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Baby it’s cold outside, and nothing warms you up like a bowl of nice hot soup! Fitness experts are also recommending soup as a great way to cut calories and stay healthy. And what better way to get loads of great healthy produce into your diet than a pot of steamy veggie-rich liquid love known as soup! You can make a pot on the weekend and have a quick cup whenever you’re hungry for the rest of the week, making it a great go-to when your busy life is out of control! I’ve got some great basics for you to build your soup repertoire on!

Basic Green Soup

by Anna Thomas for EatingWell

11.8 funny spinachIngredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 3 cups water, divided
  • 1/4 cup arborio rice
  • 1 bunch green chard (about 1 pound)
  • 14 cups gently packed spinach (about 12 ounces), any tough stems trimmed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, store-bought or homemade
  • Big pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water and cover. Cook, stirring frequently until the pan cools down, and then occasionally, always covering the pan again, until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel color, 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 3 cups water and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a soup pot or Dutch oven; add rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Trim the white ribs out of the chard (save for another use, such as to add to a stir-fry or other soup). Coarsely chop the chard greens and spinach.
  3. When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, stir in the chard greens. Return to a simmer; cover and cook for 10 minutes. When the onions are caramelized, stir a little of the simmering liquid into them; add them to the rice along with the spinach, broth and cayenne. Return to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once, until the spinach is tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes more.
  4. Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth or in a regular blender in batches (return it to the pot). Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice, if desired. Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of olive oil. 8 servings

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4 (omitting the lemon), cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat and season with lemon just before serving.

The basic green soup is just the beginning. Click here for 16 more green soup variations full of healthy green veggies and all their accompanying nutrition. And here are more delicious soup basics to keep you sipping hot and healthy all winter long…

Everyday Vegetable Soup

Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

Simple Tomato Soup

French Onion Soup

Oven-Roasted Mushroom Soup

Cheese Soup

Roasted Potato Leek Soup

Simple Taco Soup

Hot and Sour Soup