There’s no comfort food quite like soup. Whether you’re under the weather and seeking to soothe your sinuses or sore throat, or simply craving a cozy pick-me-up, soup never fails to work its magic. Plus, it’s a great complement to cool evenings while you wait for spring to arrive.
But soup can sabotage your diet if you don’t pay close attention to its ingredients. Many are high in sodium, and cream-based soups can carry enough calories to curdle the comfort it brings. We talked to OhioHealth dietitians to discover their soup secrets.
“My favorite soup is probably a vegetarian chili with beans and quinoa, and lots of vegetables. In the fall, I like to add a can of pumpkin to thicken it. If you prefer a creamier texture, try pureeing the beans using an emulsion blender before adding them to the soup. You will still get all the nutritional benefits.” – Susannah Schneider, RD
“Soups can be very healthy and a great vehicle to include a lot of different vegetables and beans in your diet. There are many modifications you can make to your favorites so they’re healthier. Choose broth-based recipes – my favorite is my husband’s Italian wedding soup recipe with escarole and little meatballs. There are plenty of broths you can buy now that have no added salt. You can also try pureeing cauliflower if you want something creamier without using cream.” – Emily Monfiletto, RD, LD, CCMS
“Broccoli cheese is my favorite soup. I don’t eat it often, so I indulge if I’m going to have it. If you want to make soup healthier, use natural herbs and spices instead of salt. Thicken soup using a whole wheat flour instead of corn starch or enriched flour. Just use less so it doesn’t become too dense.” – Ashya Walden, RD
“My absolute favorite soup is potato soup. I do occasionally make a healthy version using Greek yogurt or low-fat milk in place of heavy cream, and turkey or chicken bacon instead of pork. But sometimes it is worth the extra calories to just have the real thing!” – Brittany Smith, DRD
“I love cannellini bean, Italian turkey sausage and kale soup. I also love a vegetarian Chinese noodle soup that I found on the Omnivores Cookbook. You can make a creamy potato soup healthier by blending up cooked cauliflower and half of the potatoes.” – Jenalee Richner, RD, LDN