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Originally Published: Jan 25, 2017

January is Soup Month! 

In addition to being an easy, hot meal during cold winter months, there are also great health benefits from eating soup! Soup is an excellent way to load up on your veggies while also incorporating protein with lean meats and/or beans. It can also assist with weight loss efforts! Most soups have so much water that they tend to help you feel full faster.

Tuscan Chickpea Soup 

“You can prepare this soup in one pot and with minimal chopping required. Another time-saving step is to use an immersion blender to blend the soup right on the stove. Whether or not you like chickpeas, you’ll enjoy this soup.”


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh or ¼ tsp. dried rosemary
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 3 (15 ½ -ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 ½ -ounce) can diced tomatoes, un-drained
  • 1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp. (1 ½ ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Then stir in the water and the next 5 ingredients (water through tomatoes) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  2. Place 2 cups of soup in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Pour the pureed soup into a bowl. Repeat this procedure with 2 cups soup. Then return all pureed soup to pan. Stir in the vinegar and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Spoon 1 ½ cups soup into 6 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 Tbsp. cheese.

Note:  By blending only half of the soup, you can enjoy the texture of the chickpeas while still creating a hearty broth!

Nutrition information per serving:  373 calories;  9.1 g fat (sat 2.1 g, mono 4.5 g, poly 1.6g); 15g protein;  59.7 g carbohydrate; 11.4 g fiber; 5 mg cholesterol; 3.7mg iron;  955mg sodium; 197 mg sodium (sodium may be reduced by using no-added salt canned tomatoes and rinsing and draining the chickpeas before adding). Makes 6 servings. 

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup

“I adapted this soup from a radio broadcast I heard years ago while driving in my car. I love it served with crusty bread, or sometimes I use it as a base for beef and vegetable soup, or chicken soup.  The possibilities are endless. Roasting is my favorite cooking method for vegetables because the heat caramelizes the naturally occurring sugars in the veggies, creating a mildly sweet flavor that is absolutely mouth-watering. Make sure to cut the pieces of vegetables about the same size to result in even cooking.” 


  • 3 leeks
  • 1 small Butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 shallots, quartered
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. dried Thyme
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt, preferably coarse
  • Pepper, preferably coarsely ground
  • 5 cups low-sodium broth, vegetable or chicken
  • ¾ cup dry white wine (can substitute white grape juice with ½ Tbsp. vinegar mixed in)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 450° F with a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Cut off dark green stalks from leeks. Dispose or save for other use. Halve the pale green and white ends of leeks lengthwise, wash, and then slice diagonally into ½ pieces, or about the same size as other vegetables.
  3. In two medium or large baking sheets or shallow roasting pans, combine the leeks, parsnips, carrots, butternut squash, celery, shallots, garlic, and thyme and toss in the olive oil, salt, and pepper to evenly coat. Spread into one single layer. 
  4. Roast in oven for 20 minutes. Increase the oven temp to 450°F and continue to roast for an additional 10 minutes, until the vegetables are crispy on the edges and a little soft (not mushy) inside.
  5. While the vegetables cook, bring stock or broth to a boil on the stove in a large stockpot. Lower heat to keep the liquid at a low simmer.
  6. Remove vegetables from the oven and pour the wine or juice over them, using a spatula to de-glaze the pans. Pour everything into the stock or broth. Keep the heat on low and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. 
  7. Ladle in bowls and enjoy!

A quick tip to keep your soups healthy:

Stick with soups that are broth-based and packed with vegetables, beans, lentils, and split peas. This will keep your soup low-fat, filling, and high in nutrients!