10 Easy and Healthy Plant-Based Soups and Salad Recipes
In honor of National Nutrition Month this March, every Wednesday The Beet sends a dedicated wellness newsletter featuring everything from experts' tips on how to de-stress, foods to eat to boost your mood, and more helpful content that contributes to your overall health with a plant-based approach.
March is the perfect time to hit reset on your diet, start your plant-based journey, or continue eating healthy. To help you get started or stay motivated, we rounded up 10 plant-based salad and soup recipes full of essential nutrients and vitamins for immunity that are also high in fiber and protein, important for gut health and muscle repairment.
Couple your favorite salad from this list with one of our soup recipes and enjoy the healthiest two-for-one meal. These recipes will keep you fuller longer and nourish your body with ingredients that help lower inflammation and protect against diseases.
Make our kale and roasted vegetable salad with homemade dairy-free creamy chipotle dressing and enjoy it with a cup of leek soup, garnished with fresh chives. The key to perfecting these recipes is to use organic, quality fruits and vegetables that are vibrant and full of rich flavor. You'll never want to have lunch or dinner any other way.
1. Kale Salad with Creamy Vegan Chipotle Dressing
This salad features a mix of hearty kale, colorful butternut squash, beets, protein-packed chickpeas, and quinoa. Did you know quinoa contains 8 grams of protein in just one cup? It’s no wonder the ancient Inca civilization considered it a sacred food.
2. Creamy Dairy-Free Leek Soup
Ready in under 45 minutes and requiring just 10 ingredients, this potato and leek soup is really going to hit the spot! It’s naturally creamy (from potatoes and cashews), ultra-comforting, and extremely easy to make.
Fresh leeks, crisp celery, and tender potatoes make up the bulk of the soup. Aromatics of thyme and garlic give each spoonful the perfect balance of earthiness and bite. Plus, your whole house will smell amazing as this soup simmers away.
Instead of replacing dairy-based cream with coconut milk, incorporate healthy unsaturated fats with cashew cream. You can rest assured, every silky-smooth bite will help protect your heart and lower your cholesterol at the same time.
Recipe: Vegan Leek Soup Recipe
3. Tofu and Brussels Sprouts Salad
For this copycat Sweetgreen recipe, the original ingredients call for mesclun, romaine, walnuts, apples, roasted sweet potato, roasted chicken, two roasted Brussels sprouts, and cranberry maple dressing. Our version adds blackened tofu into the equation and eliminates chicken. For the tofu, you will use soy sauce, avocado oil, maple syrup, liquid smoke, garlic, pepper, and salt to mimic the same taste and texture of chicken.
4. Vegan Tuscan Chickpea Soup
This soup is not only incredibly flavorful but also good for you too. Tender chickpeas provide healthy amounts of protein and gut-healthy fiber, fueling your body through even the longest of days. Paired with vibrant vegetables like red onions, bell peppers, and carrots, each bowl is a nutrient-dense powerhouse.
5. Vegan Kale Caesar Salad
We whipped together a vegan version of a caesar salad without compromising taste and made the dressing from scratch using cashews as the base. In addition, we swapped chicken for roasted tofu, a plant-based protein that mimics the texture of animal-based protein. The rest of the recipe is simple, just a bed of kale and romaine lettuce and toppings including sliced grape tomatoes and vegan parmesan.
Recipe: Kale Caesar Salad Vegan
6. Creamy Vegan Tomato Bisque
This plant-based tomato bisque is the more sophisticated cousin of the classic tomato soup we all grew up on. Perfectly ripened San Marzano tomatoes come together with flavorful vegetables like celery, onions, and garlic before a cashew cream is added to the mix for richness.
If you haven't already jumped up to start cooking, you’ll be happy to know this tomato bisque is packed with omega-3s, plant-based protein, and potassium, which are all part of a well-balanced diet. Fill up your new year with more plants to reap benefits like reducing cancer and heart disease risk.
Recipe: Creamy Vegan Tomato Bisque
7. Pear Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette
If you're not getting enough greens, this sophisticated fall salad will convince you to load up on a few more servings. Nourishing and festive, our Pear Salad is dressed with a Maple Mustard Vinaigrette, perfect to make during the fall season.
This salad is loaded with fiber from all the veggies and is high in protein thanks to the quinoa. If you want to up the protein content, feel free to toss in a cup of chickpeas or some tofu. This salad will keep you full, satisfied, and energized with all the highly nutritious ingredients.
8. Chef AJ's Cauliflower Bisque
"I absolutely love living in the desert, but the last thing I want when it’s in the triple digits outside is hot soup. That's why I am so thankful for fall and the cooler weather when I can make easy one-pot, no-fuss meals in the Instant Pot. Please don’t be afraid of pressure cooking, it’s the fastest way to get healthy meals on the table."
"This recipe is not only one of my very favorite soups but also one of the recipes that I get the most compliments on. It not only tastes delicious, but it’s also super easy to make because you literally throw everything into the pressure cooker whole, without even having to cut anything up! Even my husband, Charles can make it and it’s a great way to sneak in more vegetables."
9. Salad with Creamy Hemp Balsamic Dressing
The salad bowl calls for fiber-filled foods like chickpeas, quinoa, cauliflower, and nuts helping you feel fuller longer so you won't feel the need to reach for the bag of chips or any other unwanted calories. If one of your goals is to eat healthier and get back in shape, eating a salad for lunch every day will set you on the right track
Salad dressings are normally full of sugar, preservatives, and other additives that can be easily avoided when you make your own. In this recipe, blend together dates, hemp seeds, balsamic vinegar, freshly squeezed orange juice, Dijon mustard, and tamari for a creamy, flavorful dressing that's low in calories and naturally sweetened with fruits.
10. Puréed Vegan Carrot and Ginger Soup
This Puréed Carrot and Ginger Soup is low in calories, nutrient-dense, full of fiber, and tastes delicious. The ingredients list is short and calls for healthier swaps like olive oil instead of butter and low-sodium vegetable stock instead of chick stock. The two main ingredients, carrots and ginger, are loaded with health benefits and are the perfect combination of sweet and zesty.
Ginger is a root that helps boost your immune system and lower inflammation, due to its major active compound, gingerol. Ginger also promotes natural weight loss and may help lower body fat, according to serval studies.
Carrots are rich in fiber and help aid natural weight loss. You will feel full, satiated, and nourished after you eat this soup. They're also high in vitamin K, potassium, and antioxidants. They're proven to lower cholesterol levels and improve eye health, according to studies.
Recipe: Puréed Carrot, Ginger Soup
For more lists of recipes, check out:
- 7 simple plant-based recipe ideas for under $1 a serving
- 7 popular plant-based soup recipes
- 5 high-fiber recipes that help boost weight loss
- 7 easy plant-based breakfast recipe ideas
- 7 Super Bowl plant-based recipes
- 11 vegan Valentine's Day recipes
- 8 heart-healthy plant-based recipes to lower your lifetime risk
- 7 one-pot vegan recipes
- 7 meatless recipes to make for Lent