A Chef’s Guide to Nourishing Soup (Plus 27 Paleo Soups, Stews, and Broths You Have to Try)

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Soups are full of nourishing vegetables, meats, and herbs, and offer a wide array of both nutritious and convenient meal options. If I had my way, they would always be enjoyed in front of a toasty fire with snow falling outside. But even if you aren’t living in my pre-internet imagination dreamscape, you can still be as hypnotized by soup season as I am.

Pro Tips for Making Your Own Soup

Most people probably think that a soup is a soup, but soups are also an incredible way to experience other cultures and traditions. Beyond that, there are numerous different kinds of soups. Where most interchangeably use the term “soup,” technically other terms may be more correct. There are also key ways to make your soup stand out from the rest, and we’ll cover the best Paleo ways to make your soups shine.

1. Start With the Right Base

While soup might be soup, there are different types of bases from which to build your soup. Consider the following:

  • Soup: A liquid dish made from meat, vegetables, grains, and a liquid. To keep it Paleo, grains are obviously excluded, but excellent examples include chicken soup and beef vegetable soup.
  • Stock: A flavorful liquid made from meat, fish, and vegetables along with odd cuts or scraps of bones, shells, stems, and the like. Stock is the building broth of flavor for any soup. Another form of stock, fumet, is made specifically from fish bones.
  • Broth: This differs from stock in that it is typically made from more substantial and palatable portions instead of just scraps and leftovers. Broth is typically richer and more flavorful than plain stock, but both stock and broth can appear in the same soup.
  • Bouillon: A clear broth made from meat with vegetables or just vegetables.
  • Consume: A broth that has gone one step further with a clarification process that removes sediment from the liquid.
  • Bone Broth or Glace: Made from bones resulting in a gelatinous texture. Typically using an acid like apple cider vinegar to draw out the collagen and other nutrients. Bone broths are cooked significantly longer than meat stocks or broths.
  • Bisque: A pureed soup that contains shellfish.
  • Cream soups: Stock or broth thickened with cream.
  • Chowder: A soup that uses a flour roux as a thickening agent.
  • Purees: Smooth soups that are thickened using vegetable puree.
  • Stews: Made from ingredients cooked in a liquid and served with the liquid or a gravy made from the liquid. Traditionally slow-cooked and perfect for not-so-tender cuts of meat.
  • Chili: A one-pot dish with a thick, flavorful liquid. Ingredients vary by region or tradition, but commonly uses a tomato base.
  • Gazpacho: A Spanish-style soup made from tomatoes and other vegetables, typically served cold.

As you can see, there are few limits to the direction in which you can take your soup. The base or type of broth you build your soup on sets the tone for the rest of the ingredients.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Beef It Up

While thin-brothed soups can have their place, don’t discount the value of pureed vegetables or fruits in thickening a soup and creating a more filling dish. Parsnips, apples, celeriac, pears, carrots, mushrooms, and more can all be utilized to add some depth to your soup, depending on your other ingredients.

3. For Stellar Results, Cook Ahead

Soups are typically tastier the next day. Ingredients and flavors marry and mellow, creating a balance that can’t be achieved by anything other than resting in the pot a day before enjoying (in the fridge, of course).

4. Find the Right Salt Balance

Soups need salt to bring out the best of their flavors, but there’s a fine line between just enough and too much. If your soup ends up too salty, add something acidic like lemon or apple cider vinegar to balance out the flavor without diluting your soup.

27 Paleo Soup Recipes

To get you started on your soup journey, here are some of my favorite and forgiving soup recipes.

1. Turmeric Chicken Noodle Soup with Zoodles

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This elevates the classic grain-based noodle soup to a veggie-rich and Paleo-friendly version. Plus, turmeric is potently anti-inflammatory, so it’s perfect for cold and flu season sniffles.

Recipe PaleoHacks | Turmeric Chicken Noodle Soup with Zoodles

2. The Ultimate Immune-Boosting Soup

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Feeling under the weather? Try this nutrient-rich dish on for size.

Recipe: PaleoHacks | The Ultimate Immune-Boosting Soup

3. Italian Turkey and Vegetable Stew

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This beautiful stew is hearty enough for dinner, but not so heavy you’ll regret it.

Recipe: PaleoPlan | Italian Turkey and Vegetable Stew

4. Paleo Zuppa Toscana

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Missing that amazing restaurant-style soup? This Paleo version will quickly become a favorite.

Recipe: PaleoHacks | Paleo Zuppa Toscana

5. Savory Pumpkin Soup

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Not just for fall, pumpkin soup is a tasty addition to any meal. Bonus: use a mix of pumpkin and other squash if you have ingredients you need to use.

Recipe: PaleoPlan | Savory Pumpkin Soup

6. Creamy Bacon and Parsnip Soup

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The comforting flavor of potato soup is replicated perfectly in this lower-carb parsnip soup. Pair with extra bacon because life deserves it.

