21 of 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 Zuppa Santé or go luxe with Truffle-Infused French Onion Soup. Need something meatless? 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 21

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.

02 of 21

Truffle-Infused French Onion Soup

Truffle-Infused French Onion Soup
© Frances Janisch

This version of French onion soup calls for truffle-infused pecorino cheese, which is melted to form a marvelously gooey topping for the oniony broth.

03 of 21

Smoky Butternut Squash Soup

Smoky Butternut Squash Soup

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.

04 of 21

Barley Soup with Scotch

Barley Soup with Scotch
© Fredrika Stjärne

The idea for this hearty, risotto-style soup came to Frédéric Morin while he was sitting on a combine in his uncle's barley field. He could smell the peat from the neighboring farm, which reminded him of Scotch whisky.

05 of 21

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's Justin Chapple tops the soup with crispy broccoli florets and croutons.

06 of 21

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, soppable soup.

07 of 21

Zuppa Santé

Zuppa Sante
© Simon Bajada

"This dish is traditionally served on Christmas day in the area of Solopaca," a hilly wine-growing region. "Some cookbooks call it zuppa santé di nonna Carolina"—Grandma Carolina's santé soup. Packed with meatballs and leafy greens, it's reminiscent of the Italian wedding soup popular in Italian-American cuisine.

08 of 21

Posole Rojo

Posole Rojo
Victor Protasio

"Posole is the choose-your-own-adventure of Mexican cuisine," Priya Krishna says. "Start with a stew speckled with chewy bits of hominy and seasoned with lime and braised pork. Depending on the region, that soup could be green from jalapeños and tomatillos (if you're in Guerrero) or red from guajillo or ancho chiles (in areas such as Mexico City and Jalisco). Then, choose from a selection of toppings: finely chopped onions, sliced avocado, lime, radishes, lettuce, queso fresco. Go big, or keep it simple. That's the true beauty of posole: No two bowls look or taste exactly alike."

09 of 21

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, and adds sautéed ones at the end as a topping.

10 of 21

Frogmore Stew with Old Bay Aioli

Frogmore Stew with Old Bay Aioli
Eva Kolenko

Chef Joe Kindred's deeply flavorful fish stock is what sets this recipe apart from a traditional low-country boil. Pile some of the seafood into a shallow bowl and ladle the strained cooking liquid over the top for a more refined stew, or save the golden stock to make the best seafood chowder of your life the next day. Whatever you do, do not let it go to waste.

11 of 21

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.

12 of 21

Shrimp-and-Yuca Dumplings Soup

Shrimp-and-Yuca Dumplings Soup
Jennifer Causey

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-and-yuca meatballs, is light but satisfying.

13 of 21

Lentil Velouté with Cabbage and Toasted Brioche

Lentil Veloute with Cabbage and Toasted Brioche Recipe
Cedric Angeles

Whipped cream flavored with coffee brings an unexpected but welcome layer of earthiness to this creamy lentil soup. Crispy bacon and mushrooms, plus a slice of toasted brioche, will transport you to the bistros of Bordeaux. Gently cooking the lentils just past tender and then giving them a quick puree in the blender yields a silky consistency—no strainer required.

14 of 21

Filipino Beef Shank Soup

Filipino Beef Shank Soup
Greg DuPree

Bulalo, a brothy stew from the Philippines, is enriched by the marrow and collagen from meaty beef shanks. Corn, green beans, and cabbage added near the end of cooking deliver a contrasting fresh crunch.

15 of 21

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.

16 of 21

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.

17 of 21

Tortellini in Brodo

Tortellini in Brodo Recipe
Justin Walker

If you don't feel like making homemade pasta dough for the tortellini, use 112 square wonton wrappers instead, cutting them into two-inch squares if necessary. Then simply follow the instructions for filling and shaping the tortellini.

18 of 21

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 Food & Wine Best New Chef Nina Compton, chef-owner of New Orleans hot spot 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."

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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.

20 of 21

Celery Root Bisque with Walnut-Parsley Gremolata

Celery Root Bisque with Walnut-Parsley Gremolata
© Con Poulos

Former Food & Wine editor Kay Chun sneaks a small piece of Parmesan cheese into this lovely soup, giving it a flavor boost. To make it extra special, she serves the silky bisque topped with a nutty, crunchy, and vibrant walnut-and-parsley gremolata.

21 of 21

Farro and White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard and Herb Oil

Farro and White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard and Herb Oil
© John Kernick

Chef Dan Kluger's soup is loaded with beans, grains, and vegetables and topped with a fresh and vibrant herb oil.

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