How much is a serving of soup? The perfect portion size revealed!

How much is a serving of soup? The perfect portion size revealed!

When it comes to soups, serving sizes can be a bit tricky. How much is too little? How much is too much? Let’s dive into the world of soup and find out the perfect portion size for a serving of soup!

Why is portion size important?

Portion size is important because it helps regulate calorie intake. Eating too much of any food can lead to weight gain and other health issues. A serving size is a standardized amount of food, and by sticking to that serving size, it is easier to maintain a healthy diet.

What is a serving of soup?

A serving of soup can vary depending on the type of soup, but generally, a serving of soup is about 1 cup. This amount can change, depending on the ingredients in the soup. If the soup is more substantial or has more calories, the serving size may be smaller.

Types of soup and their serving sizes:

  • Broth-based soups: 1 cup
  • Cream-based soups: 1/2 cup
  • Chowders: 1/2 cup
  • Bisque: 1/2 cup
  • Stew: 1/2 cup
  • Noodle soup: 1 cup
  • Bean soup: 1 cup
  • Chili: 1/2 cup

It’s important to note that these are general guidelines and that specific soups may have different serving sizes. Either way, it’s always a good idea to read the nutrition label to know the number of calories, serving size, and nutritional value.

Factors that can influence serving size

1. Ingredients:

The ingredients in the soup can significantly affect the serving size. For example, a cream-based soup will have more calories than a broth-based soup, which means that the serving size for a cream-based soup should be smaller. Similarly, the calorie content of a soup with ingredients like cheese or heavy creams should also be considered while determining the serving size.

2. Appetite:

A person’s appetite is another factor that can influence the serving size. A hearty eater may require a more substantial serving size than someone with a light appetite. In such cases, it’s best to stick to the nutritional label and control calorie intake.

3. Meal Planning:

If soup is a part of a larger meal, the portion size may vary. For example, if soup is part of a three-course meal, the serving size should be smaller than if it is a part of a two-course meal or served alone.

The importance of portion control

Portion control is essential when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. Following these guidelines for serving size helps avoid calorie overload and overeating.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that having a healthy and balanced diet is not just about portion control but also having healthy ingredients. Soups loaded with vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins will not only satisfy hunger but also provide essential nutrients to the body.


While serving sizes can be tricky, it’s essential to know how much to serve of different types of soups. A serving size of soup is generally around 1 cup, but ingredients, appetite, and meal planning can significantly change the serving size.

To maintain a healthy diet, it’s crucial to practice portion control and to include soups with healthy ingredients. By following these guidelines for serving size, it’s possible to enjoy soups without worrying about overeating.


Here are some of the most common questions about serving sizes:

  • Q: What is the difference between a serving size and portion size?
  • A: A serving size is a standardized amount of food, while a portion size is the actual amount of food you eat.
  • Q: How can I estimate portion sizes?
  • A: Use common household items to estimate portion sizes. For example, a serving of protein should be about the size of a deck of cards, while one cup of vegetables is about the size of a baseball.
  • Q: Should I use measuring cups and scales to measure portions?
  • A: While measuring cups and scales can be helpful, it’s not always necessary. Estimating portion sizes is a handy skill that can help fuel healthy eating habits.


  • Barris, A., & Graubard, B. (2020). Eating too much versus too little: Which has a greater impact on long-term weight gain? International Journal of Obesity, 44(2), 277-283. doi:10.1038/s41366-019-0399-7
  • Kohlstadt, I. (2017). Advancing medicine with food and nutrients (3rd ed., p. 291). Boca Raton: CRC Press.
  • The Nutrition Source. (2021). Healthy Eating Plate. Retrieved 4 May 2021, from

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