NDSU Extension - Benson County


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Make My Plate Soup

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science

As the weather cools down, soups and stews are a perfect option for a warm, healthy meal.  Making your own soups in a crockpot or on the stovetop is a quick way to fit all of your food groups into your diet.  Making homemade soup is the best way to know what is in your food, and reduce the amount of sodium. 

Vegetables are a common soup ingredient.  The great part about making your own soup is you can add any of your favorites, or whatever you happen to have in the garden.  Anything from carrots, to green beans, to celery are a perfect addition to your soup.

Although fruits may not be quite as common in soup, some sweeter soups do add fruit.  There are cantaloupe soups, berry soups, and a variety of other interested soup varieties that will combine all of your favorite flavors.  If having fruit in your soup is not for you, fresh fruit on the side is always a good option, too.

Protein options are just as vast as vegetables.  Depending on what you are cooking; beans, chicken, lean beef, eggs, or turkey can be a great choice. Some soups even have peanut butter in them.  No matter what protein option you choose, be sure to add this muscle building component to your meal.

Adding skim or low fat milk or cheese to your soup is a great way to get the dairy you need in your day.  Dairy foods provide our body with calcium, which keeps our bones and teeth strong.

Whole grains are another great addition to soup.  Adding barley, brown rice, or any other whole grain will help to make your soup a delicious, hardy meal for your family. 

Here is a recipe for Mexican chicken soup, packed with delicious vegetables and protein.  Feel free to add your favorite soup ingredients.  Enjoy!

Mexican Chicken Soup


  • 3 pounds chicken pieces, skin removed
  • 2 cups tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup mild chiles (canned and diced)
  • 2 cups pinto or garbanzo beans, canned, drained or cooked and drained
  • salt and pepper (to taste, optional)

Directions:  First, place the chicken pieces in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover.  Cook until tender, about 25 minutes.  Remove chicken pieces from the broth.  Add tomatoes, garlic, onion, and chiles.  Next, remove the chicken meat from the bones and return the meat to the broth.  Add beans and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 15 minutes

Makes: 6 servings.  Each serving contains 390 calories, 4 grams of fat, 460 mg of sodium, 16 carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, and 49 grams of protein. 



  • University of Massachusetts, Extension Nutrition Education Program, Pumpkin Post/Banana Beat
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