Soup is a perfect meal for chilly winter days. Not only is it warm and comforting, loaded with veggies, and easy to make, but it’s also inexpensive and a perfect leftover for lunches throughout the week.
Do you find your crisper filled with an array of produce after a week of cooking meals for your family? Make use of those mismatched veggies lingering in the refrigerator with a healthy and comforting soup.
Granted, not all of us have strong culinary instincts, so the thought of getting creative and simply using what you have on-hand without a clear guide is intimidating.
Have no fear: We have an easy-to-follow guide to building your own flavorful soup. And there is a good chance you already have everything you need in your kitchen!
5 Easy Steps to Build a Healthy Soup
- Start with a liquid. Opt for a low-sodium vegetable, chicken or beef stock. Bring four cups to a low boil in a large saucepan.
- Select a protein, Add approximately 16 ounces of pre-cooked protein to the stock. Good sources of protein include beans, shrimp, ham, chicken, lentils, shredded turkey, beef or tofu.
- Add some veggies. Be generous with the vegetable (we recommend adding at least three). In addition to the usual favorites like carrots, onions and celery, we also suggest branching out and trying leafy greens, squash, cauliflower, broccoli and peppers.
- Choose a whole grain. Add two cups of whole wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa, barley or another grain.
- Bring on the flavor. Kick your soup up a notch with fresh or dried herbs such as parsley, basil, thyme or chives. Lemon juice and garlic are also very versatile and complement most other flavors nicely.
Let your mixture simmer on the stovetop for an hour. You can also add your ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for eight hours.
If you aren’t quite ready to get creative with your soup, here’s an easy-to-make, flavor-packed options that makes a great weekday lunch or light dinner.