Healthy Soups Article -
Add a Comment

Healthy Soups

Soups make delicious, nourishing, low-fat meals.

Soups are easy to make and are terrific first courses for people trying to lose weight.

Low-Fat Substitutions

Here are a few tricks for upping the flavor of your soups while lowering their fat content:

  • If your recipe calls for pre-cooked vegetables--such as onions, celery, or carrots--use a very small quantity of oil or cooking spray. If the vegetables start to stick to the pan, add a tablespoon or so of water, wine or broth to keep them from burning.
  • Brown meats in a separate pan. Discard fat, and pat meat dry before adding to your stock pot.
  • Miso--fermented soybean paste--gives a savory, meat-like flavor to vegetarian or other broths. Add a tablespoon per quart of water.
  • Fry your spices for a minute or so over medium heat before adding them to your soup. Add dried herbs at the beginning of the cooking time, and fresh herbs right before serving.
  • If your recipe calls for a heavy cream, use pureed cooked potatoes instead. Stir the puree back into the soup to thicken it.
  • To add real cream flavor, stir in a few tablespoons of heavy cream when the recipe calls for 1 cup--a little cream will go a long way.

    First-Course Soups

    Most of these soups have fewer than 100 calories per serving.

    Main-Dish Meat Soups

    Make your own stock, or use low-sodium canned broths as the base of these soups.

    Main-Dish Vegetarian Soups

    (If you are a vegetarian, omit the Worcestershire sauce from your recipe or check the label, as some brands contain anchovies.)

