Create a Better Soup

Soup is a filling, balanced meal when made with vegetables, protein and grains. Learn to create your own tasty and nutritious soups—even for low-fat and low-sodium diets—with these tips from Giant Eagle®.
Article Photo
Soup is easy to store in the freezer; keep it on-hand for a comforting cold-weather meal.
  1. Begin with a liquid – use chicken, beef, seafood or vegetable broth, or add stock to a light cream sauce. Start with a ready-to-use product, or make your own broth from meat, poultry or fish (including bones). Just cook protein slowly in water with vegetables and herbs. Strained and defatted stock can be frozen for up to three months before use. You can find a wide range of pre-made stocks and starters including low-sodium, low-fat and flavored varieties at Giant Eagle.
  2. Add texture. Canned tomatoes are a popular choice, adding liquid and flavor, but don’t be afraid to try cooked, pureed vegetables like carrots or corn. Chopped onions, parsley, garlic, carrots and celery are basic additions – sauté these lightly with a little olive oil or butter for richer flavor.
  3. Choose your vegetables. Any fresh or frozen vegetable will do – soup is the perfect way to use leftovers. Add tender greens like spinach at the end.
  4. Go for grains. For a heartier soup include beans, potatoes and grains such as rice, barley, noodles or pasta.
  5. Pick a protein. Bite-sized pieces of meat, chicken, seafood, egg, beans and tofu are great choices.
  6. Season and garnish. Seasoning should complement the ingredients and the palate; garnish adds a special touch. A dollop of yogurt or sour cream, a sprinkle of grated or shredded cheese, croutons or crumbled corn chips, popcorn or freshly chopped herbs adds eye appeal and texture.
  7. Cook. Cooking time depends on the choice of ingredients. Fresh or frozen vegetables and large pieces will take more time than precooked choices. Simmer all ingredients for at least five minutes or until flavors are blended. BUT, it’s possible to have your almost-scratch creation on the table in less than an hour if you start with prepared broth or stock.
  8. Serve. Add whole grain bread or crackers, fruit or a salad and you have balance, variety and appeal!

Soup is easy to store in the freezer; keep it on-hand for a comforting cold-weather meal, easy lunch or quick accompaniment to a main dish salad. And if you don’t have time to cook, check out the amazing selection of pre-packaged and fresh, store-made varieties at Giant Eagle — nutrition in a bowl!

For more ideas, ask for soup starter ideas and recipes from

Soup Recipes to Try: