eating soup with bread

Who doesn’t love soul-soothing meals that are also kind on the waistline? Soups become excellent dinners when you pack in the nutrients; and if you make them right, a great soup is hearty and filling. While some recipes call for few ingredients and don’t carry much nutritional value, high protein soup recipes can be the perfect addition to your daily meals.

High protein meals keep us feeling fuller, longer – a sensation we may not expect when creating “light” dinners. What do we mean by high protein? According to the Harvard Health Blog, our bodies require a daily minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilo of body weight (or 0.36 grams of protein per pound). To be considered high protein depends on the person asked, but an average sits around 1.2 grams per kilo or 0.54 grams of protein per pound.

As studied in peer-reviewed journal Nutrition & Metabolism, a high protein diet may aid weight loss goals; but the exact amount you need will vary depending on your lifestyle and goals. While bodybuilders and athletes may benefit from the muscle-building advantages of adding more protein to their daily routines, those of us simply looking to clean up our eating habits may want to consider smaller changes. High protein soups can be an excellent way to “up” your protein while cutting back on unhealthy fats and sugars. Here are a few delicious high protein soup recipes worth trying.

Chicken Zoodle Soup

zuchinni noodles

What you need:

  • Chicken
  • Chicken broth (or make your own to reduce the sodium)
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • A spiralizer

Who doesn’t love a classic? This recipe takes a colorful twist (pun intended) on an old favorite. The main protein sources are chicken and chicken broth, but zucchini adds a little bit extra too. From the masterminds of The Kitchn, this dish is easy to recreate at home by adding spiralized zucchini and carrots to poached chicken in an herb-spiced broth. Do you want another touch of protein? Take a page from an Asian cookbook and turn it into an egg drop soup by stirring in a whisked egg or two as soon as you remove it from the heat.

39.5 grams of protein in a 253-calorie serving

Coconut Red Lentil Dahl

What you need:

  • Coconut oil
  • Curry powder
  • Turmeric
  • Coriander
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Dry red lentils
  • Coconut milk
  • Stock or water

high protein soup

Here is a vegetarian-friendly soup that’s chock-full of protein and flavor. The entire recipe can be found on Running on Real Food and it’s definitely worth trying. The curry and coconut may make you feel like you’ve traveled to an exotic land without leaving your kitchen. Lentils are considered one of the best vegetarian sources of protein; and according to Medical News Today, they are jam-packed with fiber, folate, manganese, and vitamin B6, too (and the list doesn’t end there).

17 grams of protein in a 330-calorie serving

Turmeric Chicken and Chickpea Soup

What you need:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Chopped red bell pepper
  • Chopped onion
  • Turmeric
  • Freshly grated ginger
  • Minced garlic cloves
  • Unsalted chicken stock
  • Chickpeas
  • Light coconut milk
  • Lime

high protein soup recipe

Who knows better about eating light than CookingLight Magazine? Searing the chicken as the first step gives the recipe a flavorful beginning. Then, the chicken is set aside so the herbs, spices, and vegetables can add their own aromatic touches before pouring in the broth. Incorporate the coconut milk as one of the last steps before serving this delicious meal. Not only do the chickpeas add a second punch of protein alongside the chicken, but these heart-healthy legumes are an excellent source of fiber, manganese, and folate. Immune systems may appreciate the extra boost with super spices like turmeric, ginger, and garlic.

27 grams of protein in a 314-calorie serving

Cioppino or “Fisherman’s Stew”

What you need:

  • Sliced fennel bulb
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped shallots
  • Chopped garlic
  • Dried, crushed red pepper flakes
  • Tomato paste
  • Diced tomatoes in juice
  • Dry white wine
  • Fish stock
  • Clams, mussels, and uncooked shrimp (all cleaned, and you can remove from, or add to, this list)
  • Assorted fish fillets like halibut or salmon

high protein soup recipes

No matter where you go or what name it goes by, pescatarians everywhere calls this style of soup “delicious.” This particular recipe comes from Italian-cuisine diva Giada De Laurentiis, and many of the ingredients are pantry staples that may already be at home. You can choose whichever seafood you like, and enjoy the awesome omega-3s in addition to the protein. As the recipe suggests, make the broth first. Mollusks (clams and mussels) hit the pot first so they have time to open; crustaceans (i.e. shrimp) and fish are added next, and the seafood is all cooked thoroughly, which shouldn’t take much longer than approximately 10 minutes.

Grams of protein will depend on fish or shellfish used. 100 grams of cooked salmon provide approximately 20 grams of protein, while the same amount of cooked shellfish add a bit more protein (around 25 grams per 100 grams of shellfish).