Weight loss soup-er star: Healthy soup, healthy you!

Healthy Soup Recipes.  Healthy Soup Recipes.  Meet our featured restaurant, Zoup!  Learn how to pick soups that will  keep your waistline happy.  Get nostalgic with a ‘90s soup throwback.  Learn to make your own no-effort delicious soups at home.

So we all know that cooking your own food is better for you than heading out to restaurants. At home, you can measure and weigh your portions, choose to scrimp on calorie-laden sauces a bit, or otherwise choose your own calorie adventure. In a restaurant setting, you get none of these options. I don’t often advocate for letting someone else do the cooking while you are calorie counting, but sometimes it is necessary as a part of life.

I’ve chosen to create a series on restaurant fare that will not break your calorie budget. Some restaurants make it easy to eat a low-calorie meal, and for some restaurants it is more of a challenge. I will be exploring both types of restaurants over the coming weeks.

Featured restaurant: Zoup!

Zoup!

I love Zoup! so hard. They have soup recipes galore, and even better, HEALTHY soup recipes! My only complaint about this chain is that I need more of them. They need to be as plentiful as Starbucks and McDonalds and Subway. As you might expect, a restaurant built on soup is going to have plenty of low-calorie, brothy delights. In fact, the chain boasts that they have 37 soups under 175 calories (8 oz. size).

The fabulous thing is that they feature 12 soups daily, and they constantly rotate what they offer. Check for their “Enlightened” menu symbol as a tip off. Even better, they let you sample as many soups as you need to make a decision. I have yet to sample a soup there I didn’t like. (Well, that’s not true. I sampled Gazpacho, and I think my mouth just didn’t like the concept of a cold soup. I am sure it is a delicious gazpacho for people who are into that sort of thing.)

Zoup’s staff is also amazingly friendly! Unlike some soup proprietors out there… Well… I’ll just leave this here… People of the ’90s, you get me.

Eventually Former Fatty’s picks:

  • 8 oz. Mulligatawny (100 calories) with a hunk of French Bread (150 calories) and a half sized Sonoma Salad (147 calories) with Balsamic Vinaigrette on the side (use half their portion: 60 calories).
    Grand total for meal: 457 Calories.
  • 8 oz. Tomato, Spinach, and Brown Rice (100 calories) With half sized 4 Cheese Melt (340 Calories)
    Grand total for meal: 440 Calories.
  • 8 oz. Chicken or Steak Fajita Soup (Chicken: 100 Calories; Steak: 140 Calories) with a half sized loco burrito salad (skip the chipotle ranch dressing. It’s so flavorful you don’t need it.) (213 calories) With a hunk of sourdough Bread (170 calories)
    Grand total for meal: 483 – 523 Calories.

Transfer those skills!

It is a great thing to give my readers specific recommendations for this restaurant, but I also want to teach my readers how to fish. I want you to be able to take the knowledge from this post and transfer it into other settings. Here’s what to look for in a soup:

  • Choose a soup that is broth based. You might want to avoid soups that are cream-based. Red-flag words are “creamy,” “bisque,” and “chowder.”
  • Look for soups that have lots of low-calorie, filling vegetables.
  • If the soup has grains, opt for whole grains instead of refined grains. Think quinoa and brown rice instead of noodles.
  • If the soup includes a protein, think lean proteins.
  • Word of warning: watch the sodium.

Soup is an amazing food for eventually former fatties in general. Most of the volume is broth, which is incredibly low calorie. You can make pretty much anything into a soup, so it is great for curbing cravings for those higher calorie foods you might be missing. But that doesn’t mean every soup is going to fit your needs.

Do it at home!

Even if you don’t steal recipes from a soup nazi, soup is soup-er (pun completely intended) easy to make at home. It has become a habit for me to make a big batch of soup on Sunday, put it into single portions for the week ahead, and freeze the rest.

My favorite DIY healthy soup recipe:

  • 12 cups chicken broth (pro-tip: Use 1 full-sodium 4-cup box and two low-sodium boxes of the same size.)
  • 8 cups frozen veggies of your choice. I like “rainbow blend” which is red and orange peppers, corn, and peas.
  • Two cups rinsed, uncooked quinoa. (It will expand)
  • The meat of one whole rotisserie chicken, no skin, shredded. This is going to add back some of the sodium we mitigated by using two parts low sodium broth.

Put all these things in a big pot and boil it all together around 20 minutes.

Note: I often do soups in the crock pot. The only change is that you will need to cook the quinoa in some broth separately, as the crock pot likely won’t reach the temperature required to cook the quinoa.

Secret recipe

I’m going to share something with you. But you totally can’t judge me for it, okay? You’re not going to judge me, right? Okay.

Here is my REAL favorite soup to make at home. Everyone else thinks it sounds gross, but it is like poetry for pickle lovers.

  • 12 cups chicken broth (pro-tip: Use 1 full-sodium 4-cup box and two low-sodium boxes of the same size.)
  • 5 cups frozen veggies of your choice. I like “rainbow blend” which is red and orange peppers, corn, and peas.
  • One jar of dill pickles, chopped
  • Two cups rinsed, uncooked quinoa. (It will expand)
  • One package corned beef deli meat

Same instructions as above. But consume this one in seeeecret because everyone thinks pickle soup can’t be awesome. But it is SO awesome.

There you have it! An ode to a tasty, filling, comforting, low-calorie, healthy bowl of soup! Eventually former fatties everywhere salute you, soup!

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Pradha K. (3 years ago)

That pickle soup sounds amazing. Screw the haters! More soup for you.

    Ashley (3 years ago)

    PICKLE SOUP!

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