10 healthy autumn soups to boost your energy levels
Looking at the sun shining outside, it might be hard to believe that summer is almost over. However autumn really is right around the corner; colder weather, snuggly knits and cosy soups are waiting. Eating healthily during the summer months is fairly easy – fresh fruit, salad and smoothies are all perfect for the warmer weather, but what about when there's a chill in the air? How do you get your five-a-day and plenty of nutrients when the weather turns colder? Soup is a great way to fill up and if you make your own, you can pack it with vegetables and super foods designed to boost your energy levels and keep you fuller for longer. We've gathered our favourite 10 autumn soup recipes from across the web for you to enjoy – whether you're into spicy butternut squash or chunky tomato, there's sure to be a recipe for you here.
Healthy Minestrone Soup
This fab recipe from The Corner Kitchen is just perfect for chilly autumn evenings. Packed with veggies, you'll find carrots, onions, tomatoes, beans and celery here, with the optional addition of pasta, quinoa or brown rice making this a really filling option. Play around with the ingredients to suit what is in season and what you have to hand – try canellini beans and chunks of courgette or use vegetable stock for a veggie option. This is a really versatile recipe that just so happens to be one of my favourites!
Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash and chilli is pretty much a match made in heaven, and this soup tastes amazing on its own, or served with a couple of chunks of crusty bread. You could even enjoy it with Ryvita or flatbreads for a healthier option. The heat of the chilli, combined with the sweetness of the roasted butternut squash makes this soup really satisfying.
Asian Red Lentil Soup
This Anthony Worrall-Thompson recipe is so simple yet so tasty, and it makes a great lunch to take to work or speedy dinner when you're tired after a long day in the office. Red lentils, spices, parsnips and carrots are given a twist with the addition of coconut milk and lime juice, for a sweet and sour Asian flavour. If you're bored of basic red lentil soup, this is perfect, and a great way to boost your intake of fresh vegetables.
Moroccan Chickpea Soup
This spicy Moroccan chickpea soup recipe by Rachel Allan is sure to keep you warm when the temperature drops outside. Serve it with her moreish chilli and garlic pitta crisps or with flatbreads and some olives. Chickpeas are a great source of fibre and also contain phytoestrogens, which can help protect against osteoporosis and could reduce your risk of breast cancer. Just two to three tablespoons of chickpeas counts as one of your five-a-day, and this soup also contains tomatoes, celery and onions.
Veggie Black Bean Soup
Another yummy recipe from The Corner Kitchen, this vegetarian soup may not look the most appetising, but what it lacks in colour it more than makes up for in flavour! Fans of chunky, hearty soups will appreciate the texture, and you can top this delicious soup with slices of avocado (a good source of Vitamin E, packed with good fats) and perhaps a dollop of sour cream, if you're having a cheat day.
Hot and Sour Tom Yum Soup
Being a huge fan of Thai flavours means that I jump at any chance to whip up this hot, sour, sweet and spicy soup when the weather turns colder. It's a meal-in-a-bowl, with lemongrass, lime leaves, vegetables, coconut milk, lime juice and a sprinkle of brown sugar for sweetness. You can use lean protein such as shrimps or chicken – even add some noodles if you fancy. This is one of Thailand's most popular soups and is a great alternative to your usual vegetable stir fry. It's also said to have immune-boosting properties, making it the perfect cold remedy!
Speedy Carrot and Lentil Soup
This recipe from BBC Good Food is perfect for when you want dinner in a hurry – it can be whizzed up in under half an hour and freezes well, ideal for lunches at work. With vitamin-packed carrots, red lentils and plenty of chilli for added spice, this vegetarian soup is one of my favourites, and it's really cheap to make.
Japanese Chicken, Pasta and Butter Bean Ramen
Delicious Magazine is always one of my go-to resources for healthy, tasty recipes, and when I saw this Japanese-inspired ramen soup, I knew it had to make it into this article! This is a great recipe for when you're running out of fresh food – you can add any vegetables you like; I usually use celery, onions and frozen garden peas. For a more authentic Asian taste, use egg noodles instead of spaghetti.
Vibrant Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup
This recipe by Deliciously Ella is a great way to boost your vegetable intake. The tomatoes and red peppers add vibrant colour and sweetness, and most of the ingredients you'll already have in your cupboard – or they can be easily picked up at a local market or corner shop. Brightly coloured vegetables such as red peppers are a great source of antioxidants, which can protect the body from free radicals and premature ageing. The olive oil is a great source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which can help protect your heart. Whip up this silky soup and you'll always have a healthy lunch or cosy dinner to hand!
Beautiful Beetroot Soup
This divine beetroot soup, or Borscht, as it's called in Russia, has warmth from the mustard seeds and cumin, whilst the beetroot gives it its vibrant purple colour and texture. This Green Kitchen Stories recipe uses just a handful of ingredients – apple cider vinegar for a sharp tang, onions and beetroot and olive oil, which is a healthy fat. Serve with a spoonful of the hot horseradish yogurt for the perfect contrast.
I've already cooked most of these recipes and am always on the lookout for new, healthy soup recipes for a quick lunch or light dinner when the weather turns colder. These recipes are all easy to whip up in minutes and will leave you feeling satisfied, enjoyed alone or with your choice of bread. Delicious! What's your favourite soup recipe?