Soups are one of the best ways to eat healthy and delicious! Here are our best easy soup recipes that the whole family will love.
When people ask Alex and me where to start for eating healthy, we typically reply, “souprecipes!” Why? There are multiple benefits to cooking up a big pot of soup. Here’s a collection of our best easy and healthy soup recipes. But first: what’s so great about soups?
Why soup recipes are the perfect healthy meal
Soups make it easy to eat lots of vegetables at once. You can eat a vegetarian meal without eating any real nutritious vegetables. (Grilled cheese! Mac and cheese!) Sometimes looking at a refrigerator of raw veggies, we feel uninspired, too. Soups make eating lots of vegetables easy, healthy and delicious.
Soup recipes make meal planning a breeze. In the winter, our meal plans start to look like this: Soup and bread. Soup and salad. Soup and cornbread. They work for a weeknight, a dinner party for entertaining, or made ahead for lunches.
Soups are cozy and comforting. There’s nothing more hygge (read: extremely cozy) than a steaming bowl of soup. Just add a fuzzy blanket and a candle.
Over the years we’ve made hundreds of healthy soup recipes. Here’s a collection of few of the best soup recipes that stand out here on A Couple Cooks. And, they’re healthy and easy soup recipes too! And perfect with a side of Best Homemade Cornbread or our Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits.
Here's a delightful bright red soup recipe that tastes like pizza! The puree of tomatoes and tangy artichokes is based on a soup from one of our favorite local restaurants, and it's become a reader favorite! Garnish with homemade croutons and Parmesan cheese.
This healthy soup recipe is a popular one from our cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking! You’ll be amazed by how much flavor is achieved in just over 30 minutes. The secret is adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilis, which brings in a smoky flavor without adding too much heat! Topped with homemade crunchy tortilla strips, you won’t be able to stop eating it.
This Moroccan-spiced cauliflower soup recipe is vibrant and full of delicious vegetables and cozy spices! Cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon make a big bowl that is positively restorative! The cauliflower is roasted until lightly charred, then pureed with the spices into a silky puree. Top with roasted cauliflower, green onion and a drizzle of olive oil. It's pretty simple to put together, full of nutrients, and gluten-free.
Yes, we’re pulling out the expletives because this lentil soup recipe is so delicious, you won’t even remember that you’re doing your body and the planet good. You’ll just feel like you’re wrapped in a cozy hug. Featuring fire-roasted tomatoes, savory fennel, and garlic, this vegan lentil soup is ready to amaze you.
Chili is an age old soup recipe that’s super (soup-er?) satisfying. This classic vegetarian chili recipe is one of our fan favorites. Think you can’t eat chili without meat? This chili recipe will convince you otherwise. Bulgur wheat mimics the texture of meat, and green chilis and hefty dose of chili powder add big flavor. This one is over the top delicious and a total crowd pleaser.
This dreamy, creamy red lentil soup is an easy vegetarian dinner recipe that's packed with plant based protein. Red lentils are full of nutrients and can cure any case of the fall or winter blues! Simmering the lentils with spices results in a complex and delicious flavor. What really amps it up is the garnish: crunchy toasted almonds, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of tangy lemon makes this soup next level.
This tortellini soup recipe is savory and hearty, with a lightly sweet depth that makes you want the bowl to be never-ending. The trick? Tomato paste and paprika give just the right complexity to the broth. Whole basil leaves are added right after the tortellini cooks, which meld into the beautiful velvety broth. Add a bit of Parmesan cheese and it’s a little bit of heaven.
This sweet potato soup recipe is full of unexpected flavor! The magic ingredient is peanut butter, which makes a rich creamy base with spices like cumin and turmeric. Spinach brings in a nutritional punch, and it’s garnished with harissa: a North African chili paste! You can find mild harissa in most grocery stores: it adds a lot of flavor without any heat. Add a handful of crunchy peanuts for a garnish.
This colorful Italian soup recipe is bursting with flavor and nutrients, and takes about 30 minutes to make! Garlic, tomatoes, green beans, chickpeas, and spinach swim in a super flavorful broth surrounded by pillows of doughy gnocchi! This soup is ultra flavorful without a long simmering time. And adding tender gnocchi into a soup recipe instead of noodles brings a unique flair.
Can you make room in your heart for another tomato soup recipe? This tangy, creamy vegan tomato soup that’s always a hit with whoever tries it! To put it over the top, make star toasts or croutons: or even grilled cheese croutons? This soup has the most comforting vibe: it’s made creamy with cashews instead of cream so it's totally plant based.
There’s nothing quite like the cozy factor that is split pea soup! This vegetarian version is one of our favorite healthy dinner recipes. Why? It’s not only hearty and delicious, but it’s also incredibly easy to make! You'll use a touch of liquid smoke to evoke the flavor of the traditional ham.
This tomato artichoke lentil stew recipe is one of our very favorites. It's tangy, delicious and hearty, filled with lentils, tomatoes, tangy artichokes, and kale. Top with Parmesan shavings and serve with crusty bread for a cozy, Italian style meal.
Brussels sprouts is soup? Yes, they're shredded and added to a soup recipe with lots of veggies and farro, a whole grain that’s a bit like barley but cooks faster. The soup is flavored with shallot, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, and a few handfuls of greens are thrown in at the end. Brussels sprouts soup is a unique way to boost immunity and get your cozy on.
This soup recipe uses sprouted lentils along with kale, tomato, onion and carrot to make an unexpectedly delicious, totally nutritious and super hearty stew. It’s lovely for dinner with crusty bread and leftovers are perfect for lunch. What are sprouted lentils? Sprouting this legume makes them easier for your body to digest the nutrients. They're sold dried in stores (we found ours for this one at Whole Foods), or you can also sprout lentils at home.
And finally, the coziest soup of them all: this wild rice soup recipe! This soup is creamy and oh so comforting, featuring white beans, carrots, mushrooms and wild rice. It’s plant based and naturally creamy using cashews. It makes for a filling and satisfying wild rice soup that rounds out our list of soup recipes. (For a pressure cooker version, use Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup).
In a large soup pot, heat the butter. Sauté the onions, garlic, and bay leaves until the onions are translucent, 5 to 6 minutes.
To the pot, add the artichokes, canned tomatoes,water, oregano, basil, Parmesan cheese, and kosher salt. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves. Using an immersion blender (or transfer to a standard blender), blend the soup to a smooth consistency. Taste and add additional kosher salt if necessary. Garnish with croutons and shaved Pecorino Romano cheese and serve. (Tip: The soup becomes thicker after refrigeration, so if reheating you may need to stir in a bit of water or milk to achieve the correct consistency.)
To make the garlic croutons: Preheat the oven to 300°F. Cut the bread into small cubes and place in a small bowl. Mix with the olive oil, kosher salt and garlic powder. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and top with the bread cubes. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes, then let cool for a few minutes before serving. (Croutons can be made in advance and stored in a sealed container until ready to use.)
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.