Make: Creamy (Low-Cal!) Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

I mentioned recently to a friend that I’d put on a few pounds and intended to use soup to shed them. She replied, “Will that really fill you up?” I think she was picturing a clear broth with a few sad veggies floating around — so not what I meant. 

Take this soup, for example: It’s creamy and filling, thanks to the protein and fiber. And it features veggies may not often wind up in your shopping cart, such as turnips and butternut squash. Turnips have the consistency of potatoes, but a third of the calories (try 34 per cup). Butternut squash lends that sweet potato flavor, but has half the calories. To make this soup creamy — but not heavy — we’ll puree half the mixture and add a quarter cup of dairy. 

I also implore you to use fresh herbs here. They make all the difference and help the dish feel even more seasonal and bright. So hit the farmer’s market and stock up: You will not be disappointed.

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Soup
Serves four to six1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
2 1/2 c. diced, peeled Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2)
3 1/2 c. diced, peeled butternut squash
2 c. diced, peeled turnip
4 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. half and half
2 c. chopped, cooked chicken breast
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt, or more to tasteMethod
  1. Heat olive oil in large soup pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for five minutes.
  2. Add garlic and herbs, saute about 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Add potato, squash, turnip, and chicken broth. Turn heat to high and bring to boil.
  4. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low, place lid on pan, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove 3 cups of soup and place in blender. Blend until completely smooth. Another method: Blend with stick blender right in the soup pot until the mixture is partially blended – this yields a more stew like consistency, smaller chunks rather than larger – but the ease made it worth it for me.
  6. Add mixture back to soup pot, along with prepared chicken, half and half, salt and pepper. Stir and serve.

Per serving: 303 calories, 7.9 fat grams, 56 milligrams cholesterol, 965 milligrams sodium, 1,144 milligrams potassium, 34 grams carbs, 5.1 grams dietary fiber, 6.5 grams sugar, 27 grams protein. 


Becca Boyd is a wife and mom who creates healthy and delicious recipes in her West Chester kitchen. She blogs about them on her website, Home Beccanomics.

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