It’s the middle of a bleak, cold winter, and that means it’s the season for soup. Savory, soul-satisfying soups deserve to replace some of the lean and green salads many people are gobbling up this time of year, and even if you’re still keeping with your resolutions, these broth-based soups we’re about to highlight are for you. Not all soups have to be thick, creamy, and artery-clogging. The healthiest ones are those that have a low-calorie broth base and boast a rich assortment of grains and vegetables. According to Livestrong, most varieties of broth (beef, chicken, and fish) contain about 30 to 40 calories per cup, and vegetable broth contains about 12 calories per cup. Even better, vegetable broth contains no fat, and while commercially prepared chicken broth has 1.4 grams of fat and beef broth contains about 0.5 grams, that fat is mostly unsaturated and better for your health.
So, whether you’re sick in bed with the flu, or just are craving a low-cal warm dinner, these 6 broth-based soup recipes we’ve found around the web are for you. Some are vegetarian, some are seafood-based, and some of them contain beef and chicken. Pick your poison and warm up the stove. Soup’s on!
1. Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Our first recipe comes from Cooking Light, and it’s for the classic Chicken Noodle Soup we all know and love. This soup will soothe any sore throat, sinus infection, or stuffy nose. Its magical healing powers is all in its low-fat broth, assortment of vegetables, chicken, and seasonings. Don’t buy the canned soup when you can simply make your own. Follow this recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup and say no to store-bought sodium.
- 8 cups Chicken Stock or fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 2 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 skinless, bone-in chicken breast half
- 2 cups diagonally sliced carrot
- 2 cups diagonally sliced celery
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 6 ounces uncooked medium egg noodles
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Celery leaves (optional)
Directions: Combine the first 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; let stand for 10 minutes. Remove chicken from bones; shred meat into bite-sized pieces. Discard bones.
Add carrot, celery, and onion to pan; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add noodles, and simmer 6 minutes. Add chicken, salt, and black pepper; cook for 2 minutes or until noodles are done. Garnish with celery leaves.
2. Wonton Soup
Next up is Wonton Soup from Damn Delicious. Yes, you can make it at home, and yes, you make it taste just as good as your favorite Asian takeout. As long as you’re willing to take a trip to the Asian market and pick up a few key ingredients, anyone can master homemade Wonton Soup. Before another cold comes on, grab shrimp, sriracha, wonton wrappers, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and vegetables. It’s go time.
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms
- 2 baby bok choy
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon yellow miso paste, or more, to taste
- 8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon Sriracha, optional
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 36 2-inch won ton wrappers
Directions: In a large bowl, combine shrimp, garlic, green onions, oyster sauce, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, Sriracha and pepper. To assemble the wontons, place wrappers on a work surface. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the shrimp mixture into the center of each wrapper. Using your finger, rub the edges of the wrappers with water. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, pinching the edges to seal; set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth, mushrooms and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until mushrooms have softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in bok choy and green onions. Stir in miso paste until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in wontons until cooked through, about 2 minutes.
3. Vegetable Soup
Here’s a recipe for the vegetarian readers, or those who simply want to go meat-free for a meal. Luckily, this soup from Alton Brown, highlighted on Food Network will satisfy all types of consumers, as it’s satiating thanks to fibrous vegetables, and also easily customizable. Make your soup with veggie or chicken broth, and pick the kinds of vegetables you want to star in it. The more veggies, the better – just don’t forget your parsley, garlic, pepper, or salt.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped leeks, white part only
- 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds
- 2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
- 2 cups fresh green beans, broken or cut into ¾-inch pieces
- 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
- 2 ears corn, kernels removed
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Directions: Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the leeks, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, and green beans and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add the tomatoes, corn kernels, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add the parsley and lemon juice. Season, to taste, with kosher salt. Serve immediately.
4. Homemade Crockpot Minestrone Soup
This next recipe for homemade soup is also chock full of vegetables, but in this recipe from Little Spice Jar beans and pasta also steal the show. This homemade minestrone soup can be made in a crockpot, and it takes all of 15 total minutes. The ingredient list is lengthy, but comprised of nothing you don’t usually have in your kitchen, and one recipe makes 6 to 8 servings, generously providing you with leftovers for days.
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomato pesto
- 1 parmesan rind
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 1 ¼ cup celery, diced
- 1 ½ cup white onion, diced
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 sprig rosemary (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
- 1½ cups zucchini, diced
- 1½ cups tubular pasta
- 1 cup frozen green beans, thawed
- 2½ cups baby spinach, chopped
- Finely shredded Parmesan cheese, for serving
Directions: Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato pesto, parmesan rind, vegetable stock, water, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves to a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook on low heat 6-8 hours or high 3 to 4 hours.
Add in red kidney beans, great northern beans, zucchini, and pasta and cook on high heat for an additional 20 – 25 minutes until pasta is tender. Stir in the spinach and green beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes until heated through. Serve warm topped with parmesan cheese and garlic toasts.
5. Chicken Tortilla Soup
Appealing to the chicken-lovers out there, we’re highlighting this Homemade Tortilla Soup from The Pioneer Woman. It’s warm, it’s filling, and it’s good for your soul. Plus, you don’t even need to visit a Mexican restaurant to indulge in it. With this recipe, you’re not only making your own homemade soup, you’re also making your own tortillas, and you should prepare for your guests to be impressed. All meat-eaters love themselves a good tortilla soup, and this one will satisfy all your cold and hungry guests.
- 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1½ teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 cup Diced Onion
- ¼ cup Diced Green Bell Pepper
- ¼ cup Red Bell Pepper
- 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 can Tomatoes And Green Chilies
- 32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken Stock
- 3 tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 4 cups Hot Water
- 2 cans Black Beans, Drained
- 3 tablespoons Cornmeal Or Masa
- 5 whole Corn Tortillas, Cut Into Uniform Strips Around 2 To 3 Inches
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix. Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir. Pour in tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.
Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more if needed — add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to under-salt. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips.
6. French Onion Soup
Last but not least: a crowd-favorite, French Onion Soup. Panera has nothing on this recipe from Taste of Home. Cheese-lovers should gather around – they’re going to want a taste of this one. Whether you’re pining for Paris, summer, or any escape from the polar vortex, this soup is for you. Gather your cheese, onions, broth, and bread. Winter isn’t going anywhere, but there’s nothing a little Swiss cheese can’t fix.
- 4 cups thinly sliced onions
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup butter
- 6 cups water
- 8 beef bouillon cubes
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 6 slices French bread (¾ inch thick), buttered and toasted
- 6 slices Swiss cheese
Directions: In a large covered saucepan, cook onions and garlic in butter over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes or until tender and golden, stirring occasionally. Add water, bouillon, and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Ladle hot soup into six ovenproof bowls. Top each with a piece of French bread. Cut each slice of cheese in half and place over the bread. Broil until cheese melts.