Everyone knows winter is soup season, but some versions are healthier than others. In order for your soup to be a nutritious meal, you need to add some protein to the mix. Some of our favorites are beef, pork, and chicken. Just pick your favorite meaty protein, then get to work on featuring it in a nutritious winter soup. Slurp down the goodness with just a salad or soem bread for a complete meal.
1. Winter Vegetable and Beef Soup
This hearty vegetable and beef soup from Epicurious will easily fill you up with plenty of carrots, potatoes, and green cabbage. You’ll throw even in some frozen corn and peas for extra fiber. All those veggies paired with the protein from the beef will make this soup a meal. Vegetable and beef soup screams winter comfort food, so get started.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 4 large carrots, peeled, diced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 small bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or chopped fresh marjoram
- 6 cups beef broth
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
- 3 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage
- 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, diced
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1 cup frozen peas
Directions: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in very large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Add beef to pot; sauté until outside is no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add diced carrots, chopped onion, chopped garlic cloves, bay leaves, and thyme. Sauté 5 minutes.
Add 6 cups beef broth, tomatoes with juice, chopped cabbage, and potatoes. Bring to simmer. Partially cover pot, reduce heat, and simmer until beef and vegetables are tender, about 50 minutes. Stir in corn kernels and peas; simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Thin soup with more broth if too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Hamburger Soup
If you want something quick and satisfying, you’ll fall in love with this recipe from Taste of Home. Feeding 8, this hamburger soup will appease even the pickiest of eaters. Everything will come together in a large saucepan and the recipe will only take 45 minutes to make.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 4 cups water
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 3 medium carrots, sliced
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- ½ cup chopped celery
- 4 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup cut fresh or frozen green beans
Directions: In a large saucepan, brown beef; drain. Add the next 10 ingredients; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Add green beans. Cover and simmer 15 minutes longer or until the beans are tender.
3. Turkey Tortilla Soup
If you’re in the mood for some poultry, try this turkey tortilla soup from Fine Cooking. This soup works perfectly if you have leftover turkey on your hands, but you can also substitute chicken. Once your zesty soup is ready, top with avocado, cheese, and Greek yogurt or sour cream. The recipe serves 2 as a main course, so you might want to consider doubling it.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus 1½ to 2 cups for frying the tortillas
- ½ cup finely diced yellow onion
- 1½ tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 quart homemade turkey or chicken broth, or low-salt canned chicken broth
- 6 cilantro sprigs
- Kosher salt
- 3 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into ¼-inch-wide strips
- 1 cup shredded or medium-diced leftover roast turkey
- ¾ cup medium-diced fresh tomato
- ½ cup cooked fresh or thawed, frozen corn kernels
- ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ to 1 ripe avocado, diced into medium-size pieces
- ¼ cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons sour cream, or to taste
- ½ lime, cut into wedges
Directions: Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until softened and just beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chili powder and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 15 to 30 seconds; don’t let the chili powder scorch. Pour in the broth and scrape the bottom of the pan with the spoon to loosen any cooked-on bits. Add the cilantro sprigs and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, until the broth has reduced by about a third and is very flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes. Discard the cilantro sprigs and season to taste with salt.
For frying tortilla chips: Line a plate or tray with two layers of paper towels. Pour 1 inch of vegetable oil into a small, high-sided saucepan. If you have a candy thermometer, attach it to the pot. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until a tortilla strip sizzles immediately when dipped into the oil. Add eight to 10 tortilla strips and scrunch them with tongs for a few seconds to give them a wavy shape. Fry until the bubbling subsides and the strips are crisp and very lightly browned, about 1 minute. Transfer to the paper towels to drain, and sprinkle with a little salt while they’re still hot. Repeat with the remaining strips.
Divide the turkey, tomato, corn, beans, and tortilla strips between two large soup bowls. If necessary, reheat the broth until it’s piping hot. Pour the broth over the ingredients in the bowls. Garnish with the avocado, cheese, cilantro, dollops of sour cream (if using), and big squeezes of lime juice. Serve immediately.
4. Chicken and Rice Soup
One of the easiest way to make a satisfying soup is by combing meat and grains, and this chicken and rice soup from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food has both. Make it the next time you’re not feeling well or when you’re just trying to treat yourself to delicious yet nutritious comfort food. It’s sure to become a regular in your household.
- 1 (3- to 4-pound) chicken, skin removed
- 1½ pounds carrots, peeled and halved crosswise
- 1 pound parsnips, peeled and halved crosswise
- 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 large onions, halved and sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- Coarse salt
- 1½ cups long-grain white rice
- 6 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
Directions: In a large soup pot, combine chicken, carrots, parsnips, celery, onions, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium. Simmer partly covered, occasionally skimming and discarding fat from surface, about 1 hour.
With a slotted spoon or tongs, remove chicken, carrots, and parsnips from pot; set aside. Pour remaining contents of pot through a fine-mesh sieve into another large pot; discard solids, and bring broth to a boil. Add rice and white part of scallions. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove chicken from bones, and shred into bite-size pieces. Cut carrots and parsnips into bite-size pieces. When rice is cooked, return chicken, carrots, and parsnips to broth in pot; add green part of scallions. Season generously with 5 to 6 teaspoons coarse salt.
5. Slow Cooker Pork and Hominy Posole Soup
The recipe comes from Real Simple yields a hearty pork and hominy posole soup. The soup will cook in the crockpot for about 6 to 7 hours, or until the pork is tender, and then it’s time to shred the meat and add in the lime juice, salt, and pepper. Garnish with avocado, cilantro, and cheese, for a fun finish.
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 (12-pound) boneless pork shoulder
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can hominy, drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus wedges for serving
- Chopped avocado
- Crumbled queso fresco or feta
Directions: Combine the cumin, paprika, oregano, 1½ teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Coat the pork with this mixture, then transfer to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add the onion, broth, tomatoes, hominy, and beans and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the pork is tender, on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
Shred the pork using 2 forks and mix it into the cooking liquid. Stir in the lime juice and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Serve the soup topped with the avocado, cilantro, cheese, and lime wedges.
6. Quick Beef and Barley Soup
This beef and barley soup from Eating Well is every bit as healthy as it is delicious thanks to some lean sirloin steak and fiber-rich grains. The soup will be ready in under 40 minutes and one serving yields fewer than 300 calories. There’s nothing like a quick and hearty stew that will warm you, fill you up, and still align with your winter resolution goals.
- 8 ounces sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large stalk celery, sliced
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- ¾ cup quick-cooking barley
- 4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
- 1 cup water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 to 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
Directions: Sprinkle steak with ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the steak and cook, stirring often, until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, onion and celery to the pot and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add carrot and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add tomato paste and thyme and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are coated with the tomato paste and are beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add barley, broth, water, salt and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cook until the barley is tender, about 15 minutes. Return the beef and any accumulated juice to the pot and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vinegar to taste.