Healthy Fall Soups 2011

by Charles Platkin, PhD
Soup’s on! It’s the and there are some wonderful that make great snacks, appetizers or even meals. We asked a few popular foodies to share some of their recipes. Here they are:

Fennel and Spinach Soup with Roasted Pepper Yogurt

recipe by: Editors of Cooking Light (December 2010)

Makes 8 servings

2 red bell peppers
2 large fennel bulbs with stalks
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped leek (about 2 medium)
1 cup chopped shallots (about 2 large)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
3/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
4 ounces fresh spinach
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Dash of ground red pepper


Preheat broiler. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and chop peppers; set aside.

Trim tough outer leaves from fennel. Mince feathery fronds to measure 2 tablespoons; set aside. Remove and discard stalks. Cut bulbs in half lengthwise; discard core. Chop bulbs to measure about 4 cups.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add fennel bulbs, leeks and next 3 ingredients (through salt); cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth, water and bay leaf; bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat and simmer 12 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Stir in spinach and black pepper. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes at room temperature.

Pour half the fennel mixture into a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining fennel mixture. Return pureed soup to pan; heat over medium heat 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Combine roasted bell peppers, yogurt, lemon rind, lemon juice and ground red pepper in a processor; process until smooth.

Ladle about 3/4 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with 2 tablespoons yogurt mixture. Garnish with fennel fronds.

Nutritional Information: (Serving size 3/4 cup) 96 calories; 3.8 g fat; 13 g carbs; 3 g fiber; 4 g protein; 255 mg sodium.

Chicken Chili

Healthy Recipe by: Brenda J. Ponichtera, R.D., Quick & Healthy Volume II, (Small Steps Press, 2009)

Makes 6 cups/ 5 servings

1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 cans (15 ounces each) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, not drained
1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies
1 cup water
1 tablespoon dried cilantro (coriander)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


Cut chicken into bite-size pieces.

Brown chicken in a saucepan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Add remaining ingredients.

Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender.

Nutritional Information: (Serving size approximately 1 1/4 cups) 236 calories; 2 g fat; 33 g carbs; 10 g fiber; 21 g protein; 64 mg sodium.

Creamy Carrot Soup

Healthy Recipe by: Chris Kendall, R.H.N., 101 Frickin’ Rawsome Recipes, Raw Advantage Press, 2009

Makes 3 servings/ 3¼ cups

6 medium carrots
6 stalks celery
1 thumb-size piece fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 Hass avocado
1/2 clove garlic
1 green onion


Juice the carrots, celery and ginger, or blend them well and squeeze the pulp in a nut milk or juicing bag to remove the juice. Blend the remaining “broth” with the avocado, garlic and the bulb portion of the green onion. If you desire a thicker soup, blend back in 1/4 of the carrot/celery pulp. Finely chop the remaining green part of the green onion and add to the soup. If desired, slightly warm the soup, constantly stirring, to lukewarm.

Nutritional Information: (Serving size approximately 1 cup) 154.5 calories; 4.5 g fat; 28 g carbs; 4.5 g fiber; 3.56 g protein.

Squash, Carrot and Lentil Soup

Healthy recipe by: Beth Bader and Ali Benjamin, The Cleaner Plate Club (Storey Publishing, 2011)

Makes 12 to 14 servings

1 small (about 5 pounds) Hubbard or other winter squash, halved and seeded
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme, or 3/4 teaspoon dried
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh sage, or ¾ teaspoon dried
8 cups vegetable stock
1 ½ cups grated carrots (about 6 medium)
1 cup green lentils, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Rub the squash halves with the 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil. Place them, cut side down, on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the flesh is fork-tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Scoop out the flesh into a bowl.

Heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add the onion and garlic and cook just until translucent but not browned. Add the thyme, sage and 4 cups of the stock. Add half the grated carrots and all the squash. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a smaller saucepan, bring the lentils and 2 cups of the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are al dente.

Using an immersion blender (or slowly, in batches in a food processor) carefully blend the soup in the Dutch oven until it is smooth. Add the remaining 2 cups of broth and the rest of the carrots. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the carrots are tender. Add the lentils and any remaining liquid and heat to a simmer again.

Add the sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

Nutritional Information: (Serving Size, 1 cup) 61 calories; 1 g fat; 9 g carbs; 1.2 g fiber; 3 g protein.

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