There's no better time of year to enjoy a warm, nourishing bowl of soup than in the fall. The air is crisp, the leaves are changing colors, and with cold weather outside, a hot serving of healthy soup is just the thing to get you through the winter. Rather than turning to canned soups or takeout options, why not prepare your own batch at home?
"The only way to truly know what's in the food you eat is to make it yourself," explains Mia Rigden, a chef and nutritionist. According to her, many premade soups include unhealthy additives, so while it's not always the most convenient option, making soup yourself is usually the better choice when it comes to your health. "There's something special about making it from scratch, too," Rigden says. "It's a labor of love and all about building flavors."
Meet the Expert
Mia Rigden is a licensed holistic health coach from the Institute of Integrated Nutrition with a degree in English Literature from UC Santa Barbara. She has also studied classic culinary arts from The French Culinary Institute. Rigden is the founder of the wellness community RASA, a platform encouraging healthy lifestyle habits through detoxes, coaching, tips, and more.
The nutrition expert encourages her clients to make big batches of their favorite soups and freeze the leftovers, so they always have a healthy meal on hand. If you're skeptical of how filling healthy homemade soups can be, don't fret. Rigden explains that by using healthy fats from ingredients like coconut milk, avocados, nuts, and olive oils, you can make a hearty, healthy soup that satisfies. You can also use bone broth instead of water for some extra creaminess and collagen protein that's also good for your skin and gut. Ahead, master four of Rigden's deliciously healthy homemade soup recipes.
Roasted Carrot Miso
"Miso gives this soup a depth of flavor and gut-healthy probiotics," Rigden explains. She suggests looking for organic, non-GMO products when buying miso to cook with at home. "Quality makes a big difference in taste and nutrition," she says. The miso adds a very distinct flavor but isn't too bold. In fact, this soup would make a great appetizer because the flavor is quite light.
3 cups carrots, roughly chopped (you do not need to peel them)
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. ginger, peeled
4 garlic cloves
Leaves from 5 fresh thyme sprigs
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. miso paste
6 cups vegetable, bone broth or water
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place carrots and onions in a medium-sized bowl, toss with olive oil and thyme leaves. Spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Wrap garlic cloves in tin foil with a drizzle of olive oil and salt, and place on baking sheet with carrots and onion. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned.
Let cool for a few minutes, then add carrots, onions, and garlic to a high-speed blender with ginger, broth, and miso, and blend until smooth. Feel free to do this in batches if your blender is not big enough. Pour soup into a pot, heat, and serve. Garnish with thyme and a drizzle of olive oil.
Garlicy Cauliflower Soup
For a tasty and healthy homemade soup, try your hand at the garlic-packed cauliflower soup. It's filled with nutritious vegetables and flavor to boot. This is a great recipe to flag because it tastes amazing, and it's also incredibly nutritious because garlic is packed with vitamins B and C, manganese, selenium, iron, copper, and potassium. It's been known to promote a healthy heart, aid in a fight against cancer and bacterial infections, and clear skin.
1 head of cauliflower
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
5 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp. coconut oil
4 cups vegetable or bone broth
2 cups water
Salt/pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish
Maldon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 F. Roughly chop cauliflower (stems, leaves and all), onion, and garlic. Spread on a baking sheet with thyme sprigs and lightly coat with coconut oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes or until browned. All the vegetable mix to cool for a few minutes, then add cauliflower, onion, and garlic to a blender with broth and blend until smooth. Make soup in batches if your blender is not big enough.
Transfer to a pot and warm to the desired temperature. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of sea salt.
Green Detox Soup
Rigden calls this soup "the ultimate detox." It's full of anti-inflammatory greens, ginger, and turmeric for a total reset. "It's the perfect antidote to an indulgent weekend," she says. If you're feeling a bit off about the color, think of it as a piping hot green juice. We promise; this soup is absolutely delicious.
2 cups spinach
6 medium asparagus, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp. coconut oil
4 cups bone broth
Water to cover
1 tsp. turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
Maldon sea salt
Heat coconut oil in a medium pot. Add onions and garlic first, followed by asparagus, zucchini, and lastly spinach. Add broth and enough water to cover the vegetables (about two cups).Let simmer for about 20 minutes, add turmeric and purée until smooth. You can transfer to a blender to purée or use a hand blender straight in the pot.
Season as desired and serve with a squeeze of lemon and some Maldon sea salt.
Harissa-Spiced Roasted Acorn Squash Soup
This harissa-spiced roasted acorn squash soup recipe is perfect for cold weather. This dish is full of unexpected flavors and creamy texture, making it one of our go-to soups this winter. As the title implies, it has a bit of a kick, but if you're stuck at home with a cold, this soup will definitely make you feel better.
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. coconut oil or ghee
2 medium-sized acorn squash
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
6 cups bone or vegetable broth
2 tbsp. Harissa paste
Salt and pepper
Rosemary (for garnish)
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Cut acorn squash and scoop out seeds. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Melt 1/4 cup of ghee or coconut oil and pour evenly over squash. Season with salt and pepper, and roast for 40 minutes, or until tender. Heat the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil or ghee in a Dutch oven. Add chopped onions and garlic and stir over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
Next, add roasted squash and Harissa and continue to stir for another minute or two before covering with broth. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 15–20 minutes. Use a hand blender or transfer contents to a high-speed blender and puree until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper as desired, and serve with fresh or dried rosemary as a garnish.