A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

6 suggestions for soup selection

Pumpkin soup served in a pumpkin - What to look for in soup

When making a cream soup, modify your recipe to use non-fat or 1-percent milk.

Warm your belly as the weather cools, and do so without harming your heart.

Marshfield Clinic registered dietitian Chrisanne Urban provides six tips for selecting heart-healthy soup.

1. Sodium

Substitute sodium in homemade recipes with herbs and spices.

Pair your soup with low-sodium sides to keep your meal under 600 mg of sodium.

2. Broth versus cream

“Choose broth over cream, but watch for high fat. French onion soup is broth based but can be high fat,” Urban said.

When using a cream soup, modify your recipe to use non-fat or 1-percent milk.

3. Fiber

Look for soups with 3 grams or more of fiber per serving.

Lentils, beans or legumes and barley increase fiber content.

4. Sugar

Try to find soups or soup recipes with 6 grams or less of sugar per serving.

5. Organic

“Organic does not equate to healthier,” Urban said. “Consider all nutrition content before selecting an organic soup.”

6. Sides

Serve your soup with fruits, whole grain crackers or salad greens for a well-rounded meal.

Try this recipe

“You may find it easiest to select a heart-healthy soup by making your own,” she said. “Make a broth without flavor enhancers like season packets or bouillon cubes, and freeze your leftovers.”

Give homemade soup a try.

Ginger-Pumpkin Bisque

Time: 1 hour

Servings: 4


  • 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 3/4 tablespoon minced, fresh gingerroot
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or jarred minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 (14-1/2 ounce) can low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream, to serve (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)


  1. If you can’t find gingerroot, substitute with 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
  2. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is sometimes used to treat stomach ailments. Consider adding it to other recipes.
  3. Chop the onion finely or puree your mixture at the end if onions are too large.


In a large heavy-duty pot, warm oil over medium-high heat. Add minced onion, stirring occasionally and sautéing until soft, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Stir in ginger, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, pepper and salt. Stirring constantly, let spices cook for 1 minute. Stir in flour and then add vegetable broth and water, using a spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan for caramelized bits. Stir in pumpkin puree. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to low so that soup is at a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in milk and remove from heat. Ladle soup into bowls, garnishing each serving with sour cream and chives, if desired. Serve.

Nutrition information

138 calories; 2.7 g fat; 199 mg sodium; 26.5 g carbohydrates; 9.8 g fiber; 14 g sugars; 6.1 g protein. 

Source: American Heart Association

Download bisque recipe


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One Response
  1. Oct 11, 2018

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