These soups are filled with everything you need to support your mind and your immune system while also tantalizing your tastebuds. Here are the best mood-boosting soups that will let you slurp away those SAD days.
Matcha and Mushroom Soup
There is so much more to this vibrant soup than its bright colour and earthy flavour. Matcha tea is rich in antioxidants as well as L-theanine, an amino acid that helps with anxiety and stress relief. Its umami profile goes well with the spinach and mushrooms, too. Speaking of spinach, swap the frozen for fresh, folate-rich greens that regulate mood and energy. Finally, the shiitake mushrooms are a source of copper, which will give your immune system a boost.
Ajiaco (Colombian Chicken, Potato and Corn Soup)
This isn’t only a warm, comforting dish for those chilly winter days. The chicken contains tryptophan which produces serotonin, the hormone that stabilizes our moods and sleep patterns. Potatoes are a good source of fibre, they are a source of potassium that helps decrease blood pressure, and the skins contain antioxidants, especially in the purple variety used in this recipe.
10-Minute White Bean Soup
This white bean soup is a good one for quick winter lunches because it takes minimal time and effort to prepare. The beans are high and fibre and protein, and filled with good carbs to fuel you through your afternoon without feeling sluggish.
Portuguese Chourico and Kale Soup
Popular in seaside towns throughout New England, this soup is delicious and hearty enough to get you through the most blustery day. It has nutrient-dense kale, filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that have blood pressure lowering and anti-depressive properties. Chickpeas also add a protein and fibre boost to the soup, making you feel full longer.
Glazed Salmon Miso Soup Rice Bowl
This drool-worthy dish has so much to help you get through the short days and long nights of winter. Salmon contains Omega-3 fatty acids, renowned for their positive effects on brain health. Miso is good for gut health, and ginger has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Finally, seaweed is a source of dietary iodine that supports thyroid function, controlling things like fatigue.
Kimchi and Bacon Ramen
Fill your home with the heavenly aroma of leisurely weekend breakfasts any day of the week with this rich chicken, bacon and kimchi ramen. The fermented cabbage kimchi and miso are both great for your gut health, the ginger will help you with the pesky winter sniffles, and protein from chicken, bacon and eggs will give your body the fuel it needs to get through a gruelling work day.
Immune-Boosting Bone Broth, Chicken and Vegetable Soup
Who knew that so many nutrient-rich ingredients could work so beautifully together? This immune-boosting soup starts with a bone broth base, and adds turmeric, the anti-inflammatory superstar, garlic, known for its anti-bacterial powers, and shiitakes that support the growth of good bacteria in your gut. It warms you up and satisfies your hunger while helping keep you healthy. And when your body feels good, so does your mind.
Arabic Lentil Soup
This lentil soup, often served during Ramadan, is simple to make and requires minimal hands-on effort. The red lentils are rich in folate, proven to ease symptoms of depression, and once again there is turmeric, which helps combat inflammation. The final result is a soup that is satisfying but not heavy, so you won’t feel sluggish all afternoon if you have a bowl of it for lunch.
Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
This is more than a hearty bowl of soup. It’s a comforting escape from your everyday menu. When making it, opt for lean beef, a good source of protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and Vitamin B12. The addition of bok choy, a cruciferous vegetable, will add nutrients and antioxidants to the dish, like Vitamin C, a cold weather essential, Vitamin E, an antioxidant that supports organ function, and folate for healthy cell growth.
Vegan Pumpkin Soup
This is a soup that will warm you up during the chilliest months of the year and add brightness to those dark days. It’s high in beta-carotene that converts to Vitamin A in your body, helping you fight off infection. It’s a source of lutein, which supports your eye health, and is also high in fibre so you won’t be reaching for snacks immediately after lunch. The soup also gets an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial boost from turmeric, onions, garlic and ginger.