When I think back on the meals I cook most often for my family, I have to admit to myself that I’d be pretty lost without my favorite healthy soup recipes. I don’t make soup every week, but I make it at least a few times a month, and I like to have several good homemade soup recipes in my rotation.
Homemade soups are great because they’re so easy to specialize to your food preferences. We were vegetarian for two years, and soup was a regular menu item because it so rarely has meat as a main ingredient. Now we avoid dairy for my youngest daughter, and again, with a simple substitution of coconut or almond milk, we have a healthy meal that we can all eat. Another diet restriction that’s relatively easy to abide by with soup is gluten intolerance. A lot of homemade soups don’t contain gluten at all, and if they do it’s a small amount that can be substituted.
A note on all of these soups: These are much easier to make if you have an immersion blender (like this one), but all of them can be transferred to and blended in a regular blender if necessary.
Easy Healthy Soup Recipes
Sweet Potato Soup
I’m starting out with my favorite recipe. My husband has had good luck growing his sweet potatoes for the last few years, so we always have plenty of them. This soup is sweet, but not too sweet, and creamy. I’m wishing as I write this that I had some for tonight. A huge bonus: my kids, who are three and five, love this sweet potato soup as much as I do!
- 3-4 medium-sized sweet potatoes, baked
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter*
- 1 tablespoon flour*
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (find organic brown sugar here)
- 1 ½ cups of organic vegetable or chicken broth (learn to make your own broth)
- 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon (find organic ground cinnamon here)
- 1 cup of organic whole milk*
- salt, to taste (find unrefined sea salt here)
*(All of these can be substituted to suit your diet. In the past I have used a dairy-free butter substitute, gluten-free flour mix, and a cup of coconut milk in my versions of this soup.)
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan. Add flour and whisk in order to make a roux. When the mixture has turned a nice, light brown, you can add the brown sugar and broth. Stir well, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Add the remaining ingredients (potatoes, cinnamon, and milk or milk substitute) and mix with an immersion blender to your preferred texture. Season with salt to taste.
(Recipe adapted from Food Network)
Black Bean Soup
When we were vegetarian, we ate a whole lot of black beans for protein. This black bean soup was, and still is, one of my favorite things to make. It’s simple, inexpensive, and healthy. Even better, this one is a naturally vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free soup!
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, or other oil of your choice (find unrefined olive oil here)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon of chili powder (find organic chili powder here)
- 1 tablespoon of oregano (find organic oregano leaf here)
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper (find organic whole black peppercorns here)
- 3 cans of organic black beans* (find organic black beans here)
*(If you don’t want to use canned black beans, you can soak your own and you should have similar results. I use the canned because I prefer for this to be an extra-easy meal.)
Dice onion and garlic cloves. Set aside. Open the black beans and pour them into a mesh strainer so that they can drain (don’t rinse), then set them aside.
Add oil and onion to a sturdy saucepan and cook on medium heat until onions are translucent. Add garlic and spices and allow the mixture to cook for a few minutes, until the garlic is tender but not scorched. Next, add the black beans. Stir well and cook for approximately two more minutes before adding the water. Bring the soup to a boil and cook for 20-30 minutes.
Blend until your soup is the consistency you desire.
Tip: This soup goes well when topped with avocado, cilantro, and/or some homemade sour cream.
(Recipe adapted from Greatist)
Apple Parsnip Soup
We first made this soup when my oldest daughter requested parsnips at the grocery store. I’d never made them before, but I figured we could make something pretty good out of them, so we went ahead and bought some. I found a recipe for apple parsnip soup and we got to work. We liked this soup enough that we’ve had to start adding parsnips to our usual grocery list.
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or whatever oil you like to use)
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 large or 3 medium apples
- 3 large parsnips
- 2 ½ cups organic vegetable broth or chicken broth (find organic vegetable broth here or chicken broth here)
- salt, to taste
Dice onion. Peel, core, and chop apples. Peel and dice parsnips. Set aside.
Add onion and olive oil to a sturdy sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add apples, parsnips, and vegetable broth. Allow to boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 25-35 minutes. Make sure the parsnips are very tender.
Again, get out your trusty immersion blender and puree the soup to your desired consistency!
(Recipe adapted from Real Simple)
How about you?
What are your favorite comforting, healthy soups to prepare? Share in the comments section below!