ISU Extension: Health Benefits of Soup

Published: Dec. 10, 2019 at 8:46 AM CST
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Soup is usually a go-to during the colder fall and winter months. There’re so many different combinations and nearly all of them are one-pot meals. It’s also convenient that they can be made in a slow cooker! There are even some health benefits to eating soup. Regularly eating soup might help you shed some unwanted pounds and help you get over a cold faster.

Weight Loss Benefits

The fluid content in the soup binds with the other ingredients to slow down gastric emptying, keeping our stomach fuller for longer. One study at Pennsylvania State University showed that participants who had a low calorie (150 calorie average), broth-based soup before a meal consumed 20% fewer calories. The research showed similar results for pureed soups and those with whole foods in them, which contain easy to digest fiber that keeps us full.

Cold Fighting Powers

Soup really does play a role in fighting off a cold! ‘Our Favorite Chicken Noodle Soup’, Spend Smart Eat Smart recipe, will help get you on the road to recovery. The hot broth can clear congestion and ease a sore throat. Plus, it provides fluids and electrolytes our body needs, especially during illness. The chicken provides protein while the vegetables and whole-grain noodles provide vitamins and minerals that boost our immune system.

Healthy Soup Recipes

Our Spend Smart Eat Smart recipes help consumers eat healthy while sticking to a budget. Find nearly 20 soup recipes on the website or app! These are budget friendly; less than 90 cents per serving. Check out the nutrition breakdown on some of our delicious soups below.

• Minestrone Soup: 1 cup

o 150 calories, 2.5g fat, 5g fiber, 8g protein, 260mg sodium, 439mg potassium

• Our Favorite Chicken Noodle Soup: 1 1/3 cup

o 280 calories, 4.5g fat, 5g fiber, 27g protein, 350mg sodium, 516mg of potassium

• Loaded Potato Soup: 1 cup

o 230 calories, 6g fat, 5g fiber, 10g protein, 270mg sodium, 801mg potassium

• Vegetable Soup with Kale and Lentils: 1 1/2 cup

o 200 calories, 5g fat, 12g fiber, 11g protein, 170mg sodium, 345mg potassium

Spend Smart Eat Smart Recipes
Our Favorite Chicken Noodle Soup


• 2 chicken leg quarters

• 6 cups of water

• ½ cup chopped celery (about 1 rib)

• ½ cup chopped onion (about ½ onion)

• 2 cups sliced carrots (about 4 carrots)

• 1 tablespoon dried parsley

• 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

• 1 tablespoon ground black pepper

• ½ teaspoon salt

• 2 cups (2.5 ounces) whole grain wide egg noodles


1. Put chicken and water in a large stock pot. Bring water to a simmer (slow boil). Cook until chicken reaches 165°F (10-15 minutes)

2. Clean and chop vegetables while chicken is cooking.

3. Take chicken out of water with tongs or fork. Cool in refrigerator for about 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Add vegetables and parsley, Italian seasoning, pepper, and salt to the pot of hot water.

5. Remove bones and skin from chicken and discard when it is cool enough to handle. Cut meat into bite sized pieces and add to the pot of hot water. Bring to boil.

6. Add noodles when water is boiling. Cook according to package directions or about 5 minutes.


• Any chicken part may be used for this recipe. If using boneless, skinless chicken breasts, use only ¾ pound.

• Soup freezes well. Make ahead and freeze for a cold day or when ill.

• Other seasoning may be used instead of the parsley and Italian seasoning. (garlic, thyme, rosemary)

• Remove all or some of chicken skin before cooking if you like. This will decrease the fat and calories slightly.

Our Favorite Chicken Noodle Soup: Serves 6 (1 1/3 cup) | $0.60 per serving

Nutrition information (per serving): 280 calories, 4.5g total fat, 1.g saturated fat, 80mg cholesterol, 350mg sodium, 32g total carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 3g sugar, 27g protein, 516mg Potassium

Soup nutrition highlights and recipe courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart.



Spend Smart Eat Smart Blog - Our Favorite Chicken Noodle Soup, Jan 2016

WebMD - Soup First Cuts Calories

WebMD - Does Chicken Soup Help Fight Colds?