Healthy, Warming Soup Recipes for Winter

Here are healthy soups and stews to warm you up on those cold winter nights.


Red Curry Salmon Chowder

Use pre-sliced mushrooms to save time in this already-speedy recipe. For an added touch, sprinkle with chopped, toasted peanuts and serve over noodles or with a side of naan for mopping up the bowl.

Recipe Yield: 4 servings
Calories: 464
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes


1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 small red onion (thinly sliced)
2 cups mushrooms (sliced)
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
4 cloves garlic (minced)

1 red Fresno pepper (sliced)
14 ounces (1 can) light coconut milk
1–2 cups low-sodium vegetable or fish stock
2 teaspoons low-sodium fish sauce
2 teaspoons honey
1 pound skinless salmon fillet (cut into large chunks)
2 small heads bok choy (thinly sliced crosswise)
½ cup loosely packed basil leaves (thinly sliced crosswise)
½ cup cilantro leaves and thin, tender stems
2 large limes (cut into wedges)

Recipe Instructions: Heat coconut oil in a medium-large saucepan; cook onion and mushrooms for 3–5 minutes, until just softened. Stir in curry paste, ginger, garlic, and Fresno pepper; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, and honey; bring to a boil and add salmon and bok choy. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 3–6 minutes (depending on salmon thickness), until bok choy is tender. Divide among four bowls, sprinkle with basil and cilantro, and serve with lime wedges on the side.

PER SERVING: 377 cal, 29g fat (21g mono, 3g poly, 6g sat), 7mg chol, 5g protein, 23g carb, 4g fiber, 211mg sodium


Cauliflower, Celery, and Leek Soup

Frozen cauliflower makes this soup the fastest ever. Be sure to use high-quality paprika that’s relatively fresh. Substitute gluten-free, hearty whole-grain, or any kind of bread you have on hand for the croutons; or skip the croutons and top with a drizzle of flavorful olive oil, pumpkin-seed oil, or white truffle oil for a luxurious finish.

Yield: 6 servings
Calories: 143
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes


3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
1 medium leek (thinly sliced, white and green parts)
7 stalks celery (thinly sliced)
1 pound frozen cauliflower
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
12 small, thin slices baguette
2 cloves garlic (pressed)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Recipe Instructions: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add leek and celery, and cook for 4 minutes until just softened, being careful not to burn. Add cauliflower and broth; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 10–15 minutes. While soup is cooking, preheat broiler. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper, and mix well. Brush bread slices with oil mixture and broil for 1–2 minutes, until crispy. When soup is done, purée in batches until smooth and creamy. Return to pot and season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls, top each serving with two croutons, and serve immediately.

PER SERVING: 143 cal, 7g fat (5g mono, 1g poly, 1g sat), 0mg chol, 3g protein, 16g carb, 4g fiber, 305mg sodium


Chilled Southwestern Tomato Soup with Crab

Bold colors and bright flavors make this soup a festive starter for entertaining on those cold, winter nights. Serving tip: For a light supper, serve with warm corn tortillas.

Recipe Yield: 6 Servings
Preparation and Cook Time: 8 minutes


4 cups chilled low-sodium tomato-vegetable juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
3 tablespoons chopped red onion
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup seeded and diced cucumber
1 large avocado, diced
8 ounces fresh crabmeat

Recipe Instructions: Combine tomato-vegetable juice, lime juice, cumin, sea salt, garlic, red onion, and cilantro in a large bowl. (If time permits, refrigerate for 30 minutes to meld flavors.) Divide cucumber, avocado, and crabmeat between four bowls, creating a mound in the center of each. Pour soup around vegetables and crab. Sprinkle with black pepper. Serve at once.

PER SERVING: 129 cal, 37% fat cal, 6g fat, 1g sat fat, 27mg chol, 9g protein, 12g carb, 4g fiber, 417mg sodium


Sweet Potato Soup with Ginger

This warming and satisfying soup comes together quickly—and seems to disappear just as fast! For the most velvety texture, use a traditional blender to purée the soup, but don’t fill the jar more than half full.

Recipe Yield: 8 servings
Calories: 199


1 large yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1/8–1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
2½ pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
Juice of 1 small lime
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Recipe Instructions: In soup pot or large saucepan, sauté onion in olive oil until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add ginger, cumin, cayenne, and salt; stir 1 minute. Add sweet potatoes and stir to coat. Stir in broth and coconut milk and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15–20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Working in batches, purée soup in blender until smooth (an immersion blender will yield a more rustic purée). Return soup to pot, stir in lime juice, and season with additional salt, if desired. Serve, garnished with cilantro leaves.

PER SERVING: 199 cal, 5g fat (1g mono, 0g poly, 3g sat), 0mg chol, 4g protein, 32g carb, 5g fiber, 249mg sodium


Southern Sweet Onion Soup

A bowl of this smooth, mild soup teamed with a plate of seasoned, steamed greens and a whole-grain muffin makes a warming wintertime meal.

Recipe Yield: 6 Servings
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes


3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups (2 medium) sweet onions such as Vidalia, sliced thinly
4 cups vegetable stock (if stock is unsalted, add ½ teaspoon salt)
1 10½-ounce package of soft silken tofu
Dash of nutmeg

Recipe Instructions: In a skillet, sauté olive oil and onions over medium heat until transparent. Remove from heat. Pour vegetable stock into a saucepan. Add the sautéed onions and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes, until onions are very soft. Remove saucepan from heat and transfer mixture to a blender. Break block of soft tofu into pieces and add to soup in blender. Process until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Pour soup into bowls and garnish with a dash of nutmeg. Serve hot or chilled.


Slow-Cooker Chicken and Poblano Posole

Posole is a traditional Mexican stew made with hominy, a type of dried corn or maize. Usually served with the chicken on the bone, you can also remove skin and bones and return the meat to the stew before serving. If you’d rather use dried hominy, simply add 1 cup with the other ingredients at the beginning of cooking. This hearty, delicious, and simple dish is especially good with warm corn tortillas and a profusion of garnishes.

Recipe Yield: 6 servings
Calories: 464
Preparation Time: 11 minutes
Cook Time: 240 minutes


3 pounds chicken parts (skin removed)
6 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
2 poblano chilies (coarsely chopped)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons chipotle powder
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes (in juice)
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 serrano chilies (halved lengthwise; no need to seed)
1 can (15 ounces) hominy (posole), rinsed and drained
½ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
2 avocados (cubed)
Shredded red cabbage, Cotija cheese, sour cream, lime wedges (garnish)

Recipe Instructions: Place chicken pieces in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Layer garlic, onion, poblano chilies, and spices on top. Pour tomatoes and broth over all. Add serrano peppers. Cover and cook on low for 6–7 hours or on high for 4–5 hours. Add hominy, cover, and continue cooking for 1 hour more, until flavors infuse and chicken is falling off the bone. Remove and discard serrano peppers (or mince and return to pot for extra spice). Season with salt and pepper. To serve, divide chicken pieces among shallow bowls. Pour hominy and peppers over. Shower with cilantro, top with avocado, and serve hot, with garnishes alongside.

PER SERVING: 464 cal, 14g fat (8g mono, 3g poly, 3g sat), 197mg chol, 49g protein, 24g carb, 9g fiber, 285mg sodium

Reprinted with changes from, by permission of the publisher.