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3 Healthy Vegan and Gluten-Free Soups for Chilly Weather

Vegan, gluten-free orange soup in a bowl.
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Chilly fall weather is a perfect time to sit down to a steaming bowl of tasty soup to warm your body from the inside out. However, many canned soups and stews are loaded with salt, preservatives, processed meats, and fillers, making them a surprisingly insidious diet saboteur. The good news is that it’s fairly easy to pull out your crockpot or soup-making cookware and whip up a hearty, warming lunch or dinner soup or stew that’s healthy, vegan, and gluten-free. Moreover, we have created these soup recipes to celebrate the flavors and produce of the season, and are packed with antioxidants, fiber, and plant-based protein to keep you satiated long after your bowl is clean.

Hearty Harvest Lentil Soup

Hearty Harvest Lentil Soup served in a bowl.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This lentil soup can be prepared on the stovetop and is low in salt and fat yet rich in flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rinsed green, brown, red, or yellow lentils
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • .5 tsp black pepper

Method:

  1. Cook the lentils by adding 2.5 cups of vegetable stock and the lentils to a large pot, bringing it to a boil, then covering and simmering on low heat for 30 minutes or until a little al dente.
  2. Set the pot aside, uncovered, to cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Prepare the vegetables by peeling and chopping them.
  4. Heat the oil in a large pan and then sauté the onions, sweet potato, celery, carrots, and parsnips for 5-10 minutes or until somewhat soft. Add the garlic and salt and pepper and sauté the mixture for another 3-5 minutes.
  5. In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine cooked lentils and vegetables, canned tomatoes, remaining stock, and the dried spices.
  6. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Season to taste.
  8. Garnish with fresh herbs.

Hearty Tomato and Cannellini Bean Soup 

Hearty Tomato and Cannellini Bean Soup with spoons and beans on the side.
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This Italian-inspired soup is a nutritious spin on traditional minestrone.

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped into small florets  
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano
  • .5 tsp salt
  • .5 tsp pepper
  • .5 tsp crushed red pepper 
  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans Cannellini beans
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • .5 cup dry hulled barley

Method:

  1. Cook the barley by adding it to a medium saucepan with 3 cups of water. Bring the pot to a boil for 3 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. 
  3. Remove from the heat and let the pot stand for 10 minutes to absorb extra water.
  4. If water remains after the barley is soft and chewy, simply strain it out.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for five minutes, until lightly browned.
  6. Add the carrots, parsnips, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper, sautéing another five minutes. 
  7. Add the kale, cauliflower, tomatoes and their juices, vegetable broth, beans and their liquid, red pepper, then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for ten to fifteen minutes.
  8. Garnish with fresh herbs and season to taste before serving.

Set-and-Forget Ginger Butternut Squash Soup

Ginger Butternut Squash Soup with ingredients on the side.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This simple slow-cooker recipe is delightfully creamy, spiced, nutritious, and filling.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, chopped into 1-2 inch cubes
  • 3 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 cups bone broth or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar 
  • .5 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • .5 tsp sea salt
  • .5 tsp black pepper

Optional Toppings:

  • Plain coconut or soy yogurt 
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds 

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to your slow cooker. 
  2. Cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 6-7 hours.
  3. Use a food processor or immersion blender to purée soup until smooth and creamy. 
  4. Add salt to taste.
  5. Serve in bowls with a dollop of coconut yogurt and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Amber Sayer
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Amber Sayer is a fitness, nutrition, and wellness writer and editor, and was previously a Fitness Editor at Byrdie. She…
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