26 Soul-Warming Vegetarian Soups
Lemony Roasted Asparagus Soup
Chef Cassie Piuma prepares her version of the lemony Greek soup avgolemono with a broth made from asparagus trimmings. Her other unconventional additions include roasted asparagus and oyster mushrooms.
Sweet Potato–Coconut Soup with Thai Curry
A trio of coconut--coconut oil, coconut milk and toasted coconut flakes--makes its way into this fragrant and lovely twist on a classic Thanksgiving soup from cookbook author Melissa Clark.
Cabbage Velouté with Poached Pears and Croutons
Christopher Kostow is a big fan of cabbage; when he makes this soup, he uses cabbage juice to amplify the flavor, but it's also great made with vegetable stock.
Spicy Chickpea Soup
Chickpeas are used as the base for this Indian-flavored creamy (though cream-free) soup, which is prepared by first pureeing it, then simmering it, to save time.
Spinach Egg Drop Soup
This soup with ginger and spinach is great for fighting a cold.
Spicy Avocado-Cucumber Soup
This tangy, luscious soup is an excellent make-ahead dish: Simply puree everything except the garnish, then chill. For a milder version, scale back on the serrano.
Tofu, Eggplant and Shiitake Noodle Soup
The base for this tofu, eggplant and shiitake katiev ("noodle soup" in Cambodian) is a made-from-scratch vegetable stock with a long ingredient list, including two types of cabbage and dried Chinese mushrooms.
Roasted Green Tomato Basil Soup in Sourdough
This beautiful green soup pairs the tartness of green tomatoes with fragrant basil and thyme. Once you've finished off the soup you can eat the sourdough bread bowl.
Spicy Grain Soup
Based on a brothy tortilla soup, this fiery, substantial soup is full of nutty-tasting barley, brown rice and bulgur, creating a dish that's high in fiber. Mary Ellen Diaz says it's one of the most popular recipes she makes for First Slice's soup kitchen. "Latin flavors do well on the street," she explains.
Creamy Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Crisps
For an ingenious twist on the classic combination of broccoli and melted cheddar, Barbara Lynch serves a warming broccoli soup with cheddar crisps. Try making the crisps with Mimolette, an orange-hued semihard cheese from France, which has a milder, nuttier flavor than cheddar. The soup is equally good with cauliflower or celery root in place of the broccoli.
This velvety, richly flavored fennel soup has no cream; the exquisite texture comes from enriching the soup with eggs.
Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
Aged goat cheese is a key ingredient in this creamy soup from the Rif Mountains in northern Morocco. Paula Wolfert uses Midnight Moon by Cypress Grove, but goat Gouda also works well. The recipe for the spice blend makes more than you need, but any extra is excellent tossed with roasted vegetables.
Julianne Jones makes this lovely, luscious soup simply by pureeing celeriac (celery root) with celery and vegetable stock—there’s no cream. For an equally delightful chilled version, Jones recommends thinning the soup with a little more stock.
Shiitake-and-Swiss-Chard Soup with Hand-Cut Noodles
David Chang flavors this fabulous broth with dried shiitakes; fresh shiitakes intensify the flavor. The highlight: simple noodles thrown in at the end. "They're based on the udon I learned to make in Tokyo," Chang says.
Nordic Winter Vegetable Soup
Trina Hahnemann calls the root vegetables in this simple vegetarian soup the "gold of Nordic soil" because they're high in nutrients and grow well in cold climates.
Silky Eggplant Soup with Baby Peas and Radishes
“Moroccans never start a meal with soup,” says Mourad Lahlou. “Instead, they serve seven little salads, including an eggplant puree called zaalouk, which is often eaten with a lot of bread. This soup has the flavors of those traditional salads, but it looks and feels lighter and fresher.”
Curried Carrot Soup with Tarragon Oil
To make this healthy soup especially tasty, Naomi Pomeroy cooks the carrots with Madras curry powder, ginger and garlic. Before serving, she adds a little bit of Tabasco sauce and a drizzle of tarragon-infused oil.
Vegetable Soup with Fennel, Herbs and Parmesan Broth
Antioxidant-rich fennel is one of several good-for-you ingredients in this wonderful soup. Viana La Place simmers Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds in the broth to give it a rich, cheesy flavor. It's another example of the "nothing wasted" approach that Italians take to their cooking: "I also strain the soup and use the broth as a base for other dishes," La Place says.
Egyptian Red Lentil Soup
Known as shorbet ads, this vividly hued lentil soup is very popular in Egypt.
Curried Cauliflower Soup with Coconut and Chiles
Chef Annie Somerville thickens and enriches her fragrant cauliflower soup with unsweetened coconut milk. The thinly sliced jalapeño served on top adds a bright, fresh heat that’s delicious with the warm curry spices and sweet roasted cauliflower.
Creamy Carrot Soup with Scallions and Poppy Seeds
Marcia Kiesel's luxuriously creamy soups are the perfect starters for Thanksgiving dinner because they can be made in advance, then reheated and garnished just before serving.
Caramelized Onion and Bread Soup with Brûléed Blue Cheese
In their book Wine Food, sommelier Dana Frank and recipe developer Andrea Slonecker pair funky, bright wines with flavorful, vegetable-forward dishes. 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, and its briny acidity cuts through the richness of the cheese.
Root Vegetable Minestrone
This minestrone is exceptional because it’s packed with so many great vegetables and delicious toasted angel hair pasta.
Red Lentil and Vegetable Soup
Warm and perfectly vegetarian, this red lentil soup is loaded with fresh vegetables to satisfy even the pickiest of vegetarians.
Vegetable Soup with Pesto
A rich and earthy vegetable soup, filled with fresh springtime produce gets a hit of creaminess and fresh flavor from hand-pounded pesto from a mortar and pestle.
Indian Split-Pea and Vegetable Soup
Carrots, white potatoes, and spinach are our vegetables of choice here, but you could try green beans, zucchini, cauliflower, or sweet potatoes.