11 Nutritious Soups To Make For Healthy Lunches All Week
If you find yourself experiencing a midday—or midafternoon—slump, it may be time to consider changing up your lunch routine for something a bit more warming and nutritious like a great soup. Especially as the weather starts to turn colder, a bit of comfort at lunchtime is perfect for beating any rut.
Making a great soup starts with picking great ingredients. Luckily, this time of year the farmers markets are chock-full of vegetables that make great soups. Root vegetables, in particular, can be the perfect foundation for making the sort of filling, comforting, warming soups you might be craving this time of year.
We love making a batch of soup at the start of the week for a quick and nutritious route to lunch even when we're short on time. Not only that, but if you ask us, soup gets better and better over the course of the week as the flavors and ingredients continue to come together. This list of recipes focuses on the comforting flavors of winter, with something for every diet and every taste preference.
Fermented Garlic & Squash Soup
The autumnal counterpart to pumpkin, butternut squash is a great source of vitamin C, which makes it a powerful food for immunity. In this vegetarian recipe, it's paired with fermented black garlic: a double-whammy of fermented food power paired with the many health benefits of garlic.
Curried Cauliflower Stem Soup
We love finding recipes that make the most of our favorite ingredients so we can get more bang for our buck and cut back on the food in our waste bins. This recipe utilizes the oft-tossed stems of cauliflower in a luscious soup flavored with leek, garlic, and curry powder—perfect for warming up on a cool afternoon.
Cauliflower Soup With Curry-Fried Apple & Seeds
If you have a whole head of cauliflower to work with, you can try this soup recipe, which also takes advantage of another seasonal ingredient: apples. The soup itself is a simple mix of cauliflower with onions, garlic, plus some beans for protein—but the topping of curry-fried apples is what really makes it unique and exciting. It's exactly what you need for an inspired midweek lunch.
Turmeric Black Bean & Sweet Potato Soup
Maybe it seems silly to worry about cutting down on dishes when you're meal prepping since it's the one time you'll have to worry about it all week—but honestly, we're a sucker for any one-pot recipe. This soup has complex flavor but isn't complex to put together. This black bean and sweet potato soup includes turmeric, cumin, coconut milk, cilantro, and lime juice—so you'll need to plan for it at the store, but we promise it'll be worth it.
Creamy Vegan Sweet Potato Soup
For a simpler take on the sweet potato soup—one that really lets the sweet potato itself shine—turn to this recipe instead. Eight ingredients come together in the soup, and there's also a simple recipe included for making everything-flavored croutons to top it off with. Roasting the sweet potatoes before bring out their natural sweetness and makes the blending process at the end simpler.
Chicken Zoodle Soup
Another thing we love: a five-minute prep time, which is what it takes for this chicken soup. Perfect for cold season and packed with nutrients, you'll only need to cook it for 30 minutes on top of that. Overall, it's a pretty classic chicken noodle soup but with the more keto-friendly zoodle swapped in for noodles. Let the healing benefits of chicken stock1 your mother always told you about work their magic.
Keto-Friendly Chicken & Dumpling Soup
Another take on chicken soup, this option from chef and author Rocco DiSpirito is the ultimate in comfort. It adds dumplings without sacrificing the dish's ketogenic design. Made using almond flour, cream cheese, and mozzarella (one of the healthier cheese options), they add a cozy filling component to this soup.
Chunky Root Vegetable Soup
A deceptively simple mix of leeks, onions, parsnips, carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes makes up this flavorful soup. With that many vegetables, it's an easy swap in for your summer lunch salads. Prep time takes only 10 minutes, and then it's just a matter of letting the vegetables simmer until soft—and then enjoying the soup all week.
Farro & White Bean Soup
While root veggies get all the press for winter vegetables, plenty of leafy greens' seasons continue during the colder months too, including the swiss chard used in this recipe. Paired with white beans and farro, an ancient grain, this is a whole, rounded meal in a bowl. It's definitely the sort of meal we imagine making on a cozy at-home Sunday and enjoying it for the whole week to come as a quick lunch.
Green Lentil & Vegetable Soup
The wonder of this lentil soup is the cooking method used for the lentils, which involves slow cooking them to decrease the lectins in the legumes—which Steven Gundry, M.D., believes should be avoided. Even if you don't opt to avoid lectins, this recipe is packed with nutrition from those lentils and a mix of veggies.
Pumpkin, Saffron & Orange Soup
OK—we know. You're over pumpkin, tired of pumpkin spice breads and lattes—but what about a savory pumpkin dish? Acclaimed British-Israeli chef and bestselling author Yotam Ottolenghi shared this soup recipe from his book Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook with mindbodygreen a few years ago, and it's now a firm favorite.
If you, like us, have been craving a warming meal come lunchtime, soup is the perfect thing to turn to. But if you're looking to swap out your morning yogurt for something cozier too, we've got all the recipes you could need for a perfect oatmeal every time.
Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine, TheTaste.ie, and SUITCASE magazine.