It can be difficult to jumpstart your healthy resolutions quickly in January. It’s still cold outside and the days continue to get dark early — making most of us uninterested in leaving the house for exercise or outdoor activities.
Usually those bad eating habits from Thanksgiving and Christmas have rolled over into the new year, making us prone to continue indulging that sweet tooth or filling up the dinner plate with too many carbs.
Enter a big bowl of soup.
That hot broth will warm you up on chilly nights. If you cut the sodium, resist the urge to add heavy cream or dairy, and load up on winter greens and root vegetables, you’ve got a filling meal that’s good for you, too.
We’ve got a couple ideas on how to get the health benefits from homemade soup. Best of all, if you make a big enough pot, you can freeze half of it for use during a late winter cold snap.
Get Your Chili Fix with Sweet Potato and Black Beans
Sweet potatoes have loads of benefits, including being high in antioxidants, vitamin A and C and supporting immune function and gut health. They also have less carbohydrates than regular potatoes.
This sweet potato and black bean chili recipe makes good use of the nutrient-rich root vegetable as well as the equally healthy black bean. Add lean ground turkey for a protein boost, but the sweet potatoes and beans provide a good serving of protein on their own.
Get Creative with Chicken Soup
Chicken noodle soup may be your mom’s cure-all. Its restorative properties are hard to argue with. Still, there are plenty of ways to make it more interesting.
Try this chicken and orzo soup recipe with lots of fresh carrots and celery.
Add umami and depth with this chicken, Bok choy, mushrooms and ginger soup recipe.
Use brown rice for a healthy grain in this chicken and rice soup recipe.
Get Your Greens with Kale Soup
The Mayo Clinic calls kale a “nutrient superstar” because it’s loaded with vitamins A, K, B6 and C, calcium, potassium and much more. It also holds its shape and texture well in a soup. Plus, it’s in peak season during the winter months.
Add turkey sausage to this hearty white bean and kale soup recipe.
Stir chopped kale into this garlicky chicken soup recipe.
Mix it with turmeric, mushrooms and Bok choy for this immune-boosting soup recipe.
Don’t Sleep on Potato Soup
Most varieties of potato soup are loaded with butter and heavy cream. You can make it just as creamy at home with low-fat milk. Potatoes are a great source of vitamin C, magnesium and potassium.
They also provide a perfect canvas for a variety of flavors, so swap out the salt with your favorite herbs and spices.
Try this recipe for a hearty and healthy potato soup and top it with shredded chicken breast for added protein and flavor.