Our Best Christmas Soup Recipes

French Seafood Bisque with Baguette
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

For some, Christmas soup is a tradition. For others, it's a cozy way to enjoy the holiday. Whether you need an appetizer, a second course, or a next-level main dish, we rounded up our favorite soups to accent the holiday meal. Ladle up some Christmas tradition with Porcini and Chestnut Soup or go for luxurious comfort with Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Puff Pastry Croutons. Need something strictly vegetable-based? Try this robust Miso-Roasted Vegetable Soup. Whether you're a traditionalist or you're ready to begin a new Christmas soup tradition, our guide has you covered.

01 of 16

Two-Mushroom Velouté

Two-Mushroom Veloute. Photo © Tina Rupp
© Tina Rupp

The secret to this mushroom soup recipe from the late renowned chef Joël Robuchon is a little crème fraîche. The soup and sautéed mushrooms can be refrigerated separately overnight and gently reheated.

02 of 16

Smoky Butternut Squash Soup

Smoky Butternut Squash Soup
© Christina Holmes

This creamy soup gets a little smoky heat from canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, but then gets cooled down with a swirl of crème fraîche.

03 of 16

Broccoli-Spinach Soup with Crispy Broccoli Florets and Croutons

Broccoli-Spinach Soup with Crispy Broccoli Florets and Croutons
© Con Poulos

Given this soup's supremely silky texture, you'll think it's made with cream, but that texture actually comes from a potato pureed into the broth. For contrast, F&W culinary director at large Justin Chapple tops the soup with crispy broccoli florets and croutons.

04 of 16

French Seafood Bisque with Baguette

French Seafood Bisque with Baguette
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

The freshest seafood — preferably sourced from your local fishmonger — is the highlight of this velvety-smooth bisque. Take care to cook each type as directed to preserve its delicate flavor and texture. This resourceful recipe uses every last bit of your briny haul to yield a rich seafood stock that enhances this thick soup.

05 of 16

Pozole Rojo

Posole Rojo
Victor Protasio

This long-simmered tomato- and pork-based soup was a favorite of food journalist Priya Krishna's when she lived in Mexico. "Choose from a selection of toppings: finely chopped onions, sliced avocado, lime, radishes, lettuce, queso fresco. Go big, or keep it simple," she says. "That's the true beauty of pozole: No two bowls look or taste exactly alike."

06 of 16

Porcini and Chestnut Soup

Porcini-and-Chestnut Soup
© Jonny Valiant

Chef Michael Tusk uses porcini mushrooms in two forms in this velvety soup. He blends dried ones with chestnuts for a deep layer of earthy flavor, then adds sautéed ones at the end as a topping.

07 of 16

Miso-Roasted Vegetable Soup

Miso Roasted Vegetable Soup Recipe
Victor Protasio

This soup employs an arsenal of umami flavor boosters such as miso, soy sauce, canned tomatoes, and a dash of smoked paprika. The roasted red bell peppers, carrots, onions, and kabocha squash transform into a hearty, robust, totally complex soup that goes great with a crusty hunk of bread.

08 of 16

Shrimp and Yuca Dumplings Soup

Shrimp-and-Yuca Dumplings Soup
Jennifer Causey

Restaurateurs Hannah Black and Carla Perez-Gallardo developed this recipe in the style of Italian wedding soup, with meatballs and cooked greens in a savory broth. Their tropical version, made with collard greens and tender shrimp-yuca meatballs, is light but satisfying.

09 of 16

Steak and Shrimp Hot Pot

Steak and Shrimp Hot Pot Broth Recipe
Justin Walker

Cooking tender rib eye, fresh mushrooms, and sweet shrimp tableside makes for an interactive holiday meal. The broth, already seasoned and spiced with fresh aromatics, oils, and sauces, deepens in flavor as you cook vegetables; meats; and, eventually, noodles throughout the night. Keep the broth at a simmer to safely cook each ingredient. 

10 of 16

Black Bean and Chorizo Soup

Black Bean and Chorizo Soup
© Christina Holmes

Kathy Gunst's cookbook Soup Swap is filled with dishes like this hearty black bean soup studded with crispy chorizo that will quickly find a place in your recipe rotation. This soup is easy to double and the perfect make-ahead meal: Freeze in individual portions and pull out what you need for a satisfying dinner for last-minute houseguests.

11 of 16

PEI-Style Smoky Clam Chowder

PEI Style Smoky Clam Chowder Recipe
Graydon Herriott

Finnan haddie, or cold-smoked cured haddock, gives this brothy chowder a deep, clean, smoky foundation that highlights sweet clams without overwhelming them. Using a mixture of lightly mashed potatoes and half-and-half to thicken and enrich the soup gives it a silky, but not heavy, texture.

12 of 16

Smoked Ham Hock and Lentil Soup

Smoked Ham-Hock and Lentil Soup
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

"I love making this lentil soup when the weather begins to cool," says 2017 F&W Best New Chef Nina Compton, chef-owner of New Orleans hotspot Compère Lapin. "The ham-hock aroma hangs around the kitchen beautifully; the smell alone makes you warmer. Adding a little ginger and lemongrass brightens the soup and reminds me of being back home in St. Lucia. Using local okra reminds me of my Louisiana home and adds a different texture."

13 of 16

Butternut Squash and Pork Soup with Fish Sauce and Tender Herbs

Butternut Squash and Pork Soup with Fish Sauce and Tender Herbs
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

In Vietnam, kabocha squash is simmered with pork to make a soup called canh bi do thit heo. This riff on that classic dish swaps in mild butternut, which holds its shape well and absorbs the rich flavors of the broth and pork while cooking quickly. Filled with tender ground pork marinated in fish sauce and sugar, this aromatic, brothy soup comes together in under an hour for a light and satisfying meal.

14 of 16

Caramelized Onion and Bread Soup with Brûléed Blue Cheese

Caramelized Onion and Bread Soup with Bruleed Blue Cheese
Greg DuPree

In this vegetarian version of classic French onion soup, blue cheese and oloroso sherry bring new layers of flavor and depth. Notes of toasted nuts and fruit compote in the sherry pair well with caramelized onions; its briny acidity cuts through the richness of the cheese.

15 of 16

Roasted Carrot Soup with Fresh Cheese and Black Bread

Roasted Carrot Soup with Fresh Cheese and Black Bread Recipe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Baltic black bread, traditionally made with rye flour and sourdough starter, is dense and sour, with a tight crumb. Its lush rye flavor gives this vegetarian soup earthy depth. A sprinkle of homemade cheese curds and fresh herbs lighten up each bowl.

16 of 16

Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Puff Pastry Croutons

Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Puff Pastry Croutons

This creamy, soul-warming soup from the legendary Ina Garten's cookbook Modern Comfort Food captures everything there is to love about chicken pot pie. Plenty of aromatic vegetables, a rich, silky broth spiked with tarragon and cream sherry, and a generous amount of tender chicken deliver pure comfort in every spoonful. The flaky, buttery puff pastry croutons (made from store-bought dough!) are an irresistible finishing touch.

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