Great Soup Recipes for SeniorsFebruary 21, 2023
Healthy eating in the winter can feel like a chore. We find ourselves drawn to the hearty, seasonal favorites that keep our bodies warm, but may not be the most nutritious. Soup, however, checks every box that we need it to: it is both delicious and healthy.
Soup is a fantastic dish for all types of seniors—from those with dietary concerns, to those with problems chewing. If you’re looking for some healthy options to incorporate into your regular diet, try some of these great soup recipes for seniors.
Why is soup so great for seniors?
Soup is generally affordable and nourishing, but the benefits of a bowl for seniors stretch past these elements. After all, there is a reason that we reach for soup when we’re feeling under the weather!
- Nutritious. Most people only eat one or two vegetables with their meals. A majority of stews, soups, or chowders have a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, and protein. They are rich in wonderful vitamins, minerals, and omega-3s.
- Easy to digest. Dense foods can not only be difficult to digest, but difficult to eat in the first place. Due to the high vegetable, bean, and legume ratio, most soups are high in fiber and potassium, which greatly aid in digestion.
- Low-calorie yet filling. For those who are trying to lose a few pounds, soup might be the answer. Homemade soup cuts the preservatives of canned stuff while still being relatively low-calorie. In general, they are a fantastic way to get a filling meal that is as easy to cook as it is to eat.
- Can treat inflammation. The ingredients of soup are shown to keep you hydrated, improve inflammation, and even improve cardiovascular health.
Best types of soups for seniors
There are several unique categories soups fall into, but not all are created equal. Certain iterations stand above the rest for their health benefits.
- Broth-based—Broth is made of the bones and tissue of chickens, cows, fish, or even vegetables. Because of the way it is cooked, broth is usually rich in vitamins and minerals that strengthen joints, fight arthritis, and reduce inflammation.
- Tomato-based—Some individuals include tomatoes on their list of “super foods” due to all their benefits. They are linked to healthy blood pressure, heart health, improving insulin levels, and potentially even prostate cancer prevention.
- Lentil-based—Lentils are a legume that are high in fiber, vitamin B, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. They have been shown to potentially reduce chronic conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Recipes to try this winter
Soup is great to enjoy at any time of year, but the winter months are truly the perfect time to try new recipes. Continue reading for some healthy, delicious ideas.
There isn’t a more quintessential, cold-weather meal than chicken soup. This lemon addition adds a bright flare to the recipe that is unlike anything in the can. The recipe includes rice or pasta for a hearty addition, but they can be substituted with gluten-free pasta or zucchini noodles. Alternatively, just add more vegetables!
Butternut squash soup
Though many people associate butternut squash soup with autumn, it is a delicious, creamy dish that can be enjoyed any time of year. Fresh herbs, onion, and garlic give the soup an earthy, savory taste. The recipe comes together in about half an hour, but there is one caveat. For the creamy texture associated with the soup, put it in the blender for a few minutes.
Tuscan bean soup
This fast, gluten-free, and vegan dish is a real people-pleaser. Tuscan bean soup comes together in one pot and is packed with delicious, Mediterranean flavors. Thanks to its high content of vegetables and beans, you won’t miss meat if you don’t want it. However, if you do, chopped-up bacon or chicken would be a great addition.
Healthy tomato soup
Heavy amounts of cream and dairy can make tomato soup a less-healthy option. This recipe, however, uses blended white cannellini beans that give it the creamy texture you desire without the fat. Everything cooks in the same pan, and to achieve the essential velvety appearance we associate with the soup, you once more blend the soup!
For those really concerned about their vegetable intake, this tomato-based minestrone soup will take care of you. With vegetables, beans, and pasta, this dish is as hearty as it is healthy. And the best part about minestrone soup is how it adapts to any vegetables you might have. If you have leftovers or certain seasonal vegetables you’d like to use, just throw them in the pot.
Lentil soups stand out from other vegetable-based soups thanks to the earthy, nutty flavor of the lentil. This recipe takes the recipe up another notch with a slightly spicy kick. If you’re concerned about the spice level, you could always half the amount and add more in once you’re able to actually taste the soup.
Home caregivers can help with your healthy eating
You may be ready to start your journey of healthy eating, but could be put off by the prospect of cooking. This is a completely normal thing to experience. Many seniors find themselves overwhelmed by meal prep, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning up after their meals and instead opt for quicker, less healthy solutions.
With the help of an at-home caregiver, you don’t have to worry about this any longer. In addition to personal care and medication reminders, caregivers can cook delicious, healthy meals that will last you all week.
If you think you would benefit from an at-home caregiver, give us a call at (773) 274-9262. We would be happy to discuss our program.
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