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Need easy to make yet filling soup for my diet

As a part of my diet, I am trying to eat more soup as a filler prior to eating my noonday and evening meal.

I hate buying the stuff, though; although canned soup can be pretty good, I'd rather make my own.

What I'm looking for is a good filling soup recipe that isn't chock full of fat or calories, which won't take all day to make and which is fairly easy to throw together.

Any favorites out there?

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  1. Here's a recipe for the classic Weight Watchers vegetable soup. It's very good and can be varied in many different ways.

    2/3 cup sliced carrot
    1/2 cup diced onion
    2 garlic cloves
    3 cups broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
    1 1/2 cup diced green cabbage
    1/2 cup green beans
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup diced zucchini


    In a large saucepan, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, saute carrot, onion, and garlic over low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth, cabbage, beans, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and salt; bring to a boil.

    Lower heat and simmer, covered about 15 minutes or until beans are tender. Stir in zucchini and heat 3-4 minutes. Serve hot.

    1 Reply
    1. re: FlyerFan

      That is exactly the soup I was going to recommend! It is so yummy.

      FYI, you can substitute almost any green for the cabbage -- kale works really well at my house. You can also add lots of other veggies. Once you have the basic idea down, the sky is the limit. We often throw in frozen corn, or broccoli. We also usually add some hot sauce. Sirachi works really well.

      This soup is a staple around here, which is why it gets modified so many different ways.

    2. Chicken soup is a standby in my house. Simmer thighs in water with a little white wine while you prep carrots, celery, onions, and whatever else looks good. Fish the thighs out after 20 minutes and let them cool while the veggies cook. When the carrots are nearly done, debone and coarsely chop the meat and toss it back in the pot. Voila!

      Another favorite is basic leek and potato soup. A pint or two of each, simmered in chicken stock for half an hour, and buzzed with the immersion blender.

      Both of these soups are better the second day, and they both take well to freezing, so you can make big batches ahead of time and reduce your prep time to nearly zero.

      1. My go-to "instant" diet soup really isn't a recipe. If you have access to a microwave, this works well in the MW or stovetop. I use a "basis" and add different vegetables and flavorings as the refrig or mood dictates. Serve hot or cold, again as mood or season dictates.

        1 chopped, peeled potato
        a like amount of some member of the allium family - onion, shallot, leek, etc
        broth and/or water to cover

        Now, decide what flavor of soup you'd like:
        Carrot & ginger? Add peeled, chopped carrot & ginger to the mix.
        Zucchini & dill? Add chopped zucchini & dill.
        Butternut squash & curry? Add peeled butternut squash & curry powder
        Pea & mint? Add fresh or frozen peas and chopped mint
        The possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination and purse.

        Whatever you choose, cook until soft and whirl in blender or use stick blender for a rougher texture. The world will not end if you don't blend this and choose to eat it as is.
        It takes about 10 minutes from start to finish, is dirt cheap and easy to do. Good Luck.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Sherri

          I live on soup like this as soon as the temperature drops below 70. For protein, you can usually add a can of chickpeas or white beans in place of or in addition to the potato, unless the ingredients are too delicate and/or sweet.

          Also, miso soup is very easy and you can add potatoes and/or cabbage to make it more of a meal.

          1. re: Sherri

            Thanks! Sounds yum and cheap as hell.

          2. There's a wonderful recipe in the South Beach Diet Cookbook (the orange one, not the green one that has the diet in it) for "Hearty Minestrone." It's green. It includes leeks, whole wheat pasta, green beans, greens, and plenty of other wonderful things.

            1. I buy a box of TJ's veggie stock to start. Take a huge pot; add the carton of stock. Cut up into whatever size pieces you like: 2-3 white onions, bunch of carrots, bunch of celery; add to pot and add enough water to basically double the liquid level. Start simmering. Chop up more of whatever veggies you like... me, I add broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, and green beans. I also of course add salt and pepper. You can toss in whatever herbs you like, but I do honestly find the onions, carrots and celery as a starter do loads for flavor.

