12 Holiday Soup Recipes

 

Tis’ the season for soup! When the cold weather rolls in, I like to serve a satisfying soup for the first course of a festive meal. I also use several of these same recipes as a hearty, “one-pot” weeknight meal throughout the winter. Whatever your soup needs, here are twelve of my most popular potage recipes. (I have even included two chilled soup recipes, for those who live in warmer climates, and would like to start a holiday meal off with a refreshing soup).

Serving soup as the first course of a party meal is my “go-to” plan whenever I entertain. Soups are easy to prepare, and they can be made the day before your soirée, and gently reheated before the first course of your meal. To make the presentation extra festive, serve in small bowls, placed in the middle of a pretty plate. Offer warm crusty bread, homemade mini-muffins, or fancy whole grain crackers, on the side.

 

 

We have all heard of the “twelve days of Christmas,” but today I am sharing my “twelve soups for Christmas,” with hopes that these tasty recipes will inspire a Ho, Ho, Ho in your kitchen.

Happy Holidays Everyone!


 

 

Butternut Squash Soup with Quick Cashew “Cream”

Makes 4 to 6 servings

5½ cups cubed butternut squash, (about 1 medium squash, peeled, seeded and cut in 1½-inch pieces)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend

¼ teaspoon sea salt

2⁄3 cup raw cashews

2½ cups filtered or spring water, plus more as needed

½ cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage or nondairy milk of your choice

4 to 6 basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

Put the cubed squash, olive oil and Italian seasoning in a large bowl and toss gently until thoroughly coated. Arrange the squash in a single layer on the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the squash is soft and slightly golden. Put the pan on a wire rack and sprinkle with the sea salt. Let the squash cool for 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the cashews and 1⁄2 cup water in a high-performance blending appliance and process until smooth and creamy. Transfer the cashew “cream” to a small bowl, leaving about 2 heaping tablespoons in the blender container. Add the cooled squash, coconut milk and 2 cups water to the cashew “cream” in the blender container and process until smooth, adding more water, about 1⁄4 cup at a time, as needed, to achieve the desired consistency.

Pour the soup into a medium-sized saucepan, cover and cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until heated through. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Using a small spoon, swirl about 1 tablespoon of the cashew “cream” into the top of each serving, in a pretty pattern. Garnish with a basil leaf or parsley sprig. Serve piping hot.

 


 

 

 

Roasted Cauliflower and Green Pea Soup

Makes 6 servings

1 medium head cauliflower, cut in florets

1 medium onion, rough chopped

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon crushed dried rosemary

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

2⁄3 cup filtered or spring water, plus more as needed

1 cup frozen green peas, slightly thawed

1 cup nondairy milk

1 cup vegetable broth

1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed

1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.

Put the cauliflower, onion, olive oil, cumin, paprika, rosemary and garlic powder in a large bowl and stir with a large spoon to combine. Transfer the cauliflower mixture to the prepared pan and spread in a single layer. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring once or twice. Cool for 30 minutes.

Put the water, peas, nondairy milk, vegetable broth, 1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt, cayenne pepper and cauliflower mixture in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding more water as needed to achieve the desired consistency. Pour into a soup pot. Put the pot over medium-low heat and cook until heated through, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Season with additional salt, to taste. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with parsley, if desired.

 


 

 

 

Quick Sweet Potato Soup

Makes 3 to 4 servings

2 very large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

3 celery stalks, with leaves, sliced

4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage

6 cups vegetable broth, plus more as needed

½ cup chopped fresh parsley

Put the sweet potato, celery, cabbage and vegetable broth in a medium-sized soup pot. Add more broth if needed to cover the vegetables. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, decrease the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes. Add the parsley and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the vegetables are soft. Serve hot.

 

Quick Red Lentil Curry Soup

Makes 4 servings

32 ounces vegetable broth

2 cups peeled and diced red or white potatoes

1½ cups sliced carrots

1 cup red lentils, sorted and thoroughly rinsed (see note)

8 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, diced

½ cup filtered or spring water, plus more as needed

¼ teaspoon curry powder

Put all of the ingredients in a medium-sized soup pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, decrease the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 45 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the lentils are soft. Serve piping hot.

 


 

 

 

Cauliflower, Sweet Potato and Celery Chowder

Makes 8 servings

1 small bunch celery, with some leaves, rough chopped

½ medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets

2 very large or 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

6 carrots, rough chopped

1 can (15 ounces) white beans, drained and rinsed

¾ cup chopped fresh parsley

10 cups vegetable broth, plus more as needed

Sea salt, to taste

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Put the celery, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, carrots, beans and parsley in a large soup pot. Add the broth, plus more if needed to equal the same level as the vegetables. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, decrease the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 50 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Transfer 4 cups of the soup to a blender and process until smooth. Pour the blended soup back into the soup pot and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve piping hot.

 


 

 

 

Winter Warming Soup

MAKES 8 SERVINGS

6 stalks celery, with leaves, chopped

1 sweet onion, chopped

1 teaspoon italian seasoning or other herb blend

8 cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari

3 cups water, plus more as needed

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

5 medium red potatoes, peeled and chopped

5 carrots, chopped

2 cups chopped green beans

6 large cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced

1 can (15 ounces) white beans, drained and rinsed

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Put the celery, onion, Italian seasoning, and 1⁄4 cup of the broth in a large soup pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes, adding more broth as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the mixture becomes dry. Stir in the tamari and cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery and onion are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the remaining broth, the water, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, carrots, green beans, and mushrooms. Decrease the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Stir in the white beans and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes longer, adding more water as needed to achieve the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve piping hot.

