Caitlin holding a white bowl full of soup

Weight Loss Soups – Make up to 324,000 Different Soups with This Formula

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Today I’m going to demonstrate my easy formula for healthy weight loss soups. We will then put into practice this formula and cook an Indian Chickpea Lentil Soup and a Savory Beef and Barley soup.

When looking for weight loss-friendly soups, I bet you’re surfing all over the net to collect new recipes. This is why I’ve made it easy for you with a super-easy formula that includes macros for weight loss and several ingredients to choose from.

This easy cooking process is also very versatile and adaptable to different recipes. I will also tell you about some research-backed weight loss ingredients that we will be adding to our soups. Stay tuned for the formula breakdown and those weight loss boosters!

For a handy printable version of the formula and ingredients:

The Weight Loss Soups Formula

Each type of ingredient (other than seasonings) is classified under a macro where most of its calories come from. This is how we classify different foods with Precision Nutrition, the company that certified me as a nutrition coach. You can use the measurements and hand estimates down below.

For each serving:

  • 1 protein (palm-sized)
  • One complex carbohydrate (1/2 cup or cupped handful)
  • 1 healthy fat (1 tablespoon or a thumb)
  • 1+ veggies (1 cup or 1 fist full)

Formula Ingredients

Choose from the list your desired ingredients:


  • Beans (for fully plant-based soups)
  • Eggs (best with Asian soups)
  • Lean Ground Beef or Turkey Chicken – whole small chicken
  • Lean beef roast – bottom round roast
  • Shrimp or Scallops
  • Lean pork – pork shoulder
  • Tofu (for fully plant-based soups)
  • Diced chicken or turkey sausage


  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Cabbage
  • Bok choy
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Parsnips
  • Zucchini
  • Green beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Diced tomatoes/tomato sauce
  • Frozen blends!


  • Barley
  • Spelt
  • Wild rice
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa (counts as a grain)
  • Corn
  • Potatoes – any kind
  • Peas (starchy)
  • Lentils – brown or red (red for a thicker soup)
  • Chickpeas
  • White beans
  • Navy bean
  • Pinto bean
  • Black bean
  • Split peas
  • Bean mix


  • Olive oil or avocado oil
  • ground flax/chia (will also thicken the soup)
  • Avocado
  • Nuts or seeds for garnish

Broth or Stock

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Vegetable
  • Mushroom
  • Tomato sauce

Seasoning Blends

Some of these are weight loss boosters, see the video/download printable graphic at the button below to know which ones.

All Soups Include

  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garnish with nutritional yeast (optional, has B vitamins that help with metabolism)


  • One tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes


  • ½ tbsp cilantro
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • One tbsp cumin
  • ½ tbsp chili powder
  • One and a half tsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp lime
  • One tsp coriander

Basic Savory

  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1/4c balsamic vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves


  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup fresh chives or green onion
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ½ tbsp fenugreek (optional: seaweed flakes, sesame seeds)


  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • One and a half tsp coriander
  • ½ tbsp curry
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp cloves


  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pinch saffron

For a handy printable version of the formula and ingredients:

Below is a transcript of the video:

Indian Chickpea Lentil Soup

Indian Chickpea Lentil Soup served in a white bow and a spoon on the side

For our first weight loss soup example, we’re going to do a plant-based soup.

I chose to use red potatoes, onion, carrots, red pepper, and some diced tomatoes. However, there are a lot of different vegetables you can choose from my formula.

The veggies

We’re going to peel our potatoes and our onion. We are aiming to do about four cups of vegetables because I’m going to make a soup with four servings. And for our formula, we’re going to want a cup of vegetables, at least, per serving. I’m just estimating this amount because, really, you can have as many vegetables as you want. I’d suggest using the whole onion. It really gives the soup an excellent flavor.

For all these different variations of weight loss soups, I suggest using onion and garlic with all of them. You’re going to want to use about two to four garlic cloves. There’s evidence that garlic can help you with weight loss as well, which is another reason why I suggest putting garlic in all of the different variations of soup that you can make based on my formula.

garlic on the wooden table

There’s evidence that garlic can help you with weight loss as well, which is another reason that I suggest putting garlic in all of the different variations of soup that you can make based off my formula.

