Healthy Soup Basics

Nutrition Steward Health Care

A healthy soup is easier than you think to make and you likely already have most, if not all, of the ingredients on hand in your pantry or refrigerator!

Soup is one of those meals that you don’t necessarily need a recipe to follow and can make based on the nutritious foods you have on hand at the time.  But keep in mind, to be a truly healthy soup it needs to contain some of these ingredients:

  • Fresh and/or frozen vegetables
  • Beans of any kind
  • Small amounts of whole grain starchy foods such as bulgur wheat, brown rice, quinoa, couscous, pasta or starchy vegetables
  • Lean meat, chicken, fish, or turkey
  • Herbs and seasonings to taste
  • Liquid, which can be water, low sodium broths or low-fat milk

It’s best to think of any vegetable in a soup as an excellent ingredient choice. Remember that nutrition content in vegetables varies, with some having more calories and protein, and others more fiber. A general rule is the more veggies in your soup, the better for overall good health and nutrition.

A good source of fiber to add to soup are beans, vegetables and some grains. All of these choices offer some protein, are low in saturated fat and are sources of necessary vitamins and minerals.

Finally, a tasty soup can stand alone with just veggies but if you’re craving some protein make sure to use lean meats as they are lower in saturated fat compared with fattier “meats”.

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