Soup is the salad of winter — you can pack in a ton of veggies and it’s a vehicle for an endless array of flavors and texture. Plus, it can be a complete, balanced meal in a single bowl if you do it right!
We seldom use a soup “as is” straight from the package for two reasons. One, we need more food to make it a complete meal. Two, we need more textures and flavors to make it satisfying. This isn’t to say that there aren’t some rockin’ soups out there that are crazy delicious straight from the package, but with a few additions and a little doctoring, they go from being a good meal to a great (nutritionally balanced) one.
Our favorite dinnertime soup starts with a base of a plain veggie soup, like tomato, broccoli, red pepper and tomato, carrot or butternut squash. Then we create a meal-worthy stew by adding various simple components. Here’s our guide to creating a meal-in-a-bowl soup in under 15 minutes.
Add one from each group below to create a delicious, satisfying, fast lunch or dinner. Or, if you already have a can of soup with one of the components (like lentil soup, which already has the protein) you can add just the missing ingredients!
Canned or home-cooked beans (black, kidney, white, lentils), shredded pre-cooked chicken, cubed extra firm tofu (sauteed or uncooked), edamame, canned salmon, crab or tuna, pre-cooked chicken sausage, ground cooked turkey breast.
Healthy high-fiber carbs
Baby spinach, sautéed mushrooms or onions, bell peppers, Swiss chard, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, frozen mixed veggies, (or any veggies you love!)
Extra delicious tip
Recipe idea: Italian white bean and kale soup
Start with 2 cups of roasted red pepper and tomato soup as the base. While heating over medium heat, add 1/2 cup white beans, 2 cups chopped kale, dried oregano, garlic powder, and black pepper to taste. Heat for 7-8 minutes or until the kale is soft and cooked. Top with 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Photo credit: jules via Flickr