Healthy Eating

Soup Rx

Soups can really hit the spot when you’re feeling under the weather. Each of these 14 recipes features a healing ingredient to ease what ails you—from constipation to inflammation.
Soup Rx
Pin it Chris Court

1. Green tea for anxiety
Studies have found that green tea eases anxiety. It also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that can improve mental focus.
Green Tea Chicken Rice Soup: Bring 5 cups water to a simmer. Turn off heat, add 3 green tea bags and 1 sliced lemongrass stalk; steep 10 minutes. Remove solids from tea broth, bring to a simmer and add 1 cup shelled frozen edamame, 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste; cook 5 minutes. Add 1 pound cooked cubed or shredded chicken breast, 1 cup cooked brown rice, 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 2 sliced green onions; cook 2 minutes or until heated through. Garnish: cilantro Per serving: 340 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 95 mg cholesterol, 42 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 95 mg sodium

2. Wild salmon for depression
Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in high concentrations in salmon, help ease depression.
Poached Salmon Udon Soup: In a large pot, bring 5 cups water, 1 pound wild salmon, 8 thin ginger slices and ½ ounce dried shiitake mushrooms to a low simmer. Gently simmer for 8 minutes, or until salmon is opaque and flaky. In a separate pot, cook 6 ounces udon noodles according to directions; drain and rinse. Flake salmon and put back into first pot along with udon noodles, 2 sliced baby bok choy, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes and salt to taste. Whisk 2 tablespoons white miso with 1∕3 cup soup broth, add to soup and heat until greens are tender. Garnish: green onion Per serving: 340 calories, 7.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 62 mg cholesterol, 30 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 650 mg sodium

3. Lentils for cancer prevention
Folate, a B vitamin that helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer, is a key nutrient in lentils.
Lentil Quinoa Soup: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 diced yellow onion; cook 4 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon minced ginger, 2 minced garlic cloves, and ¼ teaspoon each cayenne, ground cloves and salt; heat 1 minute. Add 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, ¾ cup dried red lentils, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 29-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes and 2 chopped carrots; simmer 20 minutes. Stir in ¾ cup cooked quinoa, ¾ cup unsalted cashews and juice of ½ lemon; heat 5 minutes. Garnish: parsley Per serving: 485 calories, 17 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 25 g protein, 66 g carbohydrates, 19.5 g fiber, 625 mg sodium

4. Bell peppers to lower blood pressure
Ripe bell peppers are packed with vitamin C, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure. To get the most C in every bite, choose vividly colored peppers that feel firm and heavy for their size.
Roasted Red Pepper Beet Soup: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 diced onion; cook 5 minutes. Add 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, 1 cup sliced roasted red bell pepper, 2 peeled and sliced medium sized beets, 1 tablespoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, salt and pepper to taste; simmer 30 minutes. Stir in juice of ½ lemon and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme; purée. Garnish: soft goat cheese Per serving: 110 calories, 3.5 g fat (.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 6 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 320 mg sodium