Simple Ways to Create a Meal-Worthy Soup
Tips to Make Satisfying Soups
If you’re craving comfort food that nourishes your body and soul, soup’s got you covered!
When it comes to soup, anything goes. You can follow a recipe, or you can freestyle it and create a fabulous soup by stirring together a variety of basic ingredients.
To create a comforting, healthy and meal-worthy bowl of soup, follow these steps.
Step 1: Start with a flavourful broth
Most soups start with a scrumptious broth and build up from there. Here are a few tips for how to make the most of your broth:
- Start by sautéing aromatic veggies in a bit of oil (e.g., onions, celery, carrots, shallots).
- Use homemade turkey stock if you have it available – its rich flavour can’t be beat! (I save the bones when I roast a whole turkey to make stock)
- Layer in flavour with seasonings and flavourings (so you don’t need to pour on the salt). Depending on the soup, that could be peppercorns, parmesan rind, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, bay leaves or other herbs and spices.
Step 2: Add in Satisfying Ingredients
To build a bowl of soup that’s nutritious and satisfying, add in lots of veggies and try these two tips:
- Power Up Your Bowl with Lean Protein
Adding protein to soup will help you to feel energized and satisfied for longer, since protein boosts satiety (meal satisfaction). Turkey is terrific as a main protein choice for your soup; it’s lean and gives you nutrients – including vitamin B12, easily-absorbed zinc, and selenium – that are important for keeping your immune system strong.
Time-saving tip: cook a turkey breast or two on the weekend (I do this while I watch my favourite Netflix series) and refrigerate it so you have turkey to add to quick soup recipes during the week.
- Up the Comfort with Carbs
Carbohydrate-rich foods contribute to the comfort factor in soup. They also give you energy and some have fibre which helps you to feel full for longer. Choose which carb(s) work for your soup:
- Whole grains e.g., barley, quinoa, brown rice, wild rice
- Noodles – all kinds (noodles and soup go together; not all your choices have to be whole grain!)
- Starchy veggies e.g., potato, sweet potato, carrots, taro, parsnips, , corn
- Pulses (dried beans, peas, lentils) e.g., navy beans, black beans, chickpeas, lentils
Step 3: Finish with Flare
A little extra finishing touch can take your soup to the next level. Sure, you could skip this part, but these little bits of deliciousness will make your taste buds happy:
- A drizzle of high-quality flavoured olive oil
- A squirt of lemon juice, lime juice or flavoured vinegar for a burst of freshness
- Fresh herbs like cilantro, Italian parsley, or Thai basil
- Your favourite hot sauce, jalapeno slices or chili flakes for a hit of heat
- Top with crunchy bits like toasted seeds, crunchy chickpeas, or even popcorn (kids will love that!)
For a little soup-spiration, check out these soup recipes that are filled with nourishing turkey and veggies (and tips for how I’d make them a meal-in-a-bowl):
Turkey Tortilla Soup – super flavourful and ready in just over 30 minutes, so it’s ideal for weeknights. I’d add more corn (frozen is just as nutritious as fresh) and some diced sweet potato (nutrient-rich carbs!). You can use canned tomatoes if fresh aren’t available.
Harvest Soup with Herbed Dumplings – a hearty soup! Skip the dumplings if you don’t have time to make them; add in extra potato or carrots instead.
Turkey, Spelt and White Bean Soup with Kale – the ingredient list looks long, but don’t let that scare you; this soup is easy to make. Check the recipe for swaps to customize your bowl.
Thai Coconut Turkey Soup – made with thinly sliced leftover turkey breast, this Thai-inspired soup would be scrumptious with basmati rice (white or brown); I’d double the veggies for the 6-serving option.