There’s nothing like a steaming bowl of soup on a winter day! But don’t restrict your soup eating to only the cold months because soup has many health benefits that you can reap year-round.

Soup is Nutritious

Vegetable and broth-based soups provide nourishment in the form of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and nutrients. Adding beans and/or lean meats will increase the amount of fiber and protein in the soup. Adding cream, cheese or milk to make it a creamy soup will give you a boost of calcium and vitamin D but it will also increase the fat and calories.

Soup is Hydrating

Soup has a high water content and is another way to hydrate.

Soup Supports Weight Loss

Soup is nutritious, tasty, satisfying, and can make you feel full for longer while keeping fat and calories to a minimum. Studies have shown that eating soup before a meal – or as a meal – can help you curb your calorie intake and support weight loss.

Soup is Easy and Cost Efficient

Soups can be made from almost anything in your kitchen. Make sure to use a generous amount of fresh or frozen vegetables in your soup as a way of upping your daily vegetable intake. Soup can be made on the stove, in the slow cooker or in an instant pot. Soup is usually made in larger batches, so one pot of soup can last throughout the week.

Making your own soup is more cost effective than buying a can, which is usually only one or two servings, and may be high in sodium or have other hidden ingredients (read more about homemade soup vs. store bought soup here). If you do opt to buy pre-made soup, look for healthier alternatives that are light in sodium and/or use organic ingredients. You can also add more vegetables to a can of soup to up the nutrition value.

Here are a few of my favorite soup recipes.

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