 


 

 

 

Creamy Broccoli Soup

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

6 cups broccoli florets

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 cups cold non-dairy milk

1 teaspoon organic tamari (to taste)

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning

Dash cayenne pepper

Freshly ground pepper

 

Place broccoli in steamer and steam over medium-low heat about 7 minutes or until crisp tender.

Place broccoli, garlic, non-dairy milk, tamari, sea salt, seasoning and pepper into a blender. Process until the mixture is well combined and creamy in texture. Transfer to a medium sauce pan and cook until the soup is simmering slightly. Make sure the soup is completely heated through. Serve in deep soup bowls with whole grain crackers or bread on the side.

 


 

 

 

Chilled Avocado Soup

Makes 4 to 6 servings

2 small avocados

12 ounces soft regular or silken tofu, drained and cubed

1⁄4 sweet onion, chopped

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 small clove garlic, chopped

1 heaping teaspoon maple sugar

1/2 teaspoon cilantro, or ½ tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 filtered or spring water, plus more as needed

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Chopped fresh parsley (garnish)

Peel and chop the avocados. Put the chopped avocados, tofu, onion, lemon juice, garlic, maple sugar, cilantro, cayenne and 2 tablespoon of water in a blender and process until creamy. If the soup is too thick, add more water, 2 tablespoons at a time, up to 1/2 cup, to achieve the desired consistency. Transfer to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, chill 4 small soup bowls or 6 oversized espresso-style cups. To serve, ladle the soup into the  chilled bowls. Garnish each serving with a sprinkling of parsley. Serve immediately.

 


 

 

 

Cool Cucumber Soup

Makes 4 servings

 

2 medium cucumbers

12 ounces soft regular or silken organic tofu, drained and cubed

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon dried dill weed, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

 

Cut 4 thin slices of cucumber and set aside for the garnish. Peel, seed, and chop the remaining

cucumbers. Put the chopped cucumbers, tofu, onion, lemon juice, garlic, brown sugar and 1⁄4 teaspoon of the dill weed in a blender and process until creamy. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the remaining dill weed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, chill four soup bowls. To serve, ladle the soup into the chilled bowls. Garnish each bowl with a cucumber slice topped with a sprinkling of dill weed. Serve immediately.

 


 

 

 

Best Butternut Bisque

Makes 6 to 8 servings

 

6 cups cubed butternut squash (1-inch cubes)

4 cups cauliflower florets

½ cup chopped onion (about 1 small onion)

1 teaspoon Italian or all-purpose seasoning

2 apples, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon sea salt

2 ½ cups vegetable broth, plus more as needed

2 tablespoons maple syrup

 

Fit a steamer basket into a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add 2 inches of cold water then add the squash. Cover, bring to a boil, and steam for 7 minutes. Add the cauliflower and onion. Sprinkle with the Italian or all-purpose seasoning and steam for 20 minutes or until the squash and cauliflower are both very soft.

 

Put the squash mixture in a large bowl. Let cool for 15 minutes. Add the apples, cinnamon, ginger, and salt and stir to coat. Put half of the mixture in a blender. Add 1¼ cups vegetable broth and 1 tablespoon maple syrup and process until smooth. Pour into a soup pot. Put the second half of the squash mixture in the blender. Add the remaining 1¼ cups vegetable broth and 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and process until smooth. Add to the soup pot, and then stir the two batches together. If the soup seems too thick, add more vegetable broth to taste. Put the pot over medium-low heat, cover, and simmer, stirring often, until heated through, about 10 minutes. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls.

This soup may be made up to 24 hours ahead of time. If making in advance, let the soup cool after blending, then pour the cooled soup into an airtight container and refrigerate (see note).

Chef’s Note: To reheat the soup, pour it into a pot. If soup seems too thick add more vegetable broth, to taste. Cook for about 15 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring often, until heated through.

 


 

 

 

Penne and Lettuce Soup

Makes 3 to 4 Servings

4 cups vegetable broth

1 cup whole-grain penne

3 ounces smoked or baked tofu, cubed

1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Put the broth in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir in the penne, tofu, and turmeric. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the penne is tender but firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the lettuce and simmer just until it wilts but is still bright green, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

 


 

 

 

Velvety Carrot Soup

MAKES 4 to 6 SERVINGS

 

5 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 medium white potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk, plus more as needed

1 cup vegetable broth, plus more as needed

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon italian seasoning

1⁄2 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Steam the carrots and potatoes until soft but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the nondairy milk, broth, brown sugar, italian seasoning, and tamari and stir to combine. 

Put half of the mixture in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a soup pot. Repeat with the remaining mixture, then stir the two batches together.

Put the pot over medium-low heat and simmer, stirring often, until heated through, about 10 minutes, adding more broth or nondairy milk to achieve the desired consistency.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with the parsley if desired.

 


 

 

 

Quick Red Lentil Curry Soup

Makes 4 servings

 

Needing only fifteen minutes to prep, with only seven ingredients to assemble, this soup is an excellent candidate for a nutritious lunch or informal supper. As the red lentils cook, they break down to magically thicken the broth. Before you know it, you have a hearty delicious soup, ready to serve.

 

32 ounces vegetable broth

2 cups peeled and diced red or white potatoes

1½ cups sliced carrots

1 cup red lentils, sorted and thoroughly rinsed (see note)

8 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, diced

½ cup filtered or spring water, plus more as needed

¼ teaspoon curry powder

 

Put all of the ingredients in a medium-sized soup pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, decrease the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 45 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the lentils are soft. Add more water, as needed, if the soup becomes too thick as it cooks. Serve piping hot.

 

Chef’s Note: To sort the lentils, spread them out in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Remove any stones, dirt, broken lentils, or other debris. The lentils are now ready to be rinsed and used in your recipe. You may also sort split peas or dried beans in this manner.