Compared to other popular breakfast options, you can have more volume of soup for fewer calories, adds Barbara J. Rolls, Ph.D., professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State University and author of The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet. "This leads to more sensory satisfaction and you feel fuller, longer," she explains. What's more, with the right ingredient combination—half vegetables, one-quarter protein, and one-quarter starch—soup can provide an energizing a.m. boost for athletes, says Libby Mills, R.D.N. a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics based in Philadelphia.
You can get creative and let a slow cooker do the work for you overnight, or try these three simple recipes from Mills.
Chop equal portions of kale and parsnips, simmer in water until soft, then puree with an immersion blender. For protein, top with Greek yogurt. Optional: Add mango and cajun spices before blending for a Caribbean flair.
Doctor up your favorite vegetable broth with one cup of whatever veggies you have in the house such as tomatoes, cauliflower, and zucchini. Toss in ¼ cup cooked barley, farro, or other grain. Then add one ounce of cooked ground turkey, sage, rosemary, thyme, and red pepper flakes.
Choose your favorite dried beans, then soak them overnight on your countertop. Drain and rinse. Place the beans in a pot with water, one small onion, half a carrot, and a comparable piece of celery (all chopped), some garlic cloves, two bay leaves, and two whole black peppercorns. Simmer until soft.