7 Super Yummy Soups for a Healthy New Year

2nd Jan 2014 / By Guest Contributor

Happy New Year! January is the time for fresh starts, resolutions… and National Soup Month! If you’re like me, your New Year’s resolution probably includes something about your health, so what better way to celebrate than with 7 days of soup?

Soup is a healthy, affordable way to feed yourself and your family, especially during colder months. I’m sure we could all use some of that after such a whirlwind of a holiday season! And here’s the best part: soup is so easy! Just throw a few ingredients in a pot or slow cooker and you’re on your way to a tasty, satisfying meal without the hassle. Another plus is that many soup recipes (including the seven below) can easily be adjusted to accommodate those with special diets or food intolerances. So whether you’re embarking on your first year of being gluten-free or vegan, or you’re just trying to get more veggies in your diet, there’s bound to be a soup for you! I love soup so much I’ve even included a couple of my own recipes in the list (Day 1 & Day 3!). No matter what kind you choose, it’s sure to be delicious! Check out the recipes below and let us know: what kind of soup will you be making this month?

Day 1: Creamy Dairy-Free Winter Squash Chicken Soup (serves 4)

  • 1 medium cooked acorn or winter squash, cubed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 15-ounce cans white beans
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (omit for vegetarian option)

1. Place squash, chicken broth, water, and white beans in a food processor or blender. Blend on high until smooth.
2. Transfer the squash mixture into a medium sized sauce pan over medium-high heat. Stir in vinegar, garlic, spices, and bay leaf. When the mixture begins to bubble reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.
3. While the soup simmers, shred your chicken breasts (if using). When your soup is done cooking, remove the bay leaf and stir in the shredded chicken. Serve with salt and pepper as desired.

Day 2: Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (serves 8)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • 10 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. In a 6 quart slow cooker, combine onion, carrots, celery, garlic, wild rice, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper. Top with chicken breast halves. Add the chicken broth.
2. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low heat setting for 6 to 6 1/2 hours or on high-heat setting about 3 1/2 hours. Carefully remove chicken and shred with two forks. Return to the slow cooker and stir. Remove the bay leaves. Add the parsley and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Day 3: Mom’s Famous Chili (serves 4)

  • 1-1 ½ lbs. ground beef
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1-3 teaspoons cayenne chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Cheese and sour cream, to serve (optional)

1. Sauté ground beef and onion together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until beef is browned. Remove from heat and let cool. Drain any excess liquid.
2. In a slow cooker, combine ground beef and onions with all other ingredients. Stir together and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the bay leaves and serve topped with cheese and sour cream if desired.

Day 4: Vegan Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup (serves 6)

  • 2 Tbsp. safflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 cup baby spinach or kale

1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat and sauté onion for about 2 minutes, until soft.
2. Stir in tomatoes and ginger, cooking an additional 3 minutes. Stir in turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and salt and cook for 2 minutes, tasting to make sure it’s to your liking.
3. Next add the sweet potatoes, broth and lentils.
4. Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat and cover, allowing to simmer for about 30 minutes.
5. Then add spinach (or kale) and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Day 5: Clean Eating Tomato Soup (serves 4)

  • 1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock (no sugar added)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 cup nonfat milk or milk alternative

1. Combine all ingredients in a pot.
2. Bring to a soft boil and stir until heated through.

Day 6: Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup (serves 6-8)

For your chicken:

  • 3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2.5lbs worth)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For your soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • 1 (4oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (14oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 32 oz (4 cups) fluid chicken stock
  • juice of 2 limes
  • chopped cilantro, to garnish
  • crushed plantain chips, to garnish
  • sliced avocado, to garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place chicken on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pour on some olive oil and then sprinkle with cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
3. Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts). Once your chicken is done baking, use two fork to shred the chicken.
4. While your chicken is baking, get your soup ready. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat then add your minced garlic.
5. Add onions, red bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and poblano pepper. Mix around to help coat.
6. Once your onions begin to become translucent, pour in your green chiles and diced fire roasted tomatoes, along with the rest of your spices. Mix together.
7. Then add your shredded chicken and chicken stock to the pot.
8. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
9. When your soup has simmered, add in your lime juice and a bit more salt and pepper.
10. Add your soup to a bowl along with avocado, cilantro, and plantain chips.

Day 7: Slow Cooker Split Pea & Ham Soup (serves 6)

  • 2 1/4 cups (16 ounces) dried split peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 leftover ham bone or ham hock
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup cooked diced ham

1. In a slow cooker, combine all of the ingredients except the diced ham. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until peas are tender.
2. Remove the ham bone and bay leaves and then stir in the diced ham.


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