I’m going to be using the pressure cooker (or instant pot) for this soup as we’ve got some dried beans that would otherwise take a really long time to cook, while everything else in the soup would become mushy. 

Add oil into the instant pot and once hot, we’re going to sauté the onions and garlic until they are becoming translucent. You don’t want them to be super translucent as we’re just trying to get everything started and don’t want them to end up mushy. It’s going to help bring out the flavor in these vegetables in our soup. 

The proteins

For our fully plant-based recipe, tofu or beans are going to be our main source of protein and you can choose any of the beans that I have listed for my formula. For this soup, I’m going to use lentils and chickpeas. We’re going to do roughly a cup of cooked beans per serving. This is going to ensure that you get a good amount of protein in your soup, which is going to help you with weight loss. Beans are also incredibly good for you.

Now, you’re going to want to rinse your beans, just to get off the contaminants. Since I’m cooking the beans from dry here, and chickpeas and lentils about double in volume when you cook them, I’m going to add just under two cups of lentils and chickpeas. So, something I’ve learned about lentils is that in my strainer they tend to fall through, so I’m going to put a napkin at the bottom just to ensure that they don’t fall into my sink when I’m rinsing them. Give those a good rinse. 

As you’re sauteing those vegetables, you’ll want to stir them every now and then.

The carbohydrates

As a source of complex carbohydrates, I chose to use some potatoes. I’m just going to dice roughly two cups for four servings because we’re going to want a half cup of complex carbohydrates per serving. You’ll want to dice the potatoes in pretty thick chunks since we’re cooking the beans in there too. Since it’s going to cook for a little while – we don’t want our potatoes to get too mushy or turn into a creamy potato soup. There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s the soup you’re going for, but that is not the soup that we are going for today. 

Now that we have everything prepped, I’m going to go ahead and throw all the other ingredients into the pot. First, I’m going to go ahead and throw these potatoes in there. Your sauté settings should be off at this point. Throw in your lentils and chickpeas. We’re going to pour in there four cups of vegetable broth (low sodium is best). Since we’re cooking dried beans, I’m going to go ahead and throw in a couple more cups of vegetable broth because it’s going to soak up a lot of that vegetable broth to cook. I’m going to add a can of diced tomatoes. 

The fats

Then, we’re going to add a few tablespoons of ground flax. The reason for that is that having some healthy fats in the soup is going to help keep you satiated. We want about one tablespoon of healthy fats for each serving in our soup. Since we’ve already put a tablespoon of olive oil in there, we already have one serving of healthy fats. I’m going to go ahead and add three tablespoons of ground flax to add three more servings of healthy fats. 

The spices

Finally, we’re going to add our spice blend. For this recipe, I opted for the Indian spice blend. This blend is full of “weight loss boosters“. I put that in quotes because all of these have a varying level of evidence as to whether they actually help with weight loss. Regardless, seasonings are really good for you. I’ve also prepped the seasoning blend myself. You can see the precise amounts above.

We are using ground turmeric which is one of our weight loss boosters, as well as an excellent anti-inflammatory – and that’s proven. We’re going to add cumin, and fenugreek, both great weight loss boosters. Then, add coriander, cloves, and curry, followed by cinnamon and ginger, which may also be helpful in losing weight. Add the Indian seasoning blend to the pressure cooker, as well as a pinch of salt. Finally, add a little bit of black pepper. This is also a potential weight loss booster. I’m going to do about half a teaspoon. 

indian spice blend in a ceramic bowl

For this recipe, I chose the Indian spice blend. This blend is chock full of “weight loss boosters” – turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, cinnamon, and ginger.

Now put the lid on and set it to sealing. We’re going to want to set the time on the pressure cooker to cook as long as it would take for the ingredient that takes the longest to cook in there. In this recipe, it’s going to be the dried beans. If you’re already using cooked beans, and perhaps raw meat, then you’re going to want to cook it as long as it takes to cook that meat. Instead, if you’re using pre-cooked beans or meat, you just need to let the ingredients simmer a bit to assimilate all of the flavors. For this variation of the healthy weight loss soup formula, we’re going to put the pot on high pressure for around 30 minutes.

Why is this Indian Chickpea Lentil Soup great for weight loss?

While that’s pressure cooking, I want to tell you a little bit about why this easy soup formula is great for weight loss. Soup is potentially great for weight loss because it’s warm and filling. It’s filling because it has a lot of volume, and because of the specific macro split, we have in this soup.