              1. Make clear stock from fish bones and heads. Use it for hearty miso, tofu, green onion, ginger, and green leafy veg soups.

                1. My Weight Watchers group leader gave us this idea last winter:
                  A box of shelf-stable chicken broth (or homemade if you have it)
                  Bring to a boil and add a bunch of fresh broccoli, chopped and a chopped onion.
                  Cook at a low boil or simmer until veggies are very tender. Buzz in a blender or use a "motor boat/stick blender". You can add fat free half and half if you'd like it more like a cream soup. S & P to taste. Without the ff half and half it is zero points. With it I think it was 1 point. Tasty and filling.

                  Right now when gardens and Farmer's Markets are overflowing with fabulous tomatoes and it's on the warm side, I like to just chunk them and throw them in the blender with a tiny bit of olive oil and wine vinegar plus salt and pepper. I just buzz them up and don't bother to strain (if you have a problem with tomato seeds, you could strain it). Delicious right out of the blender but better chilled. Garlic, onion and/or peppers either sweet or hot make a great addition.

                  1. My trick to make any soup feel more substantial and filling is to puree it - a hand blender works perfectly. I've played around found it works with pretty much any variety of soup.

                    The most basic version I use (which is essentially riffs on most of what has already been replied above): Saute onions, garlic, a little olive oil. Add veggies of your choice (if you're really talking 'diet' think hi fiber, low sugar like cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, etc) and spices & herbs to your liking (chili peppers, cayenne, etc are good for getting digestive juices flowing & upping the metabolism). Add broth - bring to boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. And then blend away!

                    If you want it even creamier and MORE filling, add in some white beans before bringing to a boil - once blended, you will swear there is half & half in there...

                    1. I actually love cabbage soup, so that's always my first stop when I want to fill up. I don't have a recipe per se, though I do like to add okra and chili powder for a "Southwestern" twist.

                      I'm also obsessed with this mushroom soup, which couldn't be easier. Buy a bunch of regular mushrooms and a couple packs of the wild ones (I make this when they go on sale at the store, or I use smaller quantities of dried mushrooms). Sautée onions, garlic and sage in a pot, then add mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid. Add as much good quality veg stock as you want and simmer for about 15 minutes. Purée a bit with a hand blender, but leave lots of texture. Enjoy!

                      1. Check out the Moosewood Daily Special cookbook - featuring their soups and salads, and a few snazzy little snacks. The book offers endless light, delicious combinations for healthy-yet-filling meals.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: foxy fairy

                          When in a pinch I have made this version using all frozen veggies and some chicken stock/veggie stock...
                          1/2 bag of the following frozen veggies:
                          green beans
                          lima beans
                          baby pearl onions
                          snap peas

                          OR ANY VEGGIES YOU LIKE:
                          Fill with water to just cover all the veggies in pan- add a can of tomatoes- a can of stock and simmer until veggies are cooked... I have also added REAL unfrozen spuds or onions just to make the guilty feeling go away! It's really a great soup and it's weight watchers friendly- core program and little or no points for flex...

                          1. re: MeffaBabe

                            I made a roasted cauliflower and curry soup last week that was filling and delicious. Just roasted some cauliflower and some garlic, sauteed some onions and pureed everything with a chicken stock and yellow curry.

                        2. I make tamarind-vegetable hot-and-sour quite often in the colder months, especially when I'm sick. Spicy soups seem to be more satisfying to me, and also keep me from eating too much. Also good: cauliflower soup, Indian lentil soup, cocido a la Madrileña and chipotle-chicken soup.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: JungMann

                            How do you make your tamarind-vegetable hot-and-sour? that sounds like my new favorite soup!

