Simple and savory soup recipes

Temperatures may be steadily climbing, but those chillier spring days call for simple and savory warm dishes to enjoy while you curl up with your favorite plush blanket. Picking recipes replete with vegetables, nutrients and protein is critical for maintaining a healthy lifestyle for seniors, as these meals can help keep older adults energetic and happy while they enjoy their dishes. 

Soups are perfect for this time of the year. Whether you're prepping a batch to bring to a family dinner or enjoying a bowl for yourself, these recipes are healthy and tasty options. 

Garden Fresh Vegetable Soup
This is the ideal option for people who love combining the complex tastes of various vegetables. Chock full of your recommended daily dose of nutrients, this garden vegetable soup allows you to make use of the freshest crops available this season.

You'll need:

  • 2 cups green beans, washed and chopped
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup corn
  • 2 cups tomatoes, sliced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cans low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • Fresh parsley, basil and oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Coat the bottom of a large saucepan with olive oil, then add onion and minced garlic. Allow the vegetables to sautée for about two to three minutes, then add green beans, celery, peas, corn and tomatoes. Stir vegetables until they're well-blended, then pour in broth and 2 cups water. Top the soup with fresh herbs, salt and pepper, mixing the soup ingredients completely. Allow the soup to boil, then turn the dish down to a simmer and allow it to cook for about 20 - 25 minutes. 

Savory Lasagna Soup 
Hosting an Italian dinner night? Prepare this unconventional take on lasagna to really impress your guests. Serve with homemade garlic bread for the optimal taste experience.

You'll need:

  • 1 package uncooked lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
  • 1 28-ounce can tomato puree
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 8-ounce cans tomato paste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 6 ounces low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 8 ounces fat-free ricotta cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
In a medium-sized skillet, brown ground beef with salt and pepper. Drain fat from pan, then set aside. Cover the bottom of a saucepan with olive oil, then sautée garlic and onion until vegetables are translucent. Add tomato puree, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, basil, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then turn it down to low heat. Keep stirring the soup every 20 minutes for an hour, then add noodles and drained beef. Allow your soup to cook for an additional 15 - 20 minutes. Stir in mozzarella cheese before serving, then top with a dollop of ricotta cheese. 

Creamy Chicken Soup
This recipe is replete with vegetables, protein and fiber, and you'll have plenty of leftovers for tomorrow, since one serving is enough to keep you satisfied for hours.

You'll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups carrots
  • 2 cups peas
  • 2 pounds cooked chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves separated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Heat butter in a large saucepan. Once butter has melted, add diced onion and stir for about two to three minutes. Stir in chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup and water. Whisk the liquids together until they're well-blended, then add carrots, peas, chicken, celery and mushrooms. After you've stirred for a few minutes, top with salt, pepper and rosemary. Keep the soup on low heat for about 20 - 25 minutes. Serve with freshly baked biscuits.