Finally, it takes a little longer for you to eat, and therefore gives your brain a bit more time to realize that you’re full.

My formula for the soup is to add the right amount of protein, complex carbohydrates, vegetables, and healthy fats. For each serving, you’re going to want to roughly add three ounces of lean meat or a cup of beans, both of which are excellent sources of protein. After that, you’re going to add half a cup of complex carbohydrates. Each serving should also have a tablespoon of healthy fats and at least one fistful of vegetables.

I made this formula super easy for you by coming up with some delicious additions for each of the macro-categories. See above for the different ideas that I have come up with for you, and I also have a really handy infographic you can find here

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Savory Beef and Barley Soup

beef and barley soup served in a white bowl and a spoon on the side

For our meat eaters and traditionalists, we’re going to do a Beef and Barley Soup. 

The protein source

You’ll want to select the leanest cut of beef that will go in a soup. There are two different types of beef that go well in stews and soups – the shoulder area of the cow and the bottom round (their butt side).

The reason why those are better in stews is that they have more collagen in that part of the body, which holds more flavor and tenderness than other parts of the cow. The bottom round is going to be the leanest cut, so we’re using it. Again, we’re going to do four servings, like the last soup. You’re going to want about three ounces per serving (as our protein source). 

The veggies

Prep all the vegetables for this soup. Again, you can choose any of the vegetables on the list, but for this one, I chose to use cabbage, carrots, onion, and celery. Of course, I’m also going to dice up some garlic to put in there as well.

The fats

Now get some olive oil heated in a pot. For this soup, I’m just going to go ahead and use a large pan. Put about a tablespoon of olive oil in here and get that heated. Once your oil is hot, throw the bottom roast into the pan so that we can brown it a little bit. Be careful not to overheat your olive oil because its smoke point is quite low. 

Once your beef is browned a little bit, we’re going to temporarily remove it from the pan so that we can sauté our vegetables. 

Now, add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and now you’re going to want to add in all the vegetables, except for the cabbage. Now that our veggies have sauteed for a bit and the onions are partially translucent, we’re going to go ahead and add the rest of the ingredients. 

The seasonings

I’m actually pretty excited to use this bone broth in the soup. Bone broth has a lot more flavor than basic broth, and this one contains a lot of collagen from being simmered with the bones. You should really check out this brand Kettle and Fire. I’m going to add all four cups of this bone broth, and an additional two cups of vegetable broth to allow the barley to have some liquid to cook and expand. 

To try the bone broth featured in this video, use coupon code COOKINGCAITLIN for 20% off, and click here.

package of beef bone broth on the wooden table
To try the bone broth featured in this video, use coupon code COOKINGCAITLIN for 20% off, and click here.

The carbohydrates

Next, we’re going to add barley and peas. Both are classified as carbohydrates here. For the formula, each serving should contain a half cup of complex carbohydrates or two cups for the four servings we’re making in the soup.

Since we are using two different types of foods classified as carbs, we’re going to split that measurement down the middle for each of them, adding one cup of peas and one cup of barley to our soup. Since we are making pearled barley from dry, keep in mind that it triples in volume when cooked, so to get to one cup barley we’re going to add 1/3 cup dried pearled barley. 

The spices

Finally, add the beef back into the pan and add the cabbage. Of the many seasoning blends that you can choose from for our beef and barley soup, we’re going to go with the savory blend. Check above for the right ingredient amounts needed for this seasoning blend. In this case, in addition to the garlic, salt, and pepper, we are adding thyme, parsley, bay leaf, and balsamic vinegar. The latter is a great weight loss booster. 

balsamic vinegar in a nice glass bottle and some grapes on the side

Balsamic Vinegar is a weight loss booster.

Now bring the soup to a simmer. I’ve had this Beef and Barley Soup simmering for 55 minutes. I then did add a little bit more broth to it because it started to look more like a stew and I prefer it to be more like a soup. Finally, go ahead and add more salt, pepper, and broth if you would like. 

That’s it! There are two example soups that you can put together from the soup weight loss formula.

Please show my channel a little love by commenting, liking, and sharing this video. This also helps further my cause to help end the obesity crisis. 

For a handy printable version of the formula and ingredients:

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