7 Soup Meals for Cold Weather

What to eat when the temperature drops? A bowlful of healthy, wholesome soup does the body good. And a veggie-laden, one-pot, one-dish meal means less to wash up. Here are my favorites, loaded the way I like with nutrient-dense superfoods that boosts the energy shield of our immune systems keeping wintertime colds and viruses at bay. Onion/garlic, beans and greens are loaded with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, phytochemicals (natural plant chemicals) vital for good health.

Beans are a powerhouse of superior nutrition, and the most nutrient-dense carbohydrate source. They act as an anti-diabetes and weight-loss food because they are digested slowly, having a stabilizing effect on blood sugar, which promotes satiety and helps to prevent food cravings. Plus they contain soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol levels. Eating beans, peas or lentils at least twice a week has been found to decrease colon cancer risk by 50%.8 Legume intake also provides significant protection against oral, larynx, pharynx, stomach, and kidney cancers.

Super Immunity
Joel Fuhrman MD

Beans are a powerhouse of superior nutrition, and the most nutrient-dense carbohydrate source.…

It’s worth making a double recipe of these soups. We enjoy a meal one evening, perhaps a bowl for lunch the next day and freeze the remainder in mason jars.

Another marvelous option for blustery winter days is chili. Check out my Favorite Chili Roundup for some nutritious, delicious recipes.

African Coconut Soup

Gently flavored with curry, colored by red bell pepper and tomatoes, this soup is satisfying both to palate and tummy.

Serve with pita or naan bread.

Armenian Lentil Soup

I love this aromatic soup touched with cinnamon, cloves, and dash of cayenne. The eggplant blends in a most pleasing way with the lentils and bell peppers, bites of dried apricots surprise the taste buds, a smidgen of brown sugar and vinegar enhance the flavors in a delightful way.

I serve with pita and fresh feta cheese or a crusty bread.

Mushroom Barely Soup

Barley soup is one of my comfort foods. Mushrooms have a happy place in my childhood memories; I remember picking them in the Austrian woods with my grandfather.

Mushrooms contain many unusual disease-fighting compounds that empower the body to react quickly and powerfully when we are exposed to disease-causing pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. White, cremini, Portobello, oyster, maitake mushrooms have all shown anticancer effects; they prevent DNA damage, slow cancer cell or tumor growth, cause programmed cancer cell death and/or prevent tumors from acquiring a blood supply. Consuming mushrooms regularly is associated with a significantly reduced risk of breast cancer in both pre and postmenopausal women.

Super Immunity
Joel Fuhrman MD

Mushrooms contain many unusual disease-fighting compounds that empower the body to react quickly and powerfully when we are exposed to viruses and bacteria.…

I serve with this with a baguette brushed with olive oil and crushed garlic. Or tomato toasts (brush sliced bread with olive oil and crushed garlic, sliced tomato on top and broil for 4 -5 minutes).

Kale and White Bean Stew

I often use organic canned beans as a safety catch when I need to make dinner in a hurry, but I’m getting better about cooking a pot of beans and freeze in mason jars to have beans on hand when needed. This is a simple old-fashioned recipe; just put it all in the pot and let a low flame do the magic.

The combination of onion, kale and bean make this a powerhouse immunity boosting soup. What really makes this soup delicious are the fresh herbs. I use whatever I have at the time: basil and parsely, chives and thyme, cilantro.

Serve with cheese toasts or baguette brushed with olive oil and minced garlic.

Curried Red Lentil and Swiss Chard Stew with Garbanzo Beans

This is another simple soup, and it cooks quickly. Again, the combination of onions, lentils, garbanzo, and cruciferous (swiss chard in the case) make it a super immunity soup. Actually, it seems to me more of a curry given the generous amount of that spice. As much as I savor the soup, I also enjoy the colors. I top it with plain Greek yogurt and chopped cilantro or parsley.

Serve with pita or naan bread, fresh feta and mint or parsley.

Lemony Chicken and Orzo Soup

I’m convinced chicken soup really is good for the soul. It is my ultimate comfort food, reminiscent of home and mother and love. This version is quick to make and delightful in its simplicity. The dill and touch of lemon make it light and fragrant. I use whole-wheat orzo. I’ve also made it with leftover barley or leftover quinua instead or orzo.

I serve with this with a baguette brushed with olive oil and crushed garlic. Or tomato toasts (brush sliced bread with olive oil and crushed garlic, sliced tomato on top and broil for 4 -5 minutes). And pitted kalamata olive if I have them.

Turkey Sausage Garbanzo Soup

Sausage and bean soup has timeless connotations in Spanish and Portugues cuisine. This is an ideal meal when in the mood for a spicy something soup. The texture contrast of sliced avocado is a party for the taste buds. Or skip the jalapeños and increase fresh rosemary (finely chopped) to 1 tablespoon for a different flavor experience.

Serve with a crusty bread or baguette.

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