Quick Diabetic-Friendly Soup and Stew Recipes

By American Diabetes Association

Most important for people with diabetes, homemade soups are a tasty vehicle for incorporating more vegetables, legumes, and lean proteins into your meal plan without a lot of added fat or sodium. The recipes here use fresh produce and low-sodium products such as broth and canned tomatoes to keep these soups diabetes friendly. But remember: Healthy doesn’t mean boring! Whether you’re looking for a heartier dish (like English Beef Stew or Spicy Turkey Chili), or a more delicate, refreshing soup (like Cream of Carrot Soup), there’s a recipe for you!

Got a fridge full of leftovers? Soup recipes are a great way to use the rest of those baby carrots before they go bad, or get rid of that takeout container of brown rice in the fridge. Soup and stew recipes can be varied easily to use ingredients you have on hand. Just make sure to account for those ingredients in your meal plan.

Cream of Carrot Soup

Preparation time: About 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Serving size: 1 cup

Ingredients

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth, divided

3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots or onions

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups fat-free milk, scalded and hot

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup cooked, pureed carrots

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In a stockpot, heat 2 tablespoons of the broth over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until limp. Sprinkle the shallots with the flour and cook 2–3 minutes.
  2. Pour in the hot milk and cook until the mixture thickens. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring almost to a boil, stirring often, and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add pepper to taste.

Parsnips and sweet potatoes could also be prepared this way.

This smooth, tasty soup is great to serve for special luncheons.

Per serving: Choices/Exchanges 1/2 Fat-Free Milk, 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; Calories 90 (from Fat 0); Fat 0g (Saturated 0.1g, Trans 0.0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 110mg; Potassium 390mg, Total Carbohydrate 14g (Dietary Fiber 2g; Sugars 9g); Protein 7g; Phosphorus 165mg.

English Beef Stew

diabetic-stew
Juanmonino/Getty Images

Beef stew is an easy recipe to modify by throwing in any leftover root vegetables or even swapping out the beef for pork or lamb.

Preparation time: About 10 minutes

Cook time: 2-1/2 hours

Servings: 8

Serving size: 1 cup

Ingredients

2 pounds lean beef for stew, cut into large chunks

1-1/2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 cups boiling water

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/16 teaspoon salt

1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large yellow onion, quartered

4 large carrots, peeled and quartered

3 medium potatoes, white or russet, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup low-sodium canned stewed tomatoes

Directions

  1. Roll the beef cubes in the flour. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the canola oil. Add the beef and sauté a few pieces of beef at a time. When all the beef has been browned, add the garlic and stir. Pour the boiling water to the pan.
  2. Add the Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat, cover, and let simmer for 1-1/2–2 hours or until the meat is very tender.
  3. Add the onion, carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes. Let simmer about 30 minutes until all vegetables are just tender. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Per serving: Choices/Exchanges 1 Starch, 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable, 3 Lean Protein, 1/2 Fat; Calories 260 (from Fat 70); Fat 8g (Saturated 2.2g, Trans 0.3g); Cholesterol 60mg; Sodium 120mg; Potassium 740mg; Total Carbohydrate 21g (Dietary Fiber 3g; Sugars 5g); Protein 24g; Phosphorus 245mg.

Spicy Turkey Chili

Preparation time: About 10 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Servings: 6

Serving size: 1 cup

Ingredients

2 onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound lean ground turkey breast meat

2 cups cooked (not canned) kidney or pinto beans

2 cups canned tomatoes with liquid

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion, garlic, and green pepper in the oil for 10 minutes. Add the turkey, and sauté until the turkey is cooked, about 5–10 minutes. Drain any fat away.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Add additional chili powder if you like your chili extra spicy.

This chili tastes great with fresh-baked corn muffins.

Per serving: Choices/Exchanges 1 Starch, 2 Nonstarchy Vegetable, 3 Lean Protein; Calories 240 (from Fat 45); Fat 5g (Saturated 0.9g, Trans 0.0g); Cholesterol 45mg; Sodium 200mg; Potassium 790mg; Total Carbohydrate 24g (Dietary Fiber 7g; Sugars 5g); Protein 27g; Phosphorus 310mg.

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Preparation time: About 10 minutes

Cook time: 1-1/2 minutes

Servings: 8

Serving size: 1 cup

Ingredients

3 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 large white or russet potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped

4 celery stalks, coarsely chopped

2-1/2 cups minced clams, drained

2 cups canned tomatoes, slightly crushed

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Add all the ingredients to a large stockpot. Cover and let simmer for 1-1/2 hours. Taste and add a dash of salt if needed. Serve hot.

Try serving this chunky chowder with hot sourdough bread for a great flavor and texture combo.

Per serving: Choices/Exchanges 1 Starch, 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable, 1 Lean Protein; Calories 150 (from Fat 10); Fat 1g (Saturated 0.1g, Trans 0.0g); Cholesterol 35mg; Sodium 180mg; Potassium 790mg; Total Carbohydrate 21g (Dietary Fiber 3g; Sugars 4g); Protein 15g; Phosphorus 220mg.