Comfort Food Re-Considered – Delicious and Nutritious Fall and Winter Soups

By Raquela Suchinsky, Dietetic Student at the University of Maryland

With the cold winter weather fast approaching here at University of Maryland, it’s easy to be comforted with take-out and other comfort foods.

Instead, try making warm, easy, and delicious fall and winter soups that will keep you warm, feeling full, and help you meet many of your nutritional needs. Soups are comforting, delicious, and can be extremely nutritious!

Image credit: Flickr user, Txkimmers; click image for original

Lentil, Black Bean, or Chickpea Soups

Lentil, chickpea and black been soups all contain a lot of protein and fiber. Our bodies process fiber and protein much slower than they digest other macronutrients such as carbohydrates.

This means a lentil, black bean, or chickpea soup will keep you warm and full longer during the winter months! Besides keeping you full and satisfied, these soups and their nutrients have many health benefits:

  • Protein is essential for growth and development, cell formation and cell repair.
  • Fiber helps maintain bowel health, helps lower cholesterol and helps control blood sugar levels.
  • Lentils have folate, which is essential for red blood cell formation.
  • Chickpeas have iron, which is important for making hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen in the blood.

Try these recipes:

 Tomato Soups

Tomatoes are extremely nutritious and can be very comforting during a chilly fall day. Especially when cooked, tomatoes have a lot of readily available lycopene.

Lycopene is an antioxidant that protects skin from UV rays (which are still dangerous in the winter, but that’s another topic!). Tomato soups do not have to be full of heavy cream and saturated fat to be delicious – try this Roasted Tomato Basil Souprecipe at home!

Squash Soups

Squash is a very versatile vegetable, there are many different kinds that can be made various ways. Butternut squash, for example, tastes great and is extremely nutritious.

During the fall months, a variety of squash can be bought locally at farmers’ markets, such as the one at the University of Maryland.

Butternut squash has many important nutrients that you can get in just one bowl of soup:

  • Vitamin C- important for growth and repair of tissues and is an antioxidant, a nutrient that gets rid of  damaging free radicals.
  • Potassium- important for nerve and muscle function and movement of nutrients into and out of cells.
  • Magnesium- helps with growth and maintenance of bones and is important for nerve and muscle function.

Try this Roasted Butternut Squash soup recipe!

Short on time? What about canned soups?

While they may be convenient, they can be full of sodium, saturated fat, and may be less nutritious than homemade soups.

If you are craving soup but have limited resources (such as living in an on-campus dorm without a kitchen), try these canned soups:

  • Progresso Garden Vegetable- 100 calories, 450 mg of sodium per cup
  • Amy’s Butternut Squash Soup- 100 calories, 580 mg of sodium per cup
  • Pritkin Lentil Soup- 130 calories, 290 mg of sodium per cup
  • Amy’s Black Bean Vegetable Soup- 130 calories, 430 mg of sodium per cup

Have any favorite soup recipes? Share below!

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4 Responses to Comfort Food Re-Considered – Delicious and Nutritious Fall and Winter Soups

  1. Brittany Cines says:

    Thanks for the great article! Looking forward to reading more 🙂

  2. renee adelsberg says:

    Wow Raquela, The recipes look amazing and I’m sure my entire family, including my husband and sons who are real meat and potato guys, will enjoy them and most important will benefit nutritiously as well. Thanks for your great aricle, information and ideas. Well done!
    Oh and btw,I happen to know a great guy looking for a great girl. Interested?
    Renee Adelsberg

  3. Noah Falange says:

    Wow! These are great recipes! I will defenitly use these for my football team! There hearty and nutritious!!! Great job!! Are you a full time cook?

  4. Eliana G. says:

    Thanks for the great ideas, Raquela! I’m excited to cozy up with these soups this winter!

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