                          2. My favorite for that purpose is also hot and sour, albeit a Chinese-esque version.

                            My (probably grossly inauthentic) recipe:
                            4c. water
                            1 tsp. chicken or veg. stock powder
                            2-3Tbsp. vinegar (white, cider, or white wine)
                            2-3Tbsp. light soy sauce
                            fine ground pepper to taste (white is more authentic, but I never have it so I use black)
                            hot sauce to taste
                            4-6 oz. sliced mushrooms (white, cremini, shiitake)
                            6 oz. tofu (I like soft or firm, but silken is just too soft) in 1cm cubes
                            1Tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1/3c. cold water
                            1 egg, beaten
                            1tsp. sesame oil
                            1 sliced green onion

                            Boil water, add stock powder, vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, and hot sauce. Add mushrooms and tofu; bring to boil again. Remove from heat, and add cornstarch slurry; return to heat, stirring bottom, return to a boil until cornstarch thickens. Drizzle in egg, stirring to get shred effect, then drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle on onion.

                            1. Here's a recipe for a classic gazpacho. It's very good and it will make you fell good.


                              1. Here are a few of my lighter soups. On all of them, I just throw the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil until the veggies are tender.

                                I just posted this recipe on another thread too. It's an albondigas soup (mexican meatball soup) that I serve with corn bread:

                                2 large boxes beef broth (I use organic w/less salt, so I can add kosher salt)
                                1 can pureed tomatoes or chunky tomato soup
                                1 small bag frozen meatballs (about 30 meatballs)
                                2 small zucchinis, shredded
                                1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
                                kosher salt, red pepper flakes, lots of minced garlic, chili powder, paprika - sorry, I don't measure - then a little bit of cinnamon (about half as much cinnamon as chili powder)

                                Another one that I haven't made in a while is a cheesy fiesta soup. It probably has more calories b/c of the cheese (and I guess you could leave it out), but it does not become a thick cheese soup at all, and it has a lot of veggies too.

                                2 large boxes chicken broth
                                1 or 2 cans can ro-tel tomatoes, depending on how thin/tomato-ey you want the soup
                                1 small box Velveeta LIGHT, cubed
                                1 can black beans
                                1 can pinto beans
                                1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
                                Shredded chicken (I use a rotisserie chicken that I've pulled all the meat off of, no skin)
                                Garlic, kosher salt if low sodium broth, and chili powder to taste

                                Tortellini soup:

                                2 large boxes beef or chicken broth
                                1 package frozen chopped spinach
                                1 package frozen cheese tortellini
                                2 heaping teaspoons minced garlic
                                1 tsp. red pepper flakes
                                a little kosher salt if using low salt broth

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: starbucksbrew

                                  That tortellini is one of my favorite comfort foods -- one of my mom's standby recipes that I just **crave** during the colder months. She uses your recipe (beef broth not chicken) and adds a can of tomatoes too, some tom paste I think, and some zucchini or summer squash. Mmmm.

                                2. I make a Jacques Pepin instant vegie soup which is super easy and good:
                                  bring 2-4 cups stock to a boil
                                  shred carrots, half an onion, mushrooms, zuchini, etc. on a cheese grater/ box grater. You should have about a cup or more of vegetables.
                                  dump those in your stock and cook for two-three minutes.
                                  stir in two or three tablespoons of cream of wheat depending on how thick you want the soup
                                  dump in any leftover spinach or lettuce you might have. when it wilts, serve it up.

                                  1. I like to do an easy riff on Italian white bean soup:

                                    1 head kale, leaves chopped
                                    1 onion
                                    1 tablespoon chopped garlic
                                    2 cans drained and rinsed great northern or cannellini beans
                                    1 can Rotel tomatoes and chiles
                                    3-4 chopped hot or mild turkey Italian sausages
                                    1 can chicken broth

                                    I brown and breakup the turkey sausage, then add the onion and cook that until softened, then pour in my canned beans, the garlic, the Rotel, the broth and add 3 - 4 cups of water. You don't need to cook it super long - just until slightly reduced and the flavors meld, maybe 20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste - sometimes I add a little red chile powder to heat it up a bit - then add the chopped kale at the very end so it softens but doesn't loose all its texture. I've tried it with super fatty pork sausage but didn't like the results as much - the turkey's just better for this, plus it saves a few calories.

                                    1. One related tip... have foods with extremely high soluble fiber (avocado, beans etc.,) PRIOR to having the soup... when the soup liquid hits your stomach the fiber will expand & give you a filling of fullness & satiety.... also the fats & fiber have good sticking power allowing you to feel satisfied for many hours without snacking.