Recipe: PaleoPlan | Creamy Bacon and Parsnip Soup

7. Bison Chili

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Bison is naturally lower fat than beef, and offers a lighter flavor. This thick and tasty chili is the perfect addition to your soup repertoire.

Recipe: PaleoPlan | Bison Chili

8. Rainy Day Beef and Tomato Soup

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Nothing brings more comfort than a good bowl of piping hot soup, and this classically flavored beef and tomato soup will have you going back for seconds.

Recipe: PaleoHacks | Rainy Day Beef and Tomato Soup

9. Spicy Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

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Get more veggies in by adding them to your soup! Pro tip: you can customize the spice level based on your personal tastes.

Recipe: PaleoPlan | Spicy Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

10. Creamy Cauliflower Bacon Chowder

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This low-carb, dairy-free soup has a cheesy taste thanks to the nutrient dense nutritional yeast. Pair it with some Paleo dinner rolls for a delightful lunch or dinner.

Recipe: PaleoHacks | Creamy Cauliflower Bacon Chowder

11. Ginger, Carrot, and Sweet Potato Soup

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Warm and zesty, this soup is rich in antioxidants and beta carotene—a perfect boost of nutrients for eyes, skin, and hair.

Recipe: PaleoPlan | Ginger, Carrot, and Sweet Potato Soup

12. Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Soup

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Make taco night easy by slow-cooking it as a soup! This Paleo chipotle chicken soup has the perfect blend of savory and spice.

Recipe: PaleoHacks | Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Soup

13. Green Garlic Soup

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Garlic is an immune boosting food, and eating it in a soup is a more palatable way to get it down when you’re under the weather.

Recipe: PaleoPlan | Green Garlic Soup

14. Vegetable Beef Chili

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Part vegetable soup, part thick and chunky chili, this soup is the perfect way to fill up on autumn and winter comfort foods.

Recipe: PaleoPlan | Vegetable Beef Chili

15. Three Pepper Pork Stew

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Stop making soup with chicken only and jazz it up with this zesty three pepper pork stew.

Recipe: PaleoPlan | Three Pepper Pork Stew

16. One Pot Detox Vegetable Soup

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If you want something light that will help to nourish your detox pathways, this dish is perfect. Detox doesn’t always have to be salads!

Recipe: PaleoHacks | One Pot Detox Vegetable Soup

17. Broccoli Soup

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Creamy and classic, this broccoli soup is dairy-free and the perfect Paleo first course or side dish.

Recipe: PaleoPlan | Broccoli Soup

18. Chunky Turkey Chili

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Chili doesn’t have to be made with red meat alone, and this poultry version is perfect for hormone-balancing. Plus, it’s a little easier to digest.

Recipe: PaleoPlan | Chunky Turkey Chili

19. Pork and Noodle Soup

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The noodles in this dish are spiral-cut zucchini, but if you don’t have a spiralizer, you can shred it or thinly slice it for the same results.

Recipe: PaleoPlan | Pork and Noodle Soup

20. Meatball Soup with Bone Broth

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Meatballs on their own are delish, but you can kick up the nutrient profile of your meal when you pair them with gut-friendly bone broth.

Recipe: PaleoHacks | Meatball Soup with Bone Broth

21. Cream of Mushroom Soup

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Whether you want it plain or pureed to make the base for the classic green bean casserole, this mushroom soup dish is simple and made from scratch.

Recipe: PaleoPlan | Cream of Mushroom Soup

22. Chicken, Yam, and Chard Soup

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Get more greens in your soup by adding chard, although other dark leafy greens can also step in. Think kale, spinach, or even beet greens.

Recipe: PaleoPlan | Chicken, Yam, and Chard Soup

23. Whatever-You-Have Crockpot Soup

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Don’t let that food in your fridge go to waste—put it to use in this practical recipe.

Recipe: PaleoHacks | Whatever-You-Have Crockpot Soup

24. Butternut Squash Soup with Pears and Ginger

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Squash is made for more than roasting and this sweet and savory soup is the perfect way to get your squash fix.

Recipe: PaleoHacks | Butternut Squash Soup with Pears and Ginger

25. Smoky Minestrone Soup

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You don’t need non-Paleo ingredients to craft a delightful Italian meal, and this minestrone soup is the perfect starter course to prove it.

Recipe: PaleoHacks | Smoky Minestrone Soup

26. Coconut Tomato Soup

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Processed tomato soup often contains ingredients that aren’t Paleo-friendly, but this dairy-free version is simple to make and more creamy than you could ever dream.

Recipe: PaleoPlan | Coconut Tomato Soup

27. Light Vegetable Soup

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Keep it simple with this basic vegetable soup that is the perfect beginning to an epic Paleo meal.

Recipe: PaleoPlan | Light Vegetable Soup