Our favorite soup recipes for this time of year are simple, but full of health benefits—they’re packed with protein, fiber, and anti-inflammatory properties. Read on for great recipes that will keep you nourished, cozy, and comfortable for months to come.
Black beans are a staple in many pantries given their multitude of health benefits. For starters, a single cup of cooked black beans contains 15 grams of fiber, which is around 50 percent of the daily recommended total for adults. These beans are also associated with lower cholesterol levels, particularly LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol, which can improve overall heart health. And black beans are a solid source of quercetin, which serves as an anti-inflammatory compound, so they can help boost your immunity, too.
One of our favorite black bean soup recipes comes from Honey and Birch, and it combines black beans, chicken broth, and canned tomatoes (a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, as well as vitamins and minerals like vitamins C and K, plus folate and potassium).
Yields 6 servings
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Remove from stove and blend using an immersion blender or a traditional blender.
If there is a super vegetable, it likely resembles the almighty cauliflower. Not only is cauliflower high in fiber, but it’s also a significant source of antioxidants—in particular glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, both of which have been shown to delay the growth of cancer cells. Similarly, cauliflower also contains sulforaphane, another antioxidant that test-tube and animal studies suggest can suppress cancer development further.
We particularly love this recipe from food blogger Tori Avey because it effectively requires just one ingredient—cauliflower. You can add additional seasonings to liven this soup up a bit more, but it’s about as easy a recipe as you can find.
Yields 4 servings
1. Remove the leaves and tough core from the cauliflower. Chop into small florets and carefully clean them.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 quart (4 cups) of water to a boil. Stir in 2 tsp of salt till dissolved. Pour in the cauliflower florets. Bring the water back to a boil and cover. Let the cauliflower cook for about five minutes till very soft and tender.
3. Remove the florets from their cooking water using a slotted spoon; reserve the salted cooking water.
4. Place the cooked cauliflower into a blender, filling it halfway. Carefully pour in cooking water, adding till it reaches about halfway up the cooked cauliflower.
5. Cover the blender carefully and blend, scraping the sides as needed, until the soup becomes a smooth puree. You may need to add more cooking water to achieve a soup-like texture. The longer you blend, the more silky and smooth the soup becomes. Add salt, pepper, and butter to taste—about 1 Tbsp butter for a whole head of cauliflower (1/2 Tbsp per batch). Salt is your friend here, if the soup is tasting bland don't be afraid to add more.
6. Repeat process with the remaining batch of cauliflower. Serve soup hot. Leftovers will keep for 1–2 days in a covered tupperware container; soup will need to be stirred after reheating.
Who says chili has to be a complicated affair? Certainly not I Heart Naptime, the creative mind behind this three-ingredient chili recipe. We’ve already lauded the health benefits of black beans and tomatoes, but this chili brings in another protein-packed ingredient—ground beef—that makes this thick, hearty stew an excellent dish to keep your energy levels high on even the coldest of days.
And because animal protein like beef contains all nine essential amino acids, it is considered a complete protein, which is key to the healthy functioning of your body. Lean ground beef is also high in a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including B12 (important for your nervous system), B6 (important for your energy), zinc, and iron.
Yields 6 servings
1. In a large pot, mix together the cooked beef, beans and tomatoes.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 30 minutes.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then enjoy with your favorite toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped tortilla chips, and green onions.
If you’re looking for an easy vegan soup that is packed with flavor, look no further than this green pea soup recipe from The Wholesome Fork. Green peas have a wide range of health benefits given their significant amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin help with your eye health, whereas the high fiber content of peas aids in your body’s digestive process. Moreover, vitamins C and E, as well as zinc and catechin serve as powerful antioxidants that help with your immune health. Finally, anti-inflammatory compounds in peas including vitamins A and B help reduce the risk of diabetes, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease.
Yields 4 servings
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1.5 lb green peas (fresh or frozen)
Enough water to cover the peas
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium.
2. Add the onion, cover, and cook until translucent—about 5 minutes.
3. Add the peas and pour in enough water to just cover them.
4. Cover pan and let simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Blend, season with salt and pepper (if necessary) and serve.
Not all soups have to be of the savory variety, and in fact, one of our favorites is fabulous as a dessert or a slightly sweet breakfast. And given that its main ingredient is blueberries chock full of powerful antioxidants, this soup can help to protect your body from free radicals and improve heart health.
The other ingredients in this soup from Easy Cheesy Vegetarian – honey and cinnamon – help to add just a touch of sweetness and flavor without turning this soup into a sugar bomb.
Yields 1 serving
1. Add all of the ingredients to a pan over a medium heat. When the blueberries have released some liquid, bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook for around five minutes, until piping hot. Mash some of the blueberries with the back of a spoon to get your desired consistency.
2. Serve topped with Greek yogurt if desired.
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