    Dec. 3, 2009 12:46 pm
    I love soup, and this was quite helpful, though there is a lot that is common sense also (like using fresh veggies instead of prepackaged)! thank you!
    Dec. 17, 2009 2:04 pm
    I use unflavored silken tofu to thicken my soups. Sometimes I boil potatoes separately , mash them , and add to soup before serving. Don't add the massed potatoes to the soup while cooking because it burns easy and sticks to the bottom of the pot no matter how much you stir.
    Queen Bee 
    Jan. 3, 2010 6:22 pm
    I love to eat healthy foods and soups during winter months. Soup seems to always be a winner when it is cold season.
    Jan. 10, 2010 2:15 am
    I am making a hamburger/caggage soup today. I will use a little hamburger and more vegs to make it healthy. I am trying to start the New Year off on the healthier side.
    Jan. 12, 2010 9:16 pm
    Soup is one of my favorite things to make (I have a pot of chicken-tomatillo soup simmering right now!) And like many this time of year, I am looking to shed a few extra pounds. Thank you for this collection.
    Jan. 17, 2010 6:39 am
    The easiest way to thicken a soup is to add a couple of tablespoons of oat flakes to the pot, the minute you place it on the cooker. They are highly soluble and give extra flavor to the soup. The more the soup stays, the more it thickens.
    Jan. 17, 2010 9:40 am
    These soups look like I would want make.
    Mar. 2, 2010 12:10 am
    caonstantina, are oat flakes the same as oatmeal, like you'd cook and eat for breakfast?
    Apr. 30, 2010 4:42 pm
    "Creamed" soup/stew without the milk - I can't have milk, so one way to get a really good "creamed" soup or stew is to puree 1/2 cup of cashews along with a few cups of the liquid from your cooked soup, then add back the puree to your soup/stew and stir in. Do this just as your soup is finished, not in the beginning. Adds healthy protein, give it a great flavor and creamy consistency. If you have a giant pot of soup then use more like 1 cup of cashews, and use more of the soup liquid. I use a Vitamix, but any good blender should work well on high. Almonds also work, but I think the cashews are better...Enjoy!
    Oct. 4, 2010 1:38 pm
    I love all the soup ideas but when you look up the salt... I can no longer have them..... any help out there for someone looking to still eat a tasty soup that is so much lower in salt and still good tasting?
    lise n 
    Oct. 14, 2010 3:14 am
    @budr Just add extra spice-I use very little salt on anything I make as it's easier to add it than to take it out. If using chicken or beef broth cubes, they already have salt in them and I don't know if they exist in the US with less salt (they don't in Europe).If you use a chicken broth base (home made) then you can omit the salt alltogether. Otherwise, use garlic, chili pepper, cilantro, chives, cumin or any other exotic spice you can find!
    Oct. 14, 2010 7:27 pm
    These soups look really good! But I would like to make them in the slow cooker...any adivce?
    Oct. 30, 2010 6:51 pm
    @Tiffani: If you browse the slow cooker articles on this site there is one about how to convert traditional soup recipes for use in a slow cooker.
    Nov. 7, 2010 5:43 am
    Great selection, my diet is called 3sdiet shake in the morning, salad for lunch and soup for dinner. To eat almost the same soup every night is kind of boring, i was looking for healthy soups recipes and these look great, to loose weight you need to have healthy but also tasty meals to satisfy your cravings, thanks.
    Jan. 3, 2011 11:38 pm
    Thank you for the list of vegetarian soups. All of them look wonderful!
    Jan. 4, 2011 10:55 am
    I've had this problem before with Allrecipes when they list some vegetarian things. The Beaker's vegetable soup that is listed above isn't vegetarian; it has worshershire sauce in it. I know I can just omit it, but I don't want someone thinking on here that they are eating a vegetarian soup when the sauce that they're putting in it has anchovies. I wish they would consider these things when posting 'vegetarian' recipes.
    Jan. 5, 2011 10:22 pm
    These soups look good I am going to try some of these
    Jan. 6, 2011 8:04 am
    When in a hurry and need to thicken soup, I add mashed potato flakes, a few tablespoons at a time, until I get the right consistancy. Let the flakes cook for a minute or two after stirring them in before checking consistancy.
    Jan. 6, 2011 10:34 am
    I keep a quart plastic container in the freezer for vegetable leftovers that I would combine in a soup,dicing or chopping to size if necessary. When container is full, use with a carton of chicken stock and whatever herbs or additional veggies, such as celery and onion, that would round out your flavors of choice.
    Jan. 9, 2011 5:49 pm
    thanks justin j i was goin to post the same thing
    Jan. 12, 2011 3:58 am
    I'm on a diet -- as is at least half the population after the holiday season. I am happy to see this article and the one on lower calorie substitutions in today's email. I must admit I've deleted all the ones before this month. I do appreciate the lower calorie recipes.
    Jan. 20, 2011 12:08 pm
    For those looking for low-sodium broths, make your own! I know it's a bit more work, but make your own chicken/beef stock and make it with no/little sodium. Instead of bought broth, I just use sodium-free bouillon. It doesn't come in cubes but it has no MSG, no salt and no gluten. Adds perfect flavoring paired with other herbs and spices.
    Jan. 20, 2011 6:16 pm
    You can thicken soups by pureeing beans with a little of the soup broth. It adds some protein and additional fiber, too.
    Jan. 23, 2011 9:43 am
    When I make soups that call for fillers like pasta or rice, I cook them on the side and add them sparingly to each serving. It helps you keep track of the carbohydrate count on that part of the dish. It's not hard to lose track of the carbohydrates that many vegetables have that you may add to the soup, but you can control the number of extra carbohydrates this way.
    Jan. 23, 2011 12:20 pm
    thanks for the idea on the pureed beans,I add vegetarian refried beans in my turkey chili - it adds body to it.
    Feb. 13, 2011 11:26 am
    For all of you worried about salt content, you can use Mrs. Dash. They have a wide variety of flavors all salt free substitutes. Found with seasonings in your grocery stores.
    Oct. 5, 2011 7:52 am
    all of the above comments are so helpful. thanks everyone. When making any soup that calls for cabbage, I buy a bag of already cut up for coldslaw. I add as much as I want and use the rest up as coldslaw
    Oct. 13, 2011 6:28 am
    I recently had Open Heart Surgery and now of course I need to follow a heart healthy diet. My Doctor said anything that taste good I need to spit out. That is what I'm finding when I search for heart healthy recipes. They are gross and would not eat them. Any ideas out there for some good tasting recipes?
    Nov. 1, 2011 4:56 am
    I love soups and stews, and, yes, they're usually a good low-cal choice. However, as much as I love 'em, I tend to shy away from them. Why? Because I'm borderline fanatical about keeping tabs on my sodium intake and soups/stews tend to be too high in sodium even when you make your own from scratch using store-bought "low-sodium" broths and stocks, unless you make homemade stock. Even the so-called "low-sodium" store-bought broths and stocks can be too high in sodium, because they're only "low-sodium" compared to their regular versions, which are usually sky high in their sodium content. So if you're watching your sodium intake, READ THE LABELS! I look for those that have no more than 500 milligrams of sodium per serving, and preferably much less than that.
    Mar. 28, 2012 10:29 pm
    There are lots of very tasty recipes for heart-healthy food. My husband's favorite replacement for french fries is BAKED POTATO SKINS Dietitian's tip: You can use any number of herbs or spices to season the potato skins. Try fresh basil, chives, dill, garlic, cayenne pepper, caraway seed, tarragon or thyme. 2 medium russet potatoes Butter-flavored cooking spray 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Preheat the oven to 375 F. Wash the potatoes and pierce with a fork. Place in the oven and bake until the skins are crisp, about 1 hour. Carefully — potatoes will be very hot — cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the pulp, leaving about 1/8 inch of the potato flesh attached to the skin. Save the pulp for another use. Spray the inside of each potato skin with butter-flavored cooking spray. Press in the rosemary and pepper. Return the skins to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
    Apr. 10, 2012 12:59 pm
    PC Blue Menu has broths that are almost zero sodium.
    Subscribe Today!

    In Season

    Cool As A Cucumber Salad
    Cool As A Cucumber Salad

    We have over 100 cucumber salads to help you keep your cool.

    Classic Meatloaf
    Classic Meatloaf

    Meatloaf is the hearty, family-pleasing meal that makes the greatest leftovers ever.

    Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
    Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

    Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

    Related Videos

    Chef John's Creamy Mushroom Soup

    Discover the simple trick to delicious homemade creamy mushroom soup.

    Ham and Split Pea Soup

    See an easy recipe for making split pea soup.

    Chilled Sugar Snap Pea Soup

    A classic chilled spring soup with sugar snap peas.

    Most Popular Blogs

    Recently Viewed Recipes

    You haven't looked at any recipes lately. Get clicking!
    Quick Links: Recipe Box | Shopping List | More »
    Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

    Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States