6 healthy winter soups

Healthy soup ideas that will keep you warm this winter.

Chicken soup recipe - Healthy winter soups - Women's Health & Fitness

Chicken soup

1 potato, washed, peeled and cubed
½ onion diced
1 litre of chicken stock
6 small chicken drumsticks with skin off
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped and deseeded
2 tbsp of fresh chopped Continental Parsley
Fresh ground black pepper
Spray olive oil

Put large saucepan on a low heat and spray with oil. Add onion, cook until translucent, stirring constantly. Then add the chicken stock and drumsticks.

Finally, add all vegetables, bring to the boil on high heat and then simmer on low heat for 1 hour.

Serves 6.

Carrot soup recipe - Healthy winter soups - Women's Health & Fitness

Curried carrot soup


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or butter or olive oil)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 900 g carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
  • 400ml can of coconut milk
  • 4 cups water, plus more if soup is too thick

To garnish:

  • Chopped coriander
  • Plain yoghurt

In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the onion and sauté with the ginger, salt, and curry powder, stirring frequently until the onions are soft and translucent, about five to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the carrots and apple. When the onions are soft, add the carrots and apple, and continue to sauté for a few more minutes. Add the coconut milk and water to the pot and increase the heat. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.

When the carrots and apple are soft, after 20 to 30 minutes of simmering, purée the soup until smooth using either a blender or an immersion blender. If using a blender, only fill the canister halfway and purée in batches to prevent the hot soup from splattering. Removing the middle part of the blender lid and placing a clean dish towel or paper towel over the hole while blending is recommended. This will allow the steam to escape.

If the soup is too thick, add warm water until you reach your desired consistency. Serve with a dollop of plain yoghurt and chopped coriander. The tartness of the yoghurt nicely balances the sweetness of the carrots and apples in the soup.

KJ: 585; FAT: 9.3g; CARB: 9.1g; PROTEIN: 2.1g

Find this recipe in The Mystic Cookbook 
by Denise Linn and Meadow Linn

Zuppa recipe - 6 healthy winter soup ideas - Women's Health & Fitness Zuppa of fried potato, braised beef and green beans

Dominique Rizzo’s love affair with this little number derives from her nonna, who regularly whipped up this “poor man’s soup, using only three ingredients”. But don’t let the simplicity of this cheap and cheerful dish make you think it’s light on nutrients or flavour.

“The small amount of olive oil and the use of no stock but water means it’s low in sodium,” explains Rizzo. And, of course, the braised beef ticks the box for protein intake. “Protein is really important for building muscle, feeding the body and giving you energy,” says Rizzo.

The slow-cooked beef makes a change from regular dinner time protein sources, Rizzo says. “Any meat that is slow-cooked or cooked until tender is better and easier for us to digest, making it beneficial for our digestion and easier to process.”

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 300 g potatoes, peeled and cut into 11⁄2 cm cubes

  • 400 g stewing beef or chuck steak, cut into 11⁄2 cm cubes

  • 1.5 L water

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1⁄2 cup green peas, lightly smashed with a fork

  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley


Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or heavy-based flameproof casserole dish over medium heat and fry the onion for three to four minutes or until translucent. Transfer the onion to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.

In the same pot, fry the potatoes in batches until golden and crispy; try not to overcrowd the pan as the potatoes will stew, not brown. Remove the potatoes from the pot and set aside with the onions. Add the beef to the pan and fry over high heat for seven minutes until browned and the base of the pot has started to caramelise. Add the water, then season with salt and lots of pepper. Bring the water to the boil, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer for 30 minutes.

Return the onion and potato to the pan and simmer for a further three to four minutes until the potatoes are tender. Add in the smashed peas and simmer for two to three minutes. Serve garnished with the chopped parsley.

Recipe from My Taste of Sicily by Dominique, $39.95, Penguin.

 Ham and lentil soup recipe - Healthy winter soups - Women's Health & Fitness


Ham, lentil and veg soup

Adding a bit of curly-tailed meat to this dish is a great way to enjoy a full-flavoured soup. (It’s a great source of protein.) Combined with the vegetables, lentils and tomatoes, this soup is “low in fat, high in protein and extremely versatile”, says Dominique Rizzo, author of cookbook My Taste of Sicily.

