My 3 Favorite (& Wildly Nutrient-Dense) Soups of the Season

New year, same soup obsession! My beige flag is that I will eat soup any day of the year, be it lung-piercing cold or swelteringly hot. I will eat soup for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and I’ll eat it chilled or hot– yes, there are delectable cold soups. It’s my firm belief that soup is the number one food form for several reasons: number one (and arguably most important), it’s delicious; number 2, it’s the easiest way to pack in nutrients such as protein, healthy fat, and fiber in the form of countless veggies; and number three, it’s hydrating. Basically, soup is a holistic nutritionist’s gold star dish. 

Luckily, this time of year, I can avoid the questioning stares as I sip on my soup midday where I live in Los Angeles because everyone is all about soup in the winter months. Whether you’re like me and a year-round soup enthusiast or choose to fill your bowl only between the months of November and March, here are three of my favorite soups of the season that I’m sure you’ll love as much as I do. 

#1 Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry Soup 

This Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry Soup is regularly requested by everyone in my family – even the members who claim they don’t like curry. This recipe promises more than just a delicious meal – it’s a harmonious blend of earthy sweetness from butternut squash, the heartiness of chickpeas, and the nutritional goodness of Swiss chard, all simmering in a fragrant broth heightened by fresh ginger and crushed garlic. The soup provides a comforting mouth feel with just the right amount of creaminess from the coconut milk without feeling thick or heavy. The conflicting yet complementary flavors of cinnamon and cumin make for a truly unique culinary experience in one simple dish. 

I decided to incorporate Swiss chard into this dish because it’s one vegetable commonly overlooked despite its impressive nutrient profile. Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable known for its vibrant colors and unique taste and is a nutritional powerhouse that offers a myriad of health benefits. Packed with vitamins A, K, and C, as well as minerals like magnesium and potassium, Swiss chard supports overall immune function, bone health, and cardiovascular well-being.

Another main character in this recipe is the chickpea, which I think deserves a moment in the spotlight. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are not just a tasty addition to various dishes but also offer a plethora of health benefits. These legumes are rich in plant-based protein, making them an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans. The protein content, combined with a healthy dose of fiber, promotes a feeling of fullness, aiding in weight management and controlling blood sugar levels.

When you consider all of the other delicious and nutrient-dense ingredients in this soup, you’ll realize that it is a complete meal that will keep your entire family satiated for hours. I like to double the recipe and have leftovers for a few days.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2 cups of swiss chard, chopped
1-inch piece of ginger, grated
2 tablespoons crushed garlic 
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of yellow curry seasoning 
Salt and pepper to taste”
Fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it becomes soft and translucent. Add in the Swiss chard and saute for 2-3 minutes. 

2. Add the crushed garlic and grated ginger to the pot with a pinch of salt. Cook for another minute until the garlic is fragrant.

3. Roast the diced butternut squash, and chickpeas in the over with olive oil and turmeric on 350• for 15mins.

4. Pour in the vegetable broth, roasted squash, chickpeas, and garlic mixture in the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. 

5.Stir in the coconut milk, more ground turmeric, ground cumin, if needed . Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning according to your preferences.

6.Let the soup simmer for another 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.


2. Green Detox Soup

If you’ve been following me for some time, you know detoxing is ingrained in my lifestyle. During winter, detoxing becomes increasingly important as our bodies contend with various seasonal challenges. The colder weather often leads to decreased physical activity and increased consumption of comfort foods, potentially resulting in a buildup of toxins. Additionally, exposure to indoor pollutants and a lack of fresh air can contribute to a sluggish metabolism.

That’s why I created this mouth-watering Green Detox Soup that can be enjoyed all winter long. Supercharged with essential nutrients, broccoli, peas, kale, edamame, and spinach are powerhouse foods that play a crucial role in supporting the body’s natural detoxification processes. Packed with fiber, these green veggies promote a healthy digestive system, aiding in the efficient elimination of toxins. Furthermore, they are rich in antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and K, which help combat oxidative stress and protect cells from damage.

This soup is featured in my EG Kitchen S.O.U.P. Cleanse and I’ve received so many requests for the recipe that I’ve decided to make it available to everyone. I hope you enjoy it as much as my cleansers do!