                                      1. Thank you all. Yesterday I went to Wegman's, where I was able to finally get some miso paste (my local grocery stores didn't know what it was; one of them even pointed me to the matzoh s - LOL) and some dashi. I got the red paste and the white and the dashi is Hon-dashi. Where to go with this next is beyond me but I'll figure something out.

                                        The other soups sound good as well!

                                        Eat_nopal, I have tried loading up on fiber but ti still doesn't do much to cut the hunger. I am still following that course, though, as well as splitting my intake into several smaller daily meals. But I am one of those people who seems to stay hungry all the time, and it really is a bother...

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Jimmy Buffet

                                          Good luck! :) You know, I find I'm hungry much less often now that I have found a form of exercise that I truly relish. I used to roll my eyes when people said such things, but I honestly believe it now, and since you too have experienced the ever-hunger I used to feel, I thought I'd cheer you on. If you find some kind of movement-based activity that you really enjoy (maybe dancing?!?! okay, that's mine and I can't get enough of it...) that will really help a lot. I know this sounds so obvious, but I've found that since I started dancing more and more, my relationship with food is completely different. I still eat and LOVE food and the preparation of it, but I think that I'm much more balanced and I can feel that I eat when I need food... gym routines never did it for me (treadmill = yawn, tedious, yawn) but with dance and even yoga, I feel so much better about myself, much more energized... again, I know it's like a DUH comment, but I just wanted to say keep looking for something active and **fun** for you personally, and that will really help with the quest for healthy eating too. Good luck! I'd love to hear your favorites of the soups...

                                          1. re: foxy fairy

                                            You make a great point... I am a very competitive person (Boxed as a teenager, ran track in college) and I have put on 15 pounds since the baby was born (10 months ago)... I was having a hard time just getting into excercise but after joining an indoor soccer league and wanting to get in shape to boost my performance (measureable, quantifiable & competitive!) I can now tolerate running 5 times a week (at a sub-anaerobic pace... otherwise I will run too hard, get injured and not excercise for a week).

                                            Anyway, I always find that once I start training for some competitive sport... my caloric needs & metabolism increase... but my consumption of food stays fairly even... I even stop snacking etc., It also helps to time excercise when you normally would snack... as its easier to skip snacking since you are motivate to keep an empty stomach.

                                        2. sorry, no recipes, but to make a soup you like filling just add some beans to it. precook a pot of beans since they take forever, freeze in small quantities, and add to soups as needed.
                                          they are healthy and filling.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: hala

                                            Re beans taking forever to cook: I finally bought a pressure cooker: dry beans cook up very quickly - even garbanzos!!!

                                            1. re: RWCFoodie

                                              How long is quickly. I find that if you buy decently fresh beans they are ready within an hour, and they usually freeze okay (particularly if its a pureed soup).

                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                depends what kinds of beans you use. fresh, dried navy or black beans as example, can cook up quickly; dried favas, dried red kidneys, larger beans, beans over a year old, and soybeans can take a longer time. beans don't need a lot of attention-- soak them overnight and cook up a pot while doing chores, cooking other food, or watching a movie, or use a pressure cooker as RWCFoodie suggests. use canned beans or frozen baby lima beans as shortcut pantry staples for tossing into soups too. . .

                                          2. http://www.gumbopages.com/food/stocks...

                                            Quick Chicken Stock Makes about 2 quarts of stock.
                                            This is a good, all-purpose stock which only takes a little over an hour to prepare, and is fine if you don't have time for the classic stock.

                                            1 tablespoon oil
                                            1 medium onion, chopped
                                            1 carrot, chopped
                                            2 ribs celery, chopped
                                            parsley stems
                                            4 pounds legs or backs and wings, cut into 2-inch pieces
                                            2 quarts cold water

                                            Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion; ] sauté until colored and softened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and cook until the celery has begun to get tender, another 3-4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

                                            Add half of the chicken pieces to the pot; sauté both sides until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked chicken to the bowl with the vegetable mixture. Sauté the remaining chicken pieces. Return the vegetables and chicken pieces to the pot. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the chicken releases its juices, about 20 minutes.

