A great bowl of soup is satisfying, comforting and, it has been said, good for the soul.
It also can be a quick and easy dinner solution that's good for your health.
Soups — especially those that are broth-based rather than cream-based — are an excellent way to fill up on vegetables and liquid, which is a good strategy for consuming fewer calories without feeling deprived.
Making soup from scratch is the best way to control the nutritional content.
If you are making a broth-based soup, start with reduced-sodium broth, then add plenty of chopped fresh or frozen vegetables. Except for tomatoes and beans, skip canned items, as they lose nutritional value and contain excessive sodium.
If you want to put pasta in the soup, choose whole-grain varieties, which will add nutrients along with a pleasant, nutty flavor. And add it only during the final 10 or so minutes; otherwise, it can get mushy.
Beans are a flavorful addition to any soup and are packed with protein and fiber, which help you feel full. Canned beans are a great convenience, but be sure to rinse off the salty canning liquid.
If you want to make a creamy soup, consider puréeing some of the vegetables or beans to use as a base. For example, winter or summer squash can be roasted, then run through a food mill or blender.