Cold weather isn't all bad: That (seemingly relentless) chill in the air does also mean that soup season is upon us. Whether your family is a lover of chunky or smooth styles, or prefers colorful or rustic, soup is always a crowd-pleasing meal that comforts everyone as much as it fortifies us.
For all it's one-pot simplicity, a properly made soup can be a well-rounded meal in a bowl—especially when it's vegetable-based. (This is true whether you're cooking with an Instant Pot, a slow-cooker, or just your favorite Dutch oven A fortified vegetable broth or homemade stock, loads of veggies and beans, and satisfying grains take the center stage in these vegetable-forward winter soups, and meat just plays the occasional supporting player.
And we're not just talking about minestrone recipes. When it comes to inspiration, we've looked everywhere from Mexico to Japan to Provence. Filled with everything from mushrooms to kale to carrots and chickpeas, these beloved bowls have everything we're craving.
Cream of Tomato Soup
Classic tomato soup gets brightness and body from crushed tomatoes; smoky depth from bacon; and a luxurious finish from a little crème fraîche. **See the recipe for Cream of Tomato Soup »**
Chickpea and Pasta Soup
This spicy carrot ginger soup is an easy winter weeknight meal. See the recipe for Carrot Soup with Leeks and Ginger
Unlike a classic slow-cooked minestrone, the vegetables are cooked quickly to preserve their bright flavor. Get the recipe for Umbrian Vegetable Soup (Zuppa di Verdure all’Agliata) »
Braised onions, bread, and melted cheese are the main components of this timeless dish, which epitomizes the robust cuisine of Parisian brasseries. Get the recipe for French Onion Soup »
“Borscht was traditionally a fermented soup,” says Cortney Burns, who adapted the classic beet base to one featuring a combination of fresh and fermented carrots and beets instead. “The warming spices, fresh ginger, and alliums bring out the natural sweet flavor of the carrots,” she says. Burns tops her soup with anything from salt-brined caraway to shredded or wilted vegetables, pickled ginger, dill, or yogurt, but play around with combinations you like. For a red version, use purple or red carrots and red beets. For a yellow version, use yellow carrots and golden beets. Pass the finished soup through a fine-mesh sieve for a completely silky texture. Get the recipe for Fermented Carrot Borscht with Ginger and Turmeric »
Pistou, the Provençal cousin of pesto, is stirred into this summer vegetable soup just before serving. Get the recipe for Soupe au Pistou »
Pear, Shallot, and Delicata Squash Soup (September 2011)
Pear and autumn squash have sweet and savory depth in this elegant soup, brightened by a splash of vinegar and a drizzle of maple syrup or olive oil
This recipe for paprika-spiced cauliflower soup comes from chef Andrea Németh at the restaurant Bagolyvár in Budapest. To form the tiny dumplings, called galuska, she simply drops bits of dough into the simmering broth. Get the recipe for Paprika-Spiced Cauliflower Soup (Karfiolleves) »
Rice and garbanzos add body to this vegetarian soup laced with fresh greens and herbs. Serve it chilled—as we have done—or, if you prefer, just slightly warmed. Get the recipe for Cold Yogurt and Herb Soup with Chickpeas »
A garnish of fried mushrooms and a drizzle of spiced mint butter adds elegance to a simple pureed vegetable soup.
Mild ingredients—mushrooms, tofu—are nestled in a fiery, vinegar-laced broth.
Author Nancy Harmon Jenkins uses olive oil three ways in this version of the venerable Italian soup: for sautéing garlic, rubbing on the toasts that accompany the dish, and finishing the soup. Get the recipe for Tuscan Bean Soup »
A handful of soybeans and fresh spinach lightens up this Chinese restaurant favorite. Get the recipe for Spinach and Edamame Egg Drop Soup »
This clean-tasting, simple miso soup from chef Chris Fischer is made with dashi, a fish broth reinforced here with kombu and bonito flakes. Get the recipe for Miso Soup with Scallions and Shiso »
In this Indian-inspired dish lentils are flavored with caraway and coriander to make a quick, fragrant soup. Get the recipe for Lentil Soup with Caraway and Minted Yogurt »
This is not a soup but a simply prepared vegetable side flavored by a light, flavorful broth. The sprouts’ mellow creaminess is tempered by the spicy warmth of the liquid. Get the recipe for Crisp-Tender Brussels Sprouts in 7-Spice Broth »