With all the conflicting information available, you may be curious if soups are legitimately a food that will help you lose weight? On the internet, cabbage soup recipes for weight loss are abundant, but does cabbage soup — or any other soup — really make a difference? The answer is a resounding yes — but there’s a caveat.
Soup can be very beneficial when you’re trying to lose weight. Research shows if you choose the right kind, such as light soups eaten as appetizers, it can help you feel fuller and reduce the number of calories you consume later. But some soups, especially commercially-prepared varieties, have as many calories as a full meal or, conversely, are so low in nutrition they leave you feeling hungry and may cause you to overeat later.
The solution? Make easy, healthy soup recipes for weight loss in your kitchen. So, here are five simple recipes to get you started.
Japanese Vegetable and Tofu Soup
Adapted from No Recipes
This delicious Asian incarnation of vegetable soup is one of the most delectable low-calorie soups for weight loss. Once you’ve mastered it, you can add different vegetables for a variety of flavors. And if you want a low-sodium version, reduce the salt.
- 1 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
- ¼ oz. kombu
- 3 ½ cups boiling water
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 3-4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 ½ oz. gobo (burdock root), peeled and shaved
- 5 oz. daikon radish, peeled and sliced
- 1/3 cup sake
- 5 oz. taro, peeled and chopped
- 10 oz. crumbled firm tofu
- 2 Tbsp high-quality soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp salt
- ½ cup shelled edamame
- Japanese parsley (mitsuba), or watercress for garnish (optional)
Rinse the mushrooms under cold water to remove any dirt. Put the mushrooms and kombu in a bowl, cover them with 3 ½ cups of boiling water, and let them sit for 30 minutes to rehydrate. While they rehydrate, peel and slice the carrots and daikon, peel and shave the gobo, peel and chop the taro, and shell the edamame if it’s still in the pod.
Once the mushrooms are ready, squeeze out the excess liquid (reserve this), then chop the mushrooms. Mushroom stems are just as tasty and nutritious as the cap, so use them if you like. Discard the kombu.
Saute the carrots, gobo, and daikon in the vegetable oil over medium heat until they’re fragrant — about 5 minutes. Add the sake to the vegetables and allow the alcohol to burn off.
Add the reserved liquid from the mushrooms, but not the sediment in the bottom of the bowl. Then add the taro, soy sauce, and salt. Let the soup simmer until the vegetables are tender (20-30 minutes).
During the final few minutes of cooking, add the tofu and edamame. Garnish with Japanese parsley and serve.
High-Protein Vegetarian White Chili
Adapted from KillerCurves in the kitchen
This hearty vegetarian dish contains chickpeas, but like many lentil soup recipes for weight loss, it can double as a meal. Each serving is around 425 calories, and it’s high in protein, which will keep you full longer. The recipe author says, “This recipe is good year-round: rather it be while you’re cuddled up on the couch on a cold winter day, or at Chili Cookout during the hot summer months! It packs a powerful 19 Grams of protein per hearty serving, keeping you full and fueled throughout the day and would be great as a lunch or dinner!”
- 2 cups + 1/3 C vegetable broth, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cans chickpeas, drained
- 2 oz. canned jalapeno slices (less if you want a mild chili, more if you wish it to be fiery-hot)
- 8 oz. Neufchatel cheese
- 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 Tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the reserved 1/3 cup broth in a large pot. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic, and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Add the remaining broth, jalapenos, spices, and cream cheese; simmer for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Cook and drain the corn while you wait.
Once the cheese melts, add the chickpeas and corn. Then season with salt and pepper, and serve.
Super Simple Cauliflower Soup
Adapted from Simply Recipes
The most advanced cooking skill this recipe requires is using a blender. It’s incredibly simple, super-tasty, and endlessly adaptable. Add a few slices of roasted red pepper, a handful of shredded cheese, or experiment with different seasonings. Enjoy it as-is, or use it as a blank slate to create a signature soup that’s all yours.
- 1 head of cauliflower or 1 16-oz. bag frozen cauliflower florets
- 4 cups of water
- Salt and butter to taste
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 Tbsp chopped chives
Core and remove the florets from one head of cauliflower (or make it easy on yourself and use frozen). Bring the water and salt to a boil, add the florets, and cook until tender. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl, reserving cooking water.
Puree the cauliflower in the blender. (You’ll need to do this in small batches; fill the blender half full with cauliflower florets, then one-quarter full of cooking water and blend until smooth.) If necessary, add more water.
Add salt and butter to taste, and serve drizzled with a tablespoon of olive oil and garnished with chives.
Skinny Chicken Soup with Sweet Potato Noodles
Find the full recipe at Boulder Locavore.
This modern take on traditional comfort food replaces the high-carb noodles with nutrient-packed sweet potatoes for a unique but delicious low-calorie soup for weight loss.
What’s in the recipe?
- Chicken stock
- Cooked chicken breast
- Olive oil
- Fresh ginger
- Fresh thyme
- Italian parsley
- Salt and pepper
- And of course, sweet potato “noodles.”
Visit Boulder Locavore for the full recipe; it’s well worth the effort if you’re hungry for a fantastic weight loss chicken soup recipe.
Skinny Broccoli Soup
Adapted from weightlossresources.co.uk
Simple but satisfying, this healthy broccoli soup recipe for weight loss is suitable for even the novice cook. Garnish your soup with chopped chives or parsley, or add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a touch of color and a bit of spice.
- 2 leeks
- 1 medium onion
- 1 pound broccoli fresh or frozen broccoli
- 2-3 medium potatoes
- 2 tsp sunflower, olive, or avocado oil
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 2 pints (4 cups) vegetable stock
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
Wash and chop the leeks. (Most people only use the white portion, but leek greens are delicious and a fantastic source of fiber. You can include them with the white part, or cook them separately and use them as a garnish). If you’re using fresh broccoli, wash and cut it into small pieces. Peel and chop the potatoes and onions.
In your soup pan, sauté the onion and leeks in the oil until tender, then add the potatoes and broccoli, soy sauce, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender and easy to pierce with a fork.
Use your blender to puree, then season with salt and pepper and serve.
Can you have soup during intermittent fasting? Of course, you can — and these five recipes are a fantastic addition to your soup-making repertoire. Be sure, as with any food, that you only enjoy your soup during your eating window.