With mounting work deadlines, and added family or social responsibilities, it can be hard to find the time to cook hearty, delicious meals. If you're trying to stay healthy despite a lack of time, consider batch-cooking a flavorful pot of soup. Almost any recipe will do—just double the ingredients and let it simmer while you kick back with a glass of wine (or hot tea) on Sunday night.
Ahead, we went in search of the best healthy soup recipes that prove you don't have to compromise on flavor. They're surprisingly varied, too. From one-pot vegan minestrone and black bean chili, to slow-cooked butternut squash soup, and a winter vegetable chowder, there's enough variation to last you a while.
Clear some space in your freezer—these are the best 12 soups to batch-make when you're too busy to cook.
Winter Green Soup
The Recipe: Winter Green Soup
Why We Love It: Leeks give this healthy soup from Sugar Salted a rich flavor and creamy consistency. It's also full of nutritious, cruciferous vegetables including Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, plus thyme and parsley for seasoning. "Cooked in about 30 minutes, it’ll fill you up while giving you enough leftovers to freeze or eat later," writes Alice, of Sugar Salted.
Pro Tip: Serve with a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche, roughly chopped cashews, and fresh herbs like parsley or chives.
Chicken and Ginger Immunity Soup
The Recipe: Chicken and Ginger Immunity Soup
Why We Love It: Ginger adds more than flavor to this healthy soup—it also has anti-inflammatory properties that might be helpful during cold and flu season. To make this recipe from Hello Glow, you'll also need chicken breast, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion, astralagus root, cayenne pepper, parsley and cilantro.
Pro Tip: Enjoy leftover soup within 3 days, recommends Hello Glow.
Hearty White Bean and Kale Soup
The Recipe: Hearty White Bean and Kale Soup
Why We Love It: The smoky flavor of bacon makes this vegetable-rich soup from Spoon Fork Bacon even tastier. Plus it's loaded with tummy-filling ingredients like kale, white sweet potato, and white beans. Season with garlic and thyme, and add salt and pepper to taste. "I know white bean + kale soup is nothing new, but the smoked ham and white sweet potatoes are what really do it for me in this soup," writes Teri Lyn Fisher, of Spoon Fork Bacon.
Pro Tip: Remove thyme sprigs, and adjust seasonings before serving.
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
The Recipe: Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
Why We Love It: Don't skip the chipotles en adobo in Salt & Wind's hearty and slightly sweet and spicy sweet potato chili recipe. The dried, smoked jalapeños are a must. Make sure you also have cumin, chili powder, green onions, feta or cotija cheese, and lime on-hand for this dish.
Pro Tip: Garnish with scallions, cheese, jalapeños, and serve with tortilla chips.
Winter Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup
The Recipe: Winter Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup
Why We Love It: Swiss chard and lemon juice give this classic chicken noodle soup dish from Half Baked Harvest a tart twist. Bay leaf, ginger, garlic, thyme, and lemon zest also flavor a soup of egg noodles, chicken, carrots, and celery. "I packed in some onions, leeks, rainbow carrots (the prettiest!), celery, garlic and rainbow chard. I don’t think it gets much more colorful," writes Tieghan Gerard, of Half Baked Harvest.
Pro Tip: Gerard also offers a simple recipe for asiago crostini (ciabatta, cheese, herbs) to serve with the soup.
Garlic Mushroom Soup
The Recipe: Garlic Mushroom Soup
Why We Love It: This recipe from Playful Cooking calls for a mix of shiitake and button mushrooms, which both have subtle, unique flavors. For the herb oil, you'll need olive oil, cilantro, and salt. Add cream as an option. "It’s earthy, warms you inside out and so very soul satisfying," assures Kankana, of Playful Cooking.
Pro Tip: Garnish with some reserved mushroom slices, garlic, and a drizzle of the herb oil.
Winter Vegetable Chowder With Mushroom, Lemon, and Cabbage
Why We Love It: Chowder doesn't have to be unhealthy. This stewy, luscious version from The First Mess includes celery root and cauliflower to mimic the creamy texture and flavor. Add garlic, thyme, Old Bay seasoning, grainy mustard, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, then top with crispy, roasted cabbage.
Pro Tip: Season cabbage with Old Bay seasoning, celery salt, caraway seeds, or za'atar, as options.
Slow Cooker Sausage, Lentil, and Arugula Soup
The Recipe: Slow-Cooker Sausage, Lentil, and Arugula Soup
Why We Love It: Melanie Makes' recipe creator says this soup is "beyond easy." Sweet Italian sausage is the perfect addition; just brown sausage and add it to the pot along with lentils, cloves, and tomatoes. Toss some arugula in just before serving, to wilt it slightly.
Pro Tip: "If your slow cooker does not have the ability to sauté, you'll want to complete the first step of the recipe in a saucepan on your stovetop and then add it to your slow cooker," advises Melanie, of Melanie Makes.
One-Pot Vegan Minestrone
The Recipe: One-Pot Vegan Minestrone
Why We Love It: Coconut sugar makes this vegetable soup from Minimalist Baker a little sweeter than expected (in a good way). Otherwise, load up on produce like carrots, green beans, zucchini, white beans or chickpeas; then add herbs like oregano and basil, a can of tomatoes, garlic, pasta, and greens.
Pro Tip: This gluten-free recipe (use gluten-free pasta) will keep in the fridge for several days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Creamy Vegan White Bean Soup and Broccolini
The Recipe: Creamy Vegan White Bean Soup and Broccolini
Why We Love It: With a handful of pantry items, including herbs and spices like turmeric, oregano, and parsley, this soup recipe from Orchids + Sweet Tea is nutritious and filling. Blend softened cauliflower, beans, and soaked cashews to create the foundation of the soup; and top with sautéed broccolini.
Pro Tip: Serve with garlic bread or crackers, suggests Shanika, the food blogger behind Orchids + Sweet Tea.
Spicy Sweet Potato Peanut Soup
The Recipe: Spicy Sweet Potato Peanut Soup
Why We Love It: Marisa Moore's vegetarian-friendly soup recipe is as nutty as it is spicy. It's also easy to make. All you need are sweet potatoes, peanut butter, vegetable broth, shallots; and spices including ancho chili powder, cloves, plus some chopped peanuts.
Pro Tip: This recipe is vegan-friendly, and heart-healthy, according to Moore.
Baby Bok Choy Soup With Garlic and Ginger
The Recipe: Baby Bok Choy Soup With Garlic and Ginger
Why We Love It: Pickled Plum says that this soup recipe packs "assertive flavor," which we're all about when we want something bold and spicy (thanks to sambal oelek or other chili paste, to taste). Rice noodles, chopped bok choy, and shiitake mushrooms fill a garlicky, gingery broth with soy sauce. "Loaded with rice noodles, this fragrant Asian soup recipe is easy to make and packed with deep, umami flavor," writes Pickled Plum.
Pro Tip: A little sambal oelek goes a long way, writes Pickled Plum.