500-Calorie Dinners: Soups

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.

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Caldo Tlalpe?o

Pictured Recipe: Caldo Tlalpeño

Caldo Tlalpeño

283 calories
Although there are many variations of this Mexican chicken soup, spicy chipotle chiles are always part of the broth. To round out your 500-calorie meal, serve with one from each group:

Serve with:
Mixed Lettuce Salad with Cucumber Herb Vinaigrette
83 calories
• Warm corn tortilla (6-inch)
70 calories

Choose one dessert:
Fast Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
100 calories
Indoor S’mores
98 calories


Fragrant Fish Soup

Pictured Recipe: Fragrant Fish Soup

Fragrant Fish Soup

229 calories
Lemony rice, delicately flavored broth and gently poached tilapia are topped with a colorful blend of vegetables and herbs. The aromatic mint provides fresh and complex flavor. To round out your 500-calorie meal, serve with one from each group:

Serve with:
• Toasted whole-grain baguette (2 inches)
132 calories
Garlic & Herb Pita Chips
117 calories

Choose one side dish:
Orange Crisps with Citrus Fruit Salad
128 calories
• White wine (5-ounce glass)
116 calories


Moroccan Vegetable Soup (Chorba)

237 calories
This hearty Moroccan soup gets its rich, golden-orange color from turmeric. To round out your 500-calorie meal, serve with one from each group:

Serve with:
Garlic & Herb Pita Chips
117 calories
Whole-Grain Rice Pilaf
97 calories

Choose one vegetable:
Mixed Lettuce Salad with Cucumber Herb Vinaigrette
83 calories
Creamy Chopped Cauliflower Salad
48 calories

Choose one dessert:
Raspberry Applesauce
67 calories
Chewy Chocolate Cookies
68 calories


Hawaiian Ginger-Chicken Stew

Pictured Recipe: Hawaiian Ginger-Chicken Stew

Hawaiian Ginger-Chicken Stew

198 calories
This chicken stew has a bold ginger-flavored broth and provides a whole serving of dark leafy greens in each bowl. To round out your 500-calorie meal, serve with one from each group:

Serve with:
Quinoa (1/2 cup)
111 calories
Brown rice (1/2 cup)
109 calories

Choose one side dish:
Chocolate-Dipped Gingersnaps
157 calories
• Pilsner (12-ounce glass)
169 calories


Flemish Beef Stew

Pictured Recipe: Flemish Beef Stew

Flemish Beef Stew

303 calories
For this slow-cooker interpretation of Carbonnades Flamandes, a Flemish stew made with beer, if you can't find a brown ale, use a strong, dark beer (but not a stout). To round out your 500-calorie meal, serve with one from each group:

Serve with:
Brown rice (1/2 cup)
109 calories
• Whole-wheat orzo (1/2 cup)
87 calories

Choose one vegetable:
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon-Horseradish Cream
80 calories
Roasted Squash & Fennel with Thyme
66 calories