Smarter Soups

November 16, 2021
| Created by Heather Lieber, MS, RDN, CD

Quick! Get out the soup pots and start simmering something! The temperatures are dropping which means our need for cozy soups is skyrocketing. Here are nine principles for delicious, satisfying, and nutritious soups as we enter soup season. 

Hearty Instead of Heavy

To make your soups filling and satisfying, try whole grains and lean protein sources instead of heavy cream. This Double Pumpkin Chili uses ground turkey as a leaner alternative to ground beef.

Creamy Comfort

Thicken soups by pureeing half the vegetables then recombining, pureeing all the vegetables, or using pureed beans, or potatoes. Dietitian Hannah’s Butternut Squash Soup with Feta Drizzle uses a blender to puree the soup into thick autumnal goodness.

Veg It Out

It’s no secret that more veggies means more nutrients, so pile them in! This One Pot Tortellini Minestrone Soup uses an impressive amount of vegetables including carrots, celery, zucchini, green beans, kale or spinach, and tomatoes. 

Keep It Colorful

The more natural colors your soup contains, the greater variety of antioxidants. Contrary to popular belief, white produce has antioxidants too! Chef Callyn’s Fall Vegetable Soup starts with green, orange, and white in its classic mirepoix, then adds more green, white, and red from zucchini, great northern beans, and tomatoes. 

Broth Is Best

A lower sodium broth or stock makes for a lighter soup than a roux or heavy cream base. Choose stock over broth for a little more protein. If a soup originally calls for heavy cream, try using reduced fat milk to lighten things up.

Root To Stem

Think outside the box and use as much of the plant as possible! (Think carrot peels, broccoli stems, and radish greens)For example, pureed cauliflower soup is a great use of cauliflower stemsWhenever soups call for carrots, leave unpeeled for added convenience and fiber. 

Include Whole Grains

Whole grains in soups contribute carbohydrates we need for energy as well as fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, and a small amount of healthy fats. Dietitian Heather’s White Bean Lemon Soup utilizes whole wheat pasta and is thickened with a secret ingredient…egg yolk! 

Vary Your Flavors

There is a whole world of flavor beyond salt and pepper. Expand your spiceherb, and condiment cabinet to experience more complex flavors and lower overall salt content. Our Tom Kha Gai Soup uses lemongrass, fish sauce, and fresh ginger for a variety of flavor.

Top It Off

Toppings add the crunch, freshness, and decoration every good meal deservesSince this White Chicken Chili comes together in just a few minutes, you can spend time on topping such as pickled cabbage or onions, green onions, cilantro, tortilla strips, and nonfat plain yogurt. For other soups try out croutons, fresh herbs, nuts, seeds, or a drizzle of thinned out yogurt or coconut milk.

We hope this gets you excited to create your own soups to keep you warm and cozy this season. For more tips and tricks or to schedule an appointment with a dietitian, contact us at 

Heather’s interest in nutrition sparked from her passion for both delicious food and overall wellness. She completed her degree in Nutrition and Dietetics through Utah State University, and her dietetic internship in the St. George area.

She believes that small, sustainable lifestyle changes can have big payoffs over time. Read more about Heather…