Soups, stews and chilis are a great make ahead meal that can feed a whole family or make lunches for the week. My favorite thing about soups is it’s a great way to use up meats and vegetables in your fridge.
Recipes at the bottom…
Most soups start with a broth, choose based on your flavors and needs.
- Beef, chicken, vegetable, even bone broth. Store bought or homemade
- Add ins like wine, beer, tomato sauce, cream
- The egg drop soup below makes a wonderful base to add to.
You don’t have to add a meat, but just about any meat will work.
- Beef (all cuts, including ground beef), chicken, sausage (link or ground), fish, shrimp, other seafoods
- Things like bacon can be added as a garnish to retain texture or early on for flavor.
Almost any vegetable can work in a soup, remember that vegetables that tend to get mushy should be added last.
- Basics – Onion, garlic, green beans, spinach (other greens), celery, broccoli, cabbage, peppers
- Softer veggies – Zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms
- Use in moderation for flavor – Corn, peas, tomatoes, leeks, carrots
In place of potatoes you can use…
- Jicama, turnips, rutabaga, chayote, radishes and cauliflower.
Seasonings and flavors can be anything you want, add the things you like
- Add dry spices towards the end of cooking, add to taste, start small and add as you go to avoid overdoing it
- There are things you would never think of, miso paste, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar…keep your options open
- Do not add too much heat if others will be sharing, you can always add heat to your serving.
- Consider the seasoning and salt in the ingredients you’re adding in. For example, adding parmesan can up the saltiness, or the spices in your cooked meats like sausage.
- For more info check this out
To make a soup creamy, you can add the following,
- Heavy cream, half & half, cream cheese, coconut cream, sour cream and other similar products.
- Other options include pureed vegetables, cheese or a low carb/keto roux
- Add cheese and dairy towards the end of cooking and do not boil. This can cause cheese to separate and milk products to curdle. Keep temp low and allow to melt slowly
Pasta and bean substitutes include…
- Cabbage, bean sprouts, shirataki noodles, Healthy Noodles, spaghetti squash, low carb noodles
- Use black soy beans, peanuts, mushrooms or olives for bean texture
If you want to thicken soup beyond what pureed veggies or cream cheese can do, there are other options.
- Xanthan gum (small amounts, 1/4 tsp to start), guar gum, glucomannan (konjac), agar agar, gelatin
- For more info on using these, check here
- Cheese can thicken soup where appropriate.
Topping and garnishes when serving your soup, stew or chili
- Avocados, cheese, sour cream, sprouts, boiled eggs, sriracha, cheese crisps, low carb tortilla strips or croutons.
Some of my favorite recipes…