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 »**
In this traditional Lucchese soup, vegetables and beans are slow-cooked until little to no bite remains, making it a rustic, comforting dish. Be sure to give any tougher vegetables all the time they need to
scompare, or disappear. The quantities are flexible, so use whatever you have on hand. Get the recipe for Italian Bean and Vegetable Soup »
Chickpea and Pasta Soup
White Bean Soup with Fennel Seeds and Broccoli Rabe
This spicy carrot ginger soup is an easy winter weeknight meal. See the recipe for
Carrot Soup with Leeks and Ginger
The heat of this deep-red ancho chile soup and its pasilla chile garnish is balanced by the addition of cooling crema and thinly sliced avocado.
Get the recipe for Ancho Chile Soup with Avocado, Crema, and Chile Pasilla (Sopa de Chile Ancho) »
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 »
This creamy, rich soup is a favorite in Mexico City. In summer it’s usually chilled like a vichyssoise, but it’s also served hot, especially in the cooler months.
Get the recipe for Chilled Mexican Potato and Leek Soup (Sopa de Poro y Papa) »
The recipe for this garlicky bread soup comes from Rosa Filipe of O Barro restaurant in Redondo, Portugal, who claims it is nicknamed “beggar’s soup” because it contains no meat or fish.
Get the recipe for Bread and Garlic Soup with Cilantro »
Onion Fennel and Mushroom Soup
After flavoring the beans for this creamy winter soup, smoked ham hock is shredded and pan-fried, rendering it crisp and intensifying its flavor.
Get the recipe for White Bean and Lacinato Kale Soup with Smoked Ham Hock »
The chef of
Lucky Leek in Berlin, Germany, Josita Hartanto makes her minestrone with hearty kohlrabi and briny green olives. The soup is brightened by a fresh pesto, which is stirred in just before serving. Get the recipe for Green Minestrone with Kohlrabi, Olives, and Spinach Pesto »
“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 »
The secret to this soup is a flavorful aromatic base of tomatoes, garlic, and onions—called a recado—that is pureed and fried before the beans go into the pot.
Get the recipe for Mexican Fava Bean Soup (Sopa de Habas) »
Brilliantly green and vibrantly flavored, this simple parsley soup–garnished with fiery fresh-grated horseradish–is the perfect first course for a Passover seder feast.
Get the recipe for Cream of Parsley Soup with Fresh Horseradish »
Pumpkin Soup with Orange and Parmigiano-Reggiano
Pistou, the Provençal cousin of pesto, is stirred into this summer vegetable soup just before serving.
Get the recipe for Soupe au Pistou »
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
Roast or sauté extra squash over the weekend (butternut or calabaza are perfect) to make quick weeknight work of this garlicky, spicy pumpkin soup.
Get the recipe for Caribbean Winter Squash Soup »
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 »
As ethereal as its origins, this unusual, chilled summer soup is a specialty at the
Singular Patagonia, an otherworldly hotel that borders Sena Última Esperanza (or Last Hope Sound). It’s made velvety and rich by the local avocados, which are called paltas. Get the recipe for Avocado Soup »
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 »
Traveling through the lower reaches of Gascony, you will be offered a steaming bowl of garbure to begin almost every lunch and dinner.
Get the recipe for Hearty Vegetable Stew with Duck Confit and Cabbage (Garbure Gasconne) »
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 »