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 3 cups broccoli crowns (roasted)
  • 2 T olive oil 
  • 1 10 oz package frozen spinach
  • 1 10 oz package frozen kale 
  • 1 10 oz bag frozen peas
  • 1 10 oz bag frozen edamame 
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1½ cups chicken or vegetable stock 
  • 2 cloves of garlic 
  • 1½ cups water
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Add some veggie stock to thin it out or coconut milk (not cream)
  • 1 bunch Mint and 1 bunch curly parsley 
  • lemon juice to taste

Instructions

  1. Roast the broccoli in the oven at 350.
  2. Thaw the frozen spinach and kale and squeeze out the water as much as possible.
  3. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  4. Add the diced red onion to the pot. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic is fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the roasted broccoli crowns to the pot and stir them with the onions. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the broccoli starts to soften slightly.
  6. Pour in the chicken or vegetable stock and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes until the broccoli is tender.
  7. Add the frozen spinach, frozen kale, and frozen peas and frozen edamame to the pot. Stir everything together and let it simmer for an additional 5 minutes until the vegetables are heated through.
  8. Season the soup with salt, pepper, and chili flakes (if using), according to your taste preferences. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
  9. Once all the vegetables are cooked and seasoned, remove the pot from the heat. Add the bunches of mint and parsley.
  10. Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, carefully blend the soup until it reaches your desired consistency. Be cautious with the hot liquid.
  11. Return the blended soup to the pot if you used a regular blender. Then, run it through a strainer. 
  12. Reheat the soup over low heat for a few minutes if necessary before serving.
  13. Serve the soup hot with a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of lemon juice!

3. Beet & Kale Soup

When people think of beets, typically, the deep purplish-red variant of the root is what comes to mind. But I’m here to encourage you to eat more golden beets like the ones found in this Beet & Kale Soup recipe. 

Like their red counterparts, golden beets offer a plethora of health benefits. They are rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, contributing to overall well-being. What sets golden beets apart is their unique combination of phytonutrients, particularly betaxanthins, responsible for their vibrant color. These yellow-orange pigments not only provide antioxidant properties but also anti-inflammatory benefits. 

Golden beets may be gentler on the digestive system for some individuals compared to red beets, making them an excellent choice for those with sensitivity. Furthermore, the milder, sweeter flavor of golden beets can be more palatable for some people, encouraging increased consumption of this nutritious root vegetable. I find that golden beets are typically more enjoyable in soups than the red variety – and the fact that they don’t tint your white silicone kitchen utensils is an added bonus. 

I’ve added navy beans to this soup because they are loaded with iron and a fantastic source of plant-based protein. But my favorite part of this recipe is the medley of toasted seeds as the garnish – I implore you not to forgo this step! The toasted chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds provide the perfect amount of crunch to the dish while also offering an extra boost of protein, fiber, healthy fat, and various minerals. I like to serve this soup piping hot (take caution, of course), and sometimes I go wild and crazy and double the toasted seed serving. 😉 

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 medium golden beet roots
  • 1 cup navy beans 
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup of kale
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 small leek finely diced
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth 
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp garlic 
  • 1 T chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp coconut milk to garnish

Instructions

  1. Peel and dice the golden beet roots into small cubes. Rinse and drain the navy beans. Finely dice the carrots, onion, and leek.
  2. In a large pot, heat 1 teaspoon of coconut oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the diced onion, garlic, and finely diced leek to the pot. Sauté them until they become soft and translucent, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the diced carrots and cubed golden beet roots to the pot. Continue to cook for a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
  5. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, covering all the vegetables in the pot.
  6. Add ¼ teaspoon of sea salt to enhance the flavors. Stir everything together.
  7. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Let the soup simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the beets and carrots are tender.
  8. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the navy beans to the pot. Stir them into the soup and let it simmer for another 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
  9. In the meantime, toast the chia, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds in a separate dry pan over low heat until they become lightly golden. Set aside.
  10. Garnish each bowl with a drizzle of coconut milk and a sprinkle of the toasted seeds for added flavor and texture.
  11. Serve hot!

***

I hope these comforting soups keep you warm and cozy all winter long. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be making them on repeat. For those who are trying to start the new year on the right foot with improved nutrition but don’t have the time to make healthy dishes like these soups, check out my different delivered EG Kitchen S.O.U.P. Cleanse options. If you live in Southern California, we will deliver them right to your door! 

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