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Soup’s On: 3 Healthy Soup Recipes

Posted 10/12/2016 by UHBlog

Is your diet meeting all your nutritional needs? We can help make sure it does.

Soup’s On: 3 Healthy Soup Recipes

With chilly temperatures on the horizon, few things will warm you as much as a bowl of soup. But soup is more than just nostalgia in a bowl. It’s a healthy meal option that packs in the vitamins.

Soup is also easy to make, says clinical nutrition manager Jacqueline Telmanik, MS, RDN, LD. All you need to do is throw some vegetables, beans and clear broth into a slow cooker.

“Soup is a budget-friendly way to fill up on nutrients,” Telmanik says. “I make it once a month as a way of using up all my produce.”

According to Telmanik, soup can help you:

  • Rehydrate. Soup’s high water content helps replenish lost fluids. This is especially important when you're sick and at a higher risk for dehydration.
    “No one wants to eat when they’re sick, but everyone wants to eat chicken soup,” she says.
  • Lose weight (as long as the soup is not cream-based). “Soups with a clear broth are healthier, lower-calorie options than many other sides,” Telmanik says. And its high water content leaves you feeling filled and less likely to reach for that second serving of meat loaf later.
  • Add fiber. Nutritionists recommend that men over the age of 50 get 30 grams of fiber per day and women over the age of 50 get 21 grams of fiber a day. According to Telmanik, it can be hard to meet these requirements because most of the processed foods Americans eat tend to be low in fiber. Eating soups that contain beans or whole grains – like brown rice and barley – is a tasty, easy ways to increase your intake of fiber, which helps aid digestion and reduces cholesterol.

But not all soups are created equal. People with high blood pressure or cardiac problems, for instance, should stay away from soups with high sodium contents, Telmanik says. Too much salt can aggravate hypertension and heart disease.

“For these patients, canned soup is probably not the best, unless it’s low sodium,” she says. In those instances, Telmanik recommends making soup at home, where you can control the amount of salt that goes into the broth.

To help flavor these home-made soups, she suggests adding dried herbs or salt-free seasonings to the broth. And to ensure you always have vegetables at the ready – no matter what the month – Telmanik recommends chopping and freezing seasonal produce that can be dropped into soups at a later time.

Telmanik recommends these three delicious, easy-to-make soup recipes to help you get started:

Turkey and Bean Soup

Makes 10 one-cup servings.


  • 1 lb of ground turkey
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 quarts low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 low-sodium vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 cup kidney beans
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon salt, optional
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  1. In a large saucepan, brown the turkey.
  2. In a large pot, bring chicken stock, water and spices to a boil.
  3. Add the turkey, carrots, celery, onion and bouillon cubes.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Add beans, spinach and peas and cook on medium high for 30 more minutes.

Butternut Squash Soup

Makes 10 one-cup servings.


  • Medium butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 10 oz. low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup low-fat milk
  1. Wash butternut squash and cut lengthwise. Scoop out seeds with spoon and discard. Place on foil-lined baking sheet with flesh side down. Bake at 350 degrees in the oven for 2 hours or until soft.
  2. Remove squash from oven and allow to cool.
  3. Spray large saucepan with non-stick cooking spray. Sauté chopped onion on medium high for 3 minutes or until it begins to become translucent. Add vegetable broth, cinnamon, garlic powder and salt. Add squash. Cook for 10-15 more minutes on medium heat.
  4. Carefully, add to food processor. This will be hot and can pop when processed, so always place a towel over the food process to avoid getting burnt. Blend on medium until smooth while slowly adding milk.

Minestrone Soup

Makes 12 one-cup servings.


  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 (14.5 ounces) cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 large potato, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large head cabbage, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 (15-ounce cans) red beans
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced
  • Hot pepper flakes to taste
  • Handful of chopped garlic and basil
  1. In a large soup pot, combine the vegetable stock, the undrained tomatoes, potato, onion celery, carrot, cabbage and oregano. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the beans and zucchini; simmer for 10 to 15 more minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Season with hot pepper flakes, garlic and basil.

Jacqueline Telmanik, RDN, LD is a clinical nutrition manager at the Diabetes Center at University Hospitals Bedford Medical Center. You can request an appointment with a dietitian or any other University Hospitals health care professional online.

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