                                            Increase the heat to high; add the water, salt, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, then cover and barely simmer until the stock is rich and flavorful, about 30 minutes.

                                            Strain the stock and discard the solids. Cool the stock (ziploc bags filled with water and frozen make great stock-coolers), then place in a container in the fridge until cold, and all the fat rises to the top and sets. Skim off the fat, then you may keep the stock in the fridge for up to 2 days, and in the freezer for 6 months.

                                            1. Whatever you do, don't call it weight watcher's soup. You'll only end up feeling deprived and eating the rest of the ice cream in the freezer. Buy the most beautiful potatoes and leeks you can get your hands on. Peel the potatoes, rinse the leeks, chop everything up, give it a good saute in a little butter and olive oil (both have valuable nutrients), add salt, a grind of black pepper, and cover just to the top with water. Add a bit more salt (don't worry, it will be way less than canned), and simmer gently until the potatoes are done. (you can add a thyme spring or a garlic clove or parsley for added flavor as you braise). You can also add broccoli or spinach or a whole host of other veggies for the last five minutes. Puree with your immersion blender. Don't forget that potatoes, bad rap that they have, are full of vitamins. Taste for salt, and pepper. Grate on a Parmigiano Reggiano and enjoy. fayefood.com

                                              1. Here is a link to a very easy to make, rich but low calorie Crab soup I just posted:


                                                1. I love making lentil soup. I don't have my go-to recipe on hand, but it's pretty basic and easy to customize: sautee up some veggies [onion, carrot, what have you] with some oregano (or whatever herbs you like), add a box of chicken or veggie broth, some dried lentils, a can of crushed tomatos and 1 box frozen spinich, boil it until lentils are tender (can add water or more broth to make the consistency you want).

                                                  A good variation is to add some curry, or even some potatos. Very healthy and filling!

                                                  1. miso soup-- can make for 1 person almost instantly & use up stray leftover veggies in process for different tasting soup every day, use different misos for more variety.

                                                    some lentil & bean soups can be made w/o oil or other fats to be completely fat free & they are substantial protein sources.

                                                    basic minestrone made with homemade veg broth, market vegetables, pasta/rice & a little evoo. parm if you're feeling just slightly decadent (very lo fat).

                                                    1. I call it my "Post-Holiday Cleanse Soup"

                                                      diced onion
                                                      diced carrot
                                                      diced celery
                                                      large can of diced tomatoes
                                                      box of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
                                                      lb of your favorite lentils
                                                      chicken stock or water
                                                      chili flakes
                                                      hot sauce

                                                      1. Saute onions, celery and carrots in a touch of olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Add your seasonings now since they will saute and become stronger.
                                                      2. Add lentils, stir until coated with mixture. Add amount of liquid required by lentils minus 1 cup (because of the can of tomatoes). Add tomatoes.
                                                      3. Cook until lentils are done.
                                                      4. Add spinach.
                                                      5. Serve with hot sauce or dollop of fat free Fage yogurt.

                                                      Very filling and healthy. I find that the spiciness tricks me out of thinking I am eating something healthy!

                                                      1. I love this version of Pasta Fagioli - I do add a little organic chicken sausage to make it more of a meal. I also add the full herbs rather then the sachel and take it out (as it mentions).

                                                        1. These recipes and suggestions sound GREAT and I think I'll try some this weekend.

                                                          I love beans but I REALLY love lentils. The nice thing about them is that they don't take long to cook.

                                                          1. Very easy, and amazinly good. Saute red peppers in olive oil, add garlic at the end so it doesn't burn. Puree with just enough chicken stock. Add sour cream or other dairy, only if desired. It's nice either way.

                                                            A second soup. Do exactly the same thing with cauliflower. Brown is good for a rich flavor, less brown for less rich. Puree until nice and thick. This soup, if made with olive oil is very healthy and tastes like it's loaded with cream and butter. Seriously.