Making a healthy soup is so easy and quick. It’s a necessity, especially for those unexpected times when you or your loved one is sick. Soup is also a great way to use up vegetables and even leftovers you have sitting around, so it’s budget-friendly. I’ve broken down step by step how to make a healthy, delicious soup that’s quick and nourishing!
I’ve been sick for several days with a sore throat and head cold, so soup was definitely a must for me. Broth-based soups are ideal for sick days because they are hydrating and won’t increase mucous, like creams and other dairy will. Making a broth-based soup is so easy and versatile. I like to throw in as many nutritious foods as I can. The great thing about soup is it’s so convenient. Throw it together in 20 minutes, or slow cook it all day to have dinner ready on the spot.
Some of my favorite soup ingredients include:
This is not an all-inclusive list though. I like to think of soups as being sort of “kitchen sink” because you really can throw in whatever you have. Sure, there are things that will definitely alter the taste of the soup, so just be mindful of that. Here’s how I recommend making soup though:
1. Start with the Flavor
I like to start with the really flavor-enhancing ingredients. Saute them in a little bit of olive oil until they start to become tender and you can smell their flavors start to become fragrant. Typically, I start with onion, garlic and ginger. You can also use spring onions and/or leeks. Throw in some minced garlic cloves and you’ve got a great start to your soup! Onions, garlic, and ginger are also superfoods when it comes to helping fight off colds and sicknesses.
- Onion/spring onions/shallots
- Ginger (finely grated)
2. Add the Vegetables
Next, I like to add vegetables. Usually, I start with the harder vegetables because they take longer to soften. But if you’re sick and don’t really care that much, just throw everything in there! This is where you really have no limits. Some of my favorite vegetables to include are:
- Sweet potato
- Brussel Sprouts
- Any squash
- Green beans
3: Add Protein
Next, add your protein. If you want to keep this meat-free, options like beans and quinoa make great protein sources. If you do want meat, options like chicken, turkey, ham, beef, or pork are great! Keep in mind that ground beef tends to give the soup that ground-beefy taste, so just be aware. After adding the protein, mix everything together and saute for several minutes.
- Cubed or shredded chicken/canned chicken
- Beef (cut up beef steak is great for a beef stew type of soup)
- Beans (pinto, black, kidney, white, navy, etc)
4. Add Spices
Adding spices and herbs not only gives your soup great flavor but also boosts the nutritional value of your soup. They are a great way to give your immune system some extra help. I usually just throw them in-a little of this, a little of that. Don’t get too caught up in exact measurements. The top four spices below are kind of my holy grail when it comes to spices, but feel free to branch out!
- Ginger (if not fresh)
- Salt (to taste)
5. Add Broth
After you’ve mixed everything up, add the broth. Note: If you notice the garlic starting to brown before you add spices, just throw in the broth and add the spices after. Trust me, burned garlic does not taste good in soup. If you can find or have homemade bone broth, this is ideal. The marrow in the bones adds extra nutrition, which is so important, especially for sick bodies.
- Bone broths
- Chicken broth
- Beef broth
- Vegetable broth
From here, just simmer the soup until the vegetables are tender, and then serve! Your body will love the nutritionally dense foods and hydrating broth!
Slow Cooker Option
If you want to use your slow cooker, just throw everything in the slow cooker and cook on low or high depending on how long you’ll be away.