Whether you want to protein-boost homemade chicken soup or you’re after vegan or vegetarian alternatives to up your protein intake, here are some quick and simple additions to make it easy for you.
Meat is a great source of protein. Poach whole chicken legs for a flavour-packed broth, throw in meatballs or shred in leftover meat from a Sunday roast. Try this Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup or Chicken & Corn Chowder, or if you’re short on chicken, use leftover gammon, lamb or beef instead.
Remember that for a healthy diet, it’s good to choose from a whole range of proteins. Here are some to choose from...
Pulses & Beans
Bulking out your soups with pulses and beans is a tasty, easy way to up your protein. Throw chickpeas, butter beans or kidney beans into this Roasted Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup or Chicken & Vegetable Soup and simmer to warm through, or experiment with different varieties of lentils in this dal-inspired Spiced Lentil & Tomato Soup.
Dairy is a super-important source of protein. Finishing vegetable or tomato-based soups with a dollop of yoghurt or a dash of milk is a tasty way to get a healthy protein boost and add silky creaminess to the finished dish; try it with this Spanish Chorizo, Bean & Vegetable Soup or Butternut Pumpkin, Lentil & Bacon Hotpot.
Eggs are a brilliant source of complete protein, containing the essential amino acids that our bodies need. Pour a beaten egg into a broth, like Hot & sour chicken soup or Asian Chicken Noodle Soup just before serving to thicken it into a creamy soup. Or try poaching eggs in a flavoursome broth, like this Chicken Ramen Soup - the eggs will take on all that tasty flavour and provide you with a boost of extra protein.
Nuts are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats. A scattering of nuts, such as flaked almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds or cashews, on a warming soup will transform a simple meal into something special. Toast them in a dry frying pan to release their flavours (make sure to keep an eye, as they can quickly burn!), then sprinkle onto Curried Chicken & Lentil Soup or Mexican Fiesta Veggie Soup.
Tofu is made primarily from water and soya beans, and is a fantastic source of protein. It’s a great ingredient for soaking up flavours, so it’s perfect for sucking up punchy broths and umami-packed soups. Chop it into these Asian Chicken Noodle Soup as either an alternative or an addition to the chicken or cut it into cubes and throw it into this Thai Coconut Chicken Curry Noodle Soup.
Try marinating cubed tofu in a mix of grated ginger and garlic and a Knorr Mixed Chillies Flavour Pot, then fry it until crisp and scatter it over bowls of Hot & Sour Chicken Soup. Delicious!
Many grains are packed with protein, so shop around for alternatives to white rice or noodles. Swap in wild rice, quinoa, pearl barley, pearled spelt or amaranth as a twist on the norm in Hearty Lamb, Barley & Lentil Soup; just make sure you check the cooking instructions on the packet and adjust accordingly.
For more healthy ways with chicken soup, check out these tips and ideas.