There is nothing quite like a bowl of hot soup on a cold day. Or when you have a cold. Or when you've had a bad day. Or really anytime you want to feel calm and relaxed. To me, soup is soul-soothing, the perfect antidote to life's hectic pace and a great healthy meal, too.
In fact, most soups are natural healthy. And even the ones that may be high in fat or calories are still probably healthier than any alternative foods you might eat.
Plus, soup (chicken soup, specifically) is a fantastic way to get over a cold. That's not just Grandma's wisdom. They've even done research on it!
Don't Miss: 10 Chicken Soup Recipes to Fill Your Belly and Your Soul
The first time my oldest tried chicken tortilla soup in a Mexican restaurant, it was love at first spoonful. I soon found myself in the kitchen trying to duplicate the recipe at home. This version uses salsa as both a shortcut and a thickener. Be sure to use a thick and chunky salsa for this soup. The vegetables, combined with the lycopene in the tomato base make this a super healthy as well as a hearty soup. Top with fresh chopped cilantro and crushed tortilla chips.
Carrots are always a popular vegetable with kids, because they are naturally sweet. A touch of honey in this soup brings out that natural sweetness. And a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes balances out the sweetness with a bit of zing (don't worry - it won't be too spicy for the kids). This recipe is also made with apples, which lend sweetness and a wonderful, fall-like flavor to this soup.
I have never been a fan of peas, and I certainly never grew up eating split pea soup. But I had the good fortune to try a soup similar to this one in a restaurant, and I absolutely had to go home and try to duplicate the recipe. This is a very hearty soup that's full of fiber, vitamins and minerals. It makes a great, nutritious meal all by itself.
I don't make soup often in the summer time. But when I'm trying to use up fresh vegetables from the farmer's market, this fresh tomato soup is a great way to do it. The balsamic vinegar lends a depth of flavor and sweetness to this soup that really brings out the tomato taste. The fresh chopped basil makes a wonderful garnish, and chances are, if you have garden-fresh tomatoes, fresh basil can't be too hard to find!
I can't think of a more healing soup than this chicken noodle soup. It's the recipe I make for my kids whenever they're sick, and it's the same recipe my grandfather used to make for me when I was sick as a kid. But you don't have to be under the weather to enjoy a nice hot bowl of this chicken noodle soup. It is pure comfort in every spoonful.
Unlike a lot of chowder recipes, this one is not made with cream or even milk. It is thickened with potatoes, which are pureed after cooking. This soup is every bit as hearty as a traditional chowder, with less fat. Feel free to use whatever peppers you happen to have on hand. I've made this chowder with poblano peppers, green and red bell peppers and even jalapeno peppers. Use one or any combination of them.
Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images
I like all the vegetables in this soup - carrots, celery, red bell peppers and onions, plus herbs, and of course, chicken and tortellini. Although the recipe calls for cheese tortellini, you can really use any flavor of tortellini you like. Sometimes I make this soup with spinach tortellini, or for a heartier soup, I use sausage tortellini.
This soup used to be quite a chore for me to make, because it was tough to peel, seed and cut the butternut squash. Now, with peeled and chopped fresh butternut squash so readily available, this soup is a cinch to prepare. The coconut milk, apples and cinnamon really bring out the fall flavor of this soup. Be sure to use unsweetened coconut milk for this recipe.
Unlike a lot of potato soup recipes, this one is not heavy. The thickness comes from potatoes and a touch of evaporated milk. Natural chicken sausage adds protein and heartiness to this recipe. This soup makes a nice lunch all by itself or with a green salad.