winter months, and after the indulgence of the holiday season, starting the year with healthy recipes is a good way to get on track for your goals. If you’re worried that healthy means bland or unfulfilling, think again! These four winter soup recipes will leave you feeling full and energized thanks to their healthy ingredients and bold flavors.
Skinny Loaded Potato Soup
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite winter flavors. A creamy and delicious baked potato soup is perfect for lunch or dinner on a winter day, and this one has just enough healthy substitutions to retain all of the flavor without loading up on calories. Plus, it’s easy to make in your slow cooker, so you’ll have a delicious dinner ready at the end of the day! Cook your potatoes with spices, low sodium chicken stock, and other yummy vegetables (this recipe calls for carrots and onions, but throw in whatever you want!) for 2-3 hours. When they’re soft, give everything a mash and then add herbs and half-and-half (cheese, too, if you’d like!). Garnish with chives for a beautifully-plated winter soup that’s sure to please even the pickiest palates.
Kale and Quinoa Minestrone Soup
Vegan and gluten-free (and ridiculously filling and delicious), this minestrone recipe is perfect for cold winter days. The best part? Even though the recipe calls for a long list of specific vegetables, you can substitute whatever you have on hand – delicious and an easy way to reduce food waste. Start by sautéing all of your vegetables, then add canned tomatoes and herbs and spices to the mix. Pour in vegetable broth, then allow the soup to boil gently for about 20 minutes. Next, add the dry quinoa and green beans, cover, and cook until the quinoa is done. Lastly, add any other beans, kale, and final touches (lemon juice gives it a great zesty burst!) and let simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes. Serve up with some parmesan cheese if you’re not looking for the vegan option. You’ll want to make a big enough batch to save the leftovers for lunch the next day!
Photo: Jacek Chabraszewski via 123RF
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
Nothing screams winter food quite like a hearty chili. If you’re looking for the comfort of a heaping scoop of chili without all of the calories, try this sweet potato and black bean version. Using a Dutch oven (it’ll retain the heat better and give you an even cook), sauté the onions and sweet potatoes, then add spices. Add some water, bring to a simmer, and cover over low heat for about 10 minutes until the sweet potato is tender. After you add the beans and tomatoes, simmer for a while longer until reduced to the consistency you desire. For a tasty indulgence, top with a bit of cheese and cilantro and serve! You’ll put this recipe on repeat once you see how comforting a big bowl can be.
Easy Thai Shrimp Soup
One of the hardest parts of eating healthy is giving up beloved take-out. If Thai curry is usually on your dinner menu, try this easy Thai shrimp soup recipe for a healthier (and equally tasty!) alternative. You can replace the shrimp with chicken, pork, or tofu to meet your own dietary needs. After cooking up some delicious basmati rice (or brown rice) and your protein of choice, you’ll soften the veggies (onions, bell pepper) and add spices. Use a whisk to incorporate the curry paste and coconut milk (an unsweetened light version is a great option!), then add vegetable stock and boil. Once your base is slightly thickened, add the rice and cooked protein back in, and serve! Your takeout cravings will be a thing of the past.
You can feel confident that enjoying these delicious soups won’t derail your health goals, and the delicious flavors mean you won’t have any trouble finishing your bowl!