Healthy Fall Soups 2013

by Charles Platkin, PhD

Here are a few healthy soup by some of the best foodies.

Red Lentil and Black Bean Stew
Healthy recipe by Jessica Girdwain, from the Runner’s World Cookbook ­ 150 Ultimate Recipes for Fueling Up and Slimming Down While Enjoying Every Bite (Rodale, 2013)

Makes 4 servings


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2  teaspoon chili powder
1/2  teaspoon paprika
1/2  teaspoon ground cumin
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 cup red lentils
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed, half mashed with a fork
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin and paprika and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and tomato paste. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the lentils. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
Add the black beans (both whole and mashed), lime juice, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until heated through. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the cilantro.

Nutritional Information:  (Serving  size: 1 cup): 248 calories; 38 g carbs; 10 g fiber; 14 g protein; 5 g total fat (0.5 g saturated fat); 542 mg sodium

Indian Spiced Carrot Soup with Ginger
Healthy recipe from the Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts ( in Austin, Texas

Makes 9 servings


4 cups carrots chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
3 tablespoons sesame oil (optional)
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 cups chopped onion
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
3/4 teaspoons garam masala, for garnish


To cook the carrots, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the carrots, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook about 8 minutes until soft. Drain and set aside.

Grind the coriander and mustard seeds in a spice mill to fine powder.

Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. (If not using oil, heat a tiny amount of vegetable broth.)  Add the ground seeds and curry powder; stir 1 minute. Add the ginger; stir 1 minute. Add the onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add the cooked carrots and the broth. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Puree or mash the soup to desired consistency. Stir in lime juice and zest and season with salt pepper.

Garnish with a pinch of garam masala.

Nutritional Information: (Serving size: 1 cup)  (no oil): 58 calories; 2 g fat;  0 g cholesterol; 90 mg sodium:; 9 g carbs; 3 g dietary fiber

Healthy New England Clam Chowder

Healthy Recipe by Dr. Janet Brill, author of Prevent a Second Heart Attack: 8 Foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease (Three Rivers Press, 2011)

Makes 10 servings


1/2 head cauliflower (to make about 2 cups of puree)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour *
1 cup water
2 (10-ounce) cans baby clams in water, with their liquid
2 cups 1% milk
3/4 pound red potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Smoked paprika, to garnish for a smoky flavor

*Use garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour to make this soup gluten-free


Chop and steam the cauliflower, then purée in a blender until smooth. Set aside.
In a large pot, combine the olive oil, garlic and onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add the flour and stir for 1 minute.
Add the puréed cauliflower, water, clams, milk, potatoes, 2 thyme springs and the bay leaves.
Bring the soup to a boil, stir and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and the soup thickens.
Stir every 5-10 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish each serving with thyme and smoked paprika.

Nutritional Information: (Serving size: 1 cup): 114 calories; 2 g fat; 13 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbs; 2 g dietary fiber; 8 g protein; 390 mg sodium

Hearty Lentil Soup

Healthy Recipe by Pamela Elizabeth, owner of Blossom Du Jour Restaurant in New York City (Vegan)  (

Makes 15 servings


2 large onions, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 large carrots, diced
3/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons canola oil (just enough to coat the pan)
16 cups water
5 cups brown lentils, picked through and washed
3 cups tomato sauce
3 cups vegetable broth (Rapunzel salt free veggie cubes are the best!)
Salt and pepper to taste


Sauté the onions, celery, carrots, thyme and bay leaves in canola oil for about 5-7 minutes, and set aside.

Pour the water into a large pot, add the lentils and bring to a boil. Add the tomato sauce and vegetable broth and season with salt and pepper. Blend in the sautéed ingredients and continue to cook down until the lentils are very soft (about 1 hour).  Remove the bay leaves before serving.

Nutritional Information: (Serving size: 1 cup): 150 calories; 0.5 g fat; 0 g cholesterol; 0 mg sodium; 26 g carbs; 5 g fiber; 15 g protein

Country Vegetable Soup
Healthy recipe from Jackie Newgent, RDN, 1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012)

Makes 9 servings


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely diced
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
2 medium turnips or 1 large rutabaga, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 large carrot, unpeeled, scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 medium parsnip, unpeeled, scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 medium sweet potato, unpeeled, scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups chopped fresh kale leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and sauté until slightly cara¬melized, about 10 minutes.

Add the turnips, carrot, parsnip, sweet potato, rosemary, hot pepper sauce, black pepper, cinna-mon, broth and the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 12 minutes. Add the kale and simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 12 additional min¬utes. Adjust seasoning.

Stir the parsley into the soup, ladle into individual bowls and serve.

Nutritional Information: (Serving size: 1 cup): 70 calories; 2 g total fat (0 g saturated); 14 g carbs (5 g sugars); 3 g fiber; 1 g protein; 0 mg cholesterol;  520 mg sodium

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