Welcome back to my January 2020 reset, chock full of healthy recipes you’ll want to incorporate into your weekly rotation. This week, we’re talking super soups.

Honestly, I haven’t touched a can of soup in years except in a pinch. In those moments, I relied on Amy’s organic soups and Progresso’s lentil or low-sodium chicken noodle. Most canned soups taste like the can, have way too much sodium, still taste blah, and all ingredients have the same mushy texture.

Soups should have a flavorful, rich broth and a variety of vegetables cooked to various degrees of softness or even as raw toppings. The variety creates a party in your mouth.

The following recipes are flexible, as are all the 2020 reset recipes. Change out vegetables if there is something you love instead: spinach instead of kale, red potatoes instead of sweet, broccoli instead of cauliflower. You get the picture.

Two of these recipes are vegan if you leave off the dollop of dairy. But if you’re missing meat or cheese, add them in moderation. I liked the lower-calorie chicken sausage instead of the usual Italian sausage. It still brought the flavor.

And don’t forget, just because something is vegan or vegetarian doesn’t equate to zero protein. The lentil chili soup scores at 12 grams per serving, the cauliflower a whopping 15 grams, and the chicken sausage sweet potato soup ranks at 17 grams per serving. Dig in.

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Sausage and sweet potato soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)

4 leaves fresh sage, finely chopped (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)

1 large sweet potato, peeled, large dice

4 cups (1 box) chicken bone broth

12 ounces sliced cooked apple chicken sausage

8 stalks cooked asparagus, cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Dollop sour cream or Greek yogurt, thinly sliced radish, and lime wedge to top

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally until fragrant. Add the rosemary and sage and sauté for 1 more minute, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Add sweet potatoes and stir a few times over 3 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a boil. Turn down to medium low and simmer until potatoes are mostly cooked through. Add sausage, asparagus, turmeric and simmer 10 more minutes.

Add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve with sour cream or Greek yogurt, thinly sliced radish and lime.

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Lentil chili

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 orange or red bell pepper, diced

1 small carrot, small diced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 (15-ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juices

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup dried lentils or 1 (15-ounce) can lentils

1 (15-ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 (4-ounce) can green chiles

1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, finely diced

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon crushed chili flakes

Kosher salt and pepper

Dollop sour cream or Greek yogurt, sliced green part of a scallion, and diced bell pepper to top

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally until fragrant. Add the spices (cumin and chili powder) and sauté for 1 more minute, stirring frequently, until fragrant.

Add tomatoes and broth. If using dry lentils, add at this point and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to simmer until lentils are mostly cooked. If using canned lentils, no need to bring to a boil. Add canned lentils, beans, green chilis and pickled jalapenos. Simmer while you whisk olive oil, vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Stir in mixture to chili.

Add crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper to taste. Serve with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, chopped bell pepper sliced green part of a scallion.

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Cauliflower soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large white or yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons curry powder

1 tablespoon garam masala

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

4 cups (1 box) vegetable stock

1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juices

1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets

3 stalks of fresh kale, roughly chopped, tough stems discarded

Kosher salt and pepper

Thinly sliced radish, lime and cilantro to top

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally until fragrant. Add the spices (curry powder, garam masala, cinnamon and ginger) and sauté for 1 more minute, stirring frequently, until fragrant.

Add in the vegetable stock and diced tomatoes, and stir to combine. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until completely smooth. (Or alternately, you can carefully purée the soup in a traditional blender and then transfer it back to the stockpot. Be careful!)

Stir in the coconut milk and cauliflower until combined. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer (try to avoid boiling the broth). Then reduce heat to medium-low and maintain the simmer until the cauliflower is tender.

Stir in the kale and cook for 2 more minutes, until the kale has softened. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with toppings.

Adapted from Gimme Some Oven.

Josie Mai is a culinary artist and in-home chef. See her on Facebook and Instagram as Josie Mai Personal Chef or at josiemai.com.

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