Three easy, healthy soup recipes

Soup is a staple of many healthy eating plans, but often people don’t realise just how easy it can be to cook it from scratch. Our three vegetable soup recipes are here to change all that.

Soup is a quick and easy meal, but all too often we end up reaching for premade varieties. Some of these are great, but others can be packed with hidden salt, sugar and additives.

So, we’ve gathered together three of our favourite easy and healthy soup recipes to show you that making your own soup needn’t be a chore.

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These recipes call for little hands on time and, once you’ve started cooking, each should be ready to serve within half an hour. When we say easy, we mean easy. All three can be made in four simple steps.

We’ve opted for three vegetarian soups: butternut squash, cream of tomato and spinach. There’s a little crème fraîche in each, but leave it out and the remaining ingredients are vegan.

Why do we love these soups? Well, they’re simple, practical and healthy.

Each recipe makes four hearty portions at under 300 calories each. They all contain at least two of your 5 A Day. They’ll all store well in the fridge so you can reheat them the next day for lunch or dinner.

And they taste amazing.

We hope these recipes will inspire you to swap your regular premade soup for a hearty homemade concoction bursting with healthy ingredients.

TIPS:

  • Prep all your vegetables ahead of time to make cooking a smoother process.
  • If you want to freeze your soup, simply leave out the crème fraîche at the time and add it when you reheat the soup later. They should keep for three months in the freezer if stored properly.
  • You’ll need a hand blender for all three recipes. If you’re looking to start making soup on the regular this is a must-have piece of kit. A basic version can easily be found for under £10.

Butternut squash soup recipe

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Rich, creamy and delicious, butternut squash soup is the perfect way to make the most of this sweet and nutty winter vegetable.

The recipe is delightfully simple and can be adapted to other winter squash if you don’t have butternut on hand – pumpkin being an obvious choice. In fact, we’ve tried the recipe using a mix of butternut squash, pumpkin and sweet potato, and the results were truly tasty.

There is no need to roast butternut squash as in some other recipes. Everything is cooked in one pan, then simply blended at the end for that smooth, soupy consistency.

We hope this easy soup becomes a staple in your kitchen.

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, diced

1kg butternut squash (or pumpkin), peeled, deseeded and cubed

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 vegetable stock cube, dissolved in 700ml water

1 tsp chilli flakes (if you like heat)

Black pepper

3 tbsp crème fraîche

Optional: pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on top

METHOD

1. In a large pan, soften the onion over a medium heat. You want them to become translucent but not coloured.

2. Add the squash and cook for 5-10 minutes until it softens slightly. Add the garlic and cook for one or two minutes until fragrant.

3. Pour in the stock and add the chilli flakes (if using) along with a generous helping of black pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the squash is soft enough to mash with a fork.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and use a hand blender to puree until it’s silky smooth. Add the crème fraiche and return to the heat, stirring until everything is combined and heated through.

Cream of tomato soup recipe

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This soup may not taste exactly like the classic Heinz version, but it certainly hits the spot. It’s a comforting, creamy tomato soup that tastes delicious. What’s not to love?

We’ve added a pinch of sugar to bring out the natural sweetness of tomatoes and included a few handfuls of fresh basil to take it to the next level. The recipe calls for three tablespoons of crème fraîche, too. This adds a hint of creaminess without too many extra calories.

Fans of the classic cream of tomato should absolutely give this recipe a go. It might just become your new favourite.

Should I use tinned or fresh tomatoes?

We’ve used tinned tomatoes for three reasons: they’re cheaper, they’re a store cupboard staple, and they taste the same all year round.

Of course, you can use fresh tomatoes. 400-500g of chopped fresh tomatoes should work well in this recipe. However, be aware that your cooking times will be longer.

You can make this soup with tinned chopped or plum tomatoes. If you use plum, break them up with a wooden spoon as you add them to the pan.

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tins chopped tomatoes (or plum tomatoes)

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

Half a bunch of fresh basil (leaves only), roughly torn

3 tbsp crème fraîche

METHOD

1. Cook the onions in the oil for about five minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for two or three more minutes.

2. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar, salt and basil. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or so.

3. Remove the soup from the heat, add the crème fraîche and puree with a hand blender until smooth.

4. Return to the heat and simmer until warmed through, or until the soup is at the thickness you prefer.

Spinach soup recipe

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This one is for anyone who thinks spinach soup sounds boring. Trust us, it is delicious.

As well as super-healthy spinach, this soup contains sweet peas, hearty potato and a few spoons of crème fraîche for creaminess.

It’s a simple recipe that’s packed with vegetables and delivers on flavour. Even if you’re not a fan of spinach, the taste is balanced by the sweet peas, earthy potato and fresh herbs. We normally add mint, as in a traditional pea soup recipe, but basil or parsley both work well too.

Note: We like ours rich with garlic, but four cloves may be too much for some!

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, diced

2-4 garlic cloves (depending on your preference), crushed or finely chopped

1 large potato, peeled and cubed

1 vegetable stock cube, dissolved in 600ml water

200g spinach

A couple of handfuls of mint, basil or parsley – whichever you prefer

200g frozen peas or petit pois

3 tbsp crème fraîche

METHOD

1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and cook the onions until soft. Add the garlic and cook for one or two minutes until fragrant.

2. Add the potato and stock, bring to a boil then simmer until the potato is very soft.

3. Add the spinach, peas and herbs. Simmer for five more minutes.

4. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Add the crème fraîche and blend the whole thing with a hand blender.



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