Whether you’re sipping warm broth at the office or stirring chicken stew on a snowy day, there’s something undeniably comforting about soup. So warm. So filling. So #wholesome.

Sure, your grandma sang its praises — and you do feel awfully good after a cup ‘o noodles — but what’s the real nutritional value of soup? Is soup healthy? Or is it all in your head?

Feeling lukewarm about soup? Grab a spoon and take a seat.

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1. Soups are nutritious

Think about the last time you cooked chicken or boiled a pot of vegetables. What did you do with the leftover stock? Did you toss it in the sink or trash?

That isn’t a thing with soup.

When soup is made from scratch, it retains whatever nutrients are in the ingredients. You’re getting all the goodness of bone stock (including collagen-packed gelatin) and veggie broth.

Head’s up: Science says the heat from cooking *does* affect vegetables’ vitamin retention — sometimes for better, sometimes worse.

2. Soups are hydrating

Your body is about 60 percent water (that’s why you always have that drip, right?). To keep all systems running smoothly, you need to top up your H2O on the reg.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your water intake can come from drinks *and* foods.

Whether you’re sipping broth, tucking into a bowl of cabbage soup, or dipping a spoon into creamy chicken noodle heaven (oy yay), you’re also hydrating.

3. Soups might keep the sniffles away

Let’s keep it 100: It’s possible to improve immune function, especially if a person is deficient in nutrients needed for immune function, or if their body is currently dealing with an infection. But there *are* lifestyle habits linked to proper immune system function as a preventative measure.

Healthy habit #1: Eat foods packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A review of 80+ studies found that fruit and veggie intake can be linked to better immune function and reduced inflammation. #winning

Vegetable soup is a great way to boost your overall health and support your immune system. Take tomato soup, for instance. It’s brimming with disease-fighting antioxidants like flavonoids, lycopene, and vitamins C and E.

4. Soups can support healthy weight loss

Yep, soups can be slimming.

Research has linked soup consumption with a lower risk of obesity. But the same study found that soup-sippers tend to eat more salt. If you’re consuming excessive salt, it could negatively impact your blood pressure.

Soup is also hella filling, which could curb snack cravings. All that broth is like chugging a glass of water with your meal. It’s hydrating and satisfying. To make soup extra, throw in a source of protein like chicken or beans. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient.

5. Soups = all the health perks, fewer calories

Because soup is high in liquid, it’s extra filling. This may help cut down on your overall calorie intake if that’s what you’re after. However, you shouldn’t try soup-only diets to promote weight loss.

These fad diets are typically super low in calories and can end up doing more harm than good when it comes to overall health. Instead, try eating soup before lunch or dinner for a filling, nourishing appetizer or enjoy a bowl of veggie and chicken soup for a nutrient-dense afternoon snack.

6. Soups are easy on the wallet

Unless you’re springing for fancy-schmancy boxed broths, soup is surprisingly affordable. Here’s why:

  • Use up all the food you bought. Next time you’re tempted to toss out wilted kale or a wrinkly potato, stop. Make soup instead!
  • Stretch protein portions into multiple meals. Instead of smashing a whole chicken breast in one go, cube it into a soup tureen that will last for days!
  • Get less takeout. Pro tip: If you want to kick the DoorDash habit, you’ve got to keep more meals in your fridge and freezer. Make a giant batch of soup, then freeze containers for quick, cheap dinners later.

7. Soups are quick and easy

Wanna reach peak #CozyCore in T-minus 5 minutes? Heat up a bowl of your favorite soup.

Or, you could do the following:

  1. Toss some soup ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning.
  2. Set about your day.
  3. Have a warm, nourishing dinner waiting on you like a faithful pupper when you’re ready to wind down. 🐶

Soup is practically prep-free. (You can even nom it for breakfast.)

So, you’re now convinced that soup is cozy AF, simple, and healthy. But what type of soup is the *best* kind?

Tomato soup

🍅

Tomatoes are brimming with healthy plant compounds. From just one tomato, you’ll get:

  • 33 calories
  • 7 grams of carbs
  • 1.6 gram of protein
  • less than 1 gram of fat
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin K
  • vitamin A
  • antioxidants like lycopene

Even better: Tomato soup is great year-round. Try it piping hot in the winter and as a refreshing gazpacho in the summer.

ProsCons
full of vitaminsnot much protein
low fatless filling than creamy, protein-packed soups
tasty all yearsome folks can’t stomach tomatoes’ acidity

Chicken noodle soup

🐔

Chicken noodle soup is a versatile sweater weather classic.

Make it with a creamy base for something extra lush and filling. Or opt for low sodium broth for a heart-healthy bowl of protein, veggies, and carbs.

ProsCon
full of filling, energizing proteintend to be high in sodium (read the label if you’re buying it canned!)
the mix of meat, veggies, and noodles = a complete mealwhite noodles = lots o’ carbs, not much fiber (so try and choose whole-wheat noodles when possible)
the variety of chicken soup recipes means there’s something for everyonecanned varieties often include excess fat, low-quality meat, or added sugar

Creamy soups

🥛🧀

Velvety broccoli-cheddar soup. Luscious chicken or veggie chili. Creamy potato soup. They’re all delicious AF — but come with a hefty dose of calories.

ProsCons
tasty and satisfyingusually high calorie
some are packed with vitamin-rich root veggies (Whole30-friendly soups, anyone?)often high in saturated fat
full of calcium-rich dairycan be full of salt

Miso soup

🍜

One ounce of miso typically has:

  • 56 calories
  • 2 grams of fat
  • 43 percent of your daily recommended sodium
  • lots of manganese, vitamin K, copper, and zinc

Miso is a fermented paste that adds umami flavor to any dish. Sippable in the morning or evening, make it a meal by adding tofu for protein and vegetables or seaweed for vitamins and antioxidants.

ProsCons
typically low in calorieshigh sodium content
vegetarian-friendlyrequires a protein addition to make it a meal

Broth

☕🍖

You make bone broth by simmering animal bones or carcasses in water.

It’s commonly used to give sauces and gravies extra flavor. But you can also warm up a mug of bone broth, chicken broth, or beef broth and sip it as a soup.

ProsCons
contains some minerals like calcium and magnesium (though amounts vary depending on preparation)not suitable as a meal replacement
easy to prepcan be high in sodium
low caloriemore research is necessary to prove marketers’ health claims
warming and soothing on cold days

Is soup healthy? Usually, yes!

Soup can be filling, low calorie, nutrient-dense, and supportive of your immune system and weight loss journey.

Maximize the benefits by avoiding soups that are full of salt, sugar, or cream. Look for soups brimming with vegetables and sources of filling protein and healthy fat instead.