It can also help to keep blood sugar on the level. “The lentils can really help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy; they can also increase your energy by replenishing your iron stores,” Rizzo says. 

According to the pure food lover, this is why lentils have become the cool kid of the nutrition gang. “Their health benefits are why they have become so popular for anyone wanting to watch their weight, vegetarians and pregnant women.”

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

For the stock

  • 1 ham bone
  • 2 roughly diced onions
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 8 to 10 peppercorns
  • 1 carrot roughly diced

For the soup base

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups of diced ham extra (optional)
  • 1/2 red capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 bunch silverbeet, stalks trimmed and diced and leaves chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 3/4 cup red lentils (optional)
  • Good pinch mixed herbs
  • Ham stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley to finish

Place the ham bone, onion, celery, carrot and peppercorns into a pot together and cover with water making sure that the bone is covered. Bring to a boil, then reduce the stock to a simmer and simmer for two hours or until the meat starts to fall off the bone. Allow the stock to cool slightly before straining out the vegetables.

Remove all the meat from the bone and set aside with the broth for the soup. Pour the oil into the same pot and sweat off the onions and extra ham for three minutes. Add in the capsicum and silverbeet stalks and stir again until softened.

Add in the garlic and the tomatoes and pour in the stock, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Add in the lentils, herbs and the chopped silverbeet and cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes until the lentils have softened. Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with parsley.

KJ: 879; FAT: 9.3g; CARB: 3.6g; PROTEIN: 26.7g

Recipe from My Taste of Sicily by Dominique, $39.95, Penguin.

Chickpea and red pepper soup - Healthy winter recipes - Women's Health & Fitness


Chickpea and red pepper soup

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 100 ml vegetable stock
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 250 g potato, peeled and diced into 1⁄2 cm squares
  • 2 medium red capsicum/peppers, deseeded and diced into 1⁄2 cm squares to yield 2 cups
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 4 cups diced ripe tomatoes (fresh)
  • 3 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 1.5 L vegetable stock, home made
  • 1 1⁄2 cups tinned chickpeas, drained
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1⁄4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan

Heat a large, heavy-based saucepan and add the vegetable stock. Add the diced onions, chopped garlic and cook until softened.

Add in the potatoes, red capsicum, carrots, tomatoes and the sage along with the vegetable stock. Bring the stock to the boil and lower the temperature to cook the vegetables over a moderate heat for 15 minutes. Stir the vegetables constantly to stop any from sticking. You may need to add a little more stock if the soup seems too thick.

Season with salt and pepper. Add in the cooked chickpeas and cook for a further 10 minutes to combine them with the vegetables. Serve the soup with chopped parsley, and drizzle with olive oil and shaved parmesan.

Recipe from My Taste of Sicily by Dominique, $39.95, Penguin.

Fennel soup and gremolata - Healthy winter soups - Women's Health & Fitness


Fennel and lemon soup


  • 100 ml vegetable stock, home made

  • 6 spring onions or shallots

  • 250 g fresh fennel, trimmed, cored and thinly sliced ( medium-sized bulbs)

  • 250 g potato, peeled and diced

  • 2 tsp lemon juice

  • 750 ml vegetable stock, home made


  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1⁄4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • 10 kalamata olives, deseeded and chopped finely

  • 10 green olives, deseeded and chopped finely

  • 1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

  • 2 tsp lemon zest

  • 2 tsp orange zest

  • Salt and pepper

Weeks of eating hearty, calorie-dense, carb-heavy comfort meals can leave you feeling sluggish. This soup, in particular, is a great solution to start afresh.

 “Fennel is a wonderful vegetable with a slight aniseed flavour; it is great for digestion and cleansing; lemons are the medicine of food and are perfect for cleansing the liver” says the chef. Given that lemons are an alkaline food, Rizzo says this soup is “perfect for anyone with slight stomach or digestion problems”.

To elevate this soup from merely cleansing to cleansing and tasty, Rizzo adds gremolata.

Traditionally a combination of garlic, parsley and lemon, Rizzo says this infusion of flavours turns this soup into a taste sensation. The gremolata can also be used again, in various other dishes: spoon it over vegies, use it as a marinade for meats or turn it into a salad dressing.

Recipe from My Taste of Sicily by Dominique, $39.95, Penguin.