It’s been soup season for a while now, but it’s easy to get into a rut of making the same chicken noodle or vegetable soups as winter drags on. The most important thing to remember is that to make a soup a hearty meal (without being hungry an hour later) you need to ensure it includes plenty of protein and fiber. Here are our favorite soup recipes that actually make you feel full. Not only are they more nutritious in terms of protein, but also pack more flavor than typical canned soup—we dare you to go out on a limb with a spicy lentil curry soup or a dairy-free seafood chowder. Get these eight high-protein soup ideas, recommended by dietitians, simmering on your stove ASAP.
Top 8 High-Protein Soup Ideas to Stay Warm & Well Fed
1. Creamy Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup
Recipe and image from Colleen Christensen, RDN
Creamy tomato soup from a can? It’s great with grilled cheese, but it’s often packed with sodium and fat. This homemade version is not difficult to whip up, but has way more antioxidants and vitamins from both the tomato and the butternut squash. Also, it’s more protein-packed thanks to the creamy Greek yogurt added in place of heavy cream. Garnish with roasted pepitas for even more protein.
2. Sweet Potato Chickpea Chili
Recipe and image from Maria and Josh Lichty of Two Peas & Their Pod
Vegan chili definitely doesn’t have to be bland, and doesn’t have to include the trademark kidney beans or even black beans. The base of this one is sweet potatoes and chickpeas instead. It includes tons of protein as well as Vitamin A from the sweet potatoes and the mineral zinc from the chickpeas too.
3. Dairy-Free Salmon Corn Chowder
Recipe and image from Alexis Joseph, MS, RDN, LDN of Hummusapien
Chowders can be heavy, and certainly not suitable for anyone with dairy intolerance. This one is made with cashews instead of cream as a base, as well as vegetable broth, and veggies. If you eat vegan, you can make the chowder with just corn (but you’ll then miss out on the protein, Vitamin D, and omega-3’s in the salmon).
4. Lentil Kale Curry Soup
Recipe and image from Rachel Dickens of The Conscious Dietitian
This spicy concoction contains so many nutrients that it’s hard to keep track. The lentils themselves are protein powerhouses, and are also a good source of iron, zinc, and B-vitamins, Dickens points out. You’ve got fiber from the kale and zucchini, and more antioxidants from the turmeric and ginger used to season the soup.
5. Italian Harvest Soup
Recipe and image from Jessica Beacom, RDN and Stacie Hassing, RDN of The Real Food Dietitians
Here’s a soup that’s bursting with flavor from the sausage, mushrooms, kale, and the rest of the veggies in the mix. (The RDs mention that you can swap potatoes for butternut or other winter squash, turnips, and add chard instead of kale). It’s also bursting with 14 grams of protein per serving.
6. Tempeh Enchilada Quinoa Soup
Recipe and image from Jamie Vespa, MS, RD of Dishing Out Health
When you think of soup, you don’t tend to think of tempeh, made from probiotic-rich, fermented soybeans, as an ingredient. It’s also full of protein. That plus the black beans add up to 18 grams of protein per serving. That’s pretty impressive for a gluten-free and vegan recipe.
7. White Bean and Sausage Stew
Recipe and image from Marisa Moore, RDN, LD
Here’s a cozy, warm stew that you can customize a bit. Moore recommends spicy sausage to add a kick to the broth, but you can use chicken sausage, turkey sausage, or vegan sausage--whatever you prefer. Then, there’s the white beans to provide additional protein.
8. Vegan Ramen Soup With Crispy Tofu
Recipe and image from Deborah Murphy, MS, RDN of Dietitian Debbie
You don’t need to do takeout to get a hearty bowl of ramen. This one is not like your typical college cuisine: It’s chock full of veggies like mushrooms, purple cabbage, carrots, and spinach. Thanks to all that, plus the crispy tofu on top, each bowl has about 15 grams of protein in it.