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500-Calorie Soup Menus

From the WebMD Archives

If you're trying to feel full on fewer calories, learn to love soups.

Research has shown that people who start a meal with soup eat 20 percent fewer calories over the course of their meal. But don't just think of soup as a starter. These hearty soups include beans, chicken, fish or lean beef so they're substantial enough to be a main course. Browse through these soup recipes to choose your main dish, then pick from the suggested side dishes, desserts or drinks to round out your 500-calorie meal.

Curried Carrot Soup

curried carrot and apple soup This hearty soup only sounds complex: you probably have the ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator already. If you like a bit of heat, use hot Madras curry powder.

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Golden Summer Squash & Corn Soup

golden summer squash and corn soup Use this easy summer soup as a start to your meal or enjoy it as a light lunch. We love the way fresh thyme elevates the flavor, but any herb you have on hand will work well. Try goat cheese in place of the feta too.

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Baja Butternut Squash Soup

Baja Butternut Squash Soup This silky-smooth butternut soup gets a hit of spice from chipotle, cloves and cumin. It's perfect when you're craving something warm and creamy (and you'll swear it's made with real cream, though there's nary a drop). Adapted from Chef Jesus Gonzalez, La Cocina Que Canta at Rancho La Puerta.

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Creamy Cremini Mushroom Soup

creamy cremini mushroom soup Reduced-fat sour cream and low-fat milk make this soup creamy without all the fat. The pudgy brown mushrooms called cremini are actually baby portobello mushrooms and are sometimes called baby bellas. They're firmer and richer-tasting than common white mushrooms.

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  • Pan-Roasted Chicken & Gravy (177 calories)
  • Sautéed shrimp (3 ounces) with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a squeeze of lemon (126 calories)

Roasted Onion Soup

roasted onion soup Sweet caramelized onions, bolstered by roasted shallots and garlic, combine in a luscious but not overpowering soup.

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Borscht

borscht Looking for a hearty start to a meal? Try this rich borscht made with beef broth and garnished with sour cream. We give it extra kick with a little horseradish. For a vegetarian soup, use vegetable broth instead.

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  • Fresh blueberries (1/2 cup) (42 calories)
  • Chopped carrots (1/2 cup) (26 calories)

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Grilled Tomato Gazpacho

grilled tomato gazpacho Grill the vegetables for this refreshing soup earlier in the day or even the night before. Serve in wineglasses or tumblers to show off the rich color.

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Quick Tomato Soup

quick tomato soup This is a great "pantry soup" -- that is, it comes together in minutes from ingredients that you can keep on hand all the time.

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  • Toasted whole-grain baguette (2 inches) (132 calories)
  • Small whole-wheat crackers (about 15) (130 calories)

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Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup This is a zippy Southwestern-flavored black bean soup. We make it with canned beans so it comes together in minutes. If you have leftovers, pack them up in individual serving containers for lunch the next day.

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  • Warm corn tortillas (two 6-inch) (140 calories)
  • Toasted whole-grain baguette (2 inches) (132 calories)

Finishing with one of these:

Chicken & Rice Soup

chicken and rice soup This is a great, easy chicken-and-rice soup. We like to use instant brown rice because it cooks so quickly, but you could substitute cooked brown rice (stirred in at the end) if you have it on hand. Try the recipe with other herbs if you like, such as dill or tarragon.

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Caldo Tlalpeno

caldo tlalpeno Although there are many variations of this classic Mexican chicken soup, spicy chipotle chile peppers are always part of the broth. Garlic, cooked in broth and then pureed, gives the soup complex flavor and creaminess for almost zero calories.

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Fragrant Fish Soup

fragrant fish soup Here, lemony rice, delicately flavored broth and gently poached tilapia are topped with a colorful blend of vegetables and herbs. A pleasure for all your senses that's surprisingly easy to make.

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Moroccan Vegetable Soup

moroccan vegetable soup chorba Hearty with chunks of beef or lamb, plenty of vegetables and a bit of pasta, this Moroccan soup gets its rich, golden-orange color from turmeric.

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WebMD Menu from EatingWell
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