Rich and hearty soups to cure what ails you—and not all of them actually contain cream.
Is there anything more perfect than a steamy bowl of soup to fortify you on a bone-chilling winter’s day (or night)? Maybe, if you make it creamy soup. We love a good brothy bowl of noodles, but the comfort food factor ratchets up when you add cream, or simply a creamy texture, to the mix. These creamy soup recipes don’t even stray into stew or chowder territory, but they will warm you up and make you totally satisfied, no matter how blustery and frozen it is outside.
This twist on tomato soup brings in cumin, cayenne, and allspice for especially warming notes, plus chickpeas for heft and chard for a nutritious green accent (but you can also use ribbons of kale if that’s what you have). An optional poached egg on top makes the texture extra decadent, without any cream at all. Get our Roasted Tomato, Chickpea, and Swiss Chard Soup recipe.
A classic comfort food, homemade cream of mushroom soup is far better than anything out of a can, and hardly any more difficult. We use fresh creminis and dried porcinis to deepen the earthy, umami flavor. Get our Cream of Mushroom Soup recipe. (And consider floating blue cheese toasts on top.)
A luxurious bowl of sweet potato soup is saved from being one-note by the addition of fragrant star anise and spicy fresh ginger—plus a swirl of tart, ginger-infused sour cream or crème fraîche on top. Get our Sweet Potato-Star Anise Soup with Ginger Cream recipe.
Hearty greens in soup are underrated, but here’s another way to enjoy the satisfying combo. Three heads of roasted garlic add earthy but sweet flavor, while smoked paprika brings another bass note, and the soup is creamy thanks to pureed potato. You can use any sturdy green you like, but we’re particularly fond of flat leaf kale. Get our Roasted Garlic and Smoky Greens Soup recipe.
If you really love garlic, this silky soup from Dorie Greenspan lets it shine with minimal interference. Described by the author as Provence’s version of America’s chicken soup, this is great if you have a cold, but you should certainly eat it when you’re well too. It’s enriched with parmesan and egg yolks (up to six total); you can use the leftover egg whites for chocolate mousse. Get our Creamy French Garlic Soup recipe.
In America, it might be true that this is most often made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey (and perhaps even better known as a “Seinfeld” reference), but turkey mulligatawny soup is so richly spiced, it’s worth revisiting outside of November. And you can easily use chicken if you don’t have turkey on hand. A little coconut milk is what makes it creamy; if you use coconut oil in place of butter, it’s perfect for dairy-free folks. Get our Turkey Mulligatawny Soup recipe.
Tortilla soup is often brothy (and we love it that way too), but our version simmers corn tortillas in the pot until they disintegrate to thicken things up (in the same way that masa harina is often used as a thickener). This is a great way to use up leftover chicken, or you can buy a rotisserie chicken to make it a quick and easy dinner. Get our Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe.
You know it, you love it, and you shouldn’t relegate it to Thanksgiving (or fall, for that matter). Our roasted butternut squash soup includes some tart Granny Smith apple, mellow sauteed onion, and fresh sage. It’s topped with crunchy pumpkin seeds for a seasonal garnish, but toasted bread works just as well. Get our Roasted Butternut Squash Soup recipe.
Everything you love about a perfect baked potato, but in creamy, satisfying soup form. Sauteing the potatoes and onion in bacon fat amps up the flavor, and pureeing everything with chicken broth and milk makes it smooth as silk. Top with crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, chives, and sour cream—or whatever you like on your spuds. Get our Loaded Baked Potato Soup recipe.
Broccoli and cheddar soup is one of those things that can take you right back to childhood—in a good way or otherwise. But banish any thoughts of gloppy, canned, condensed soup that may haunt your memories; our version is made with fresh broccoli, a lot of cheddar, and a little sour cream, plus potatoes to help it achieve thick and creamy perfection. Get our Broccoli and Cheddar Soup recipe.
Sweet and earthy roasted pumpkin pureed with sherry, chicken broth, and heavy cream makes for a gorgeous bowl of soup, but it’s even better topped with bits of crisp bacon and toasted, herb-flecked croutons. If you can’t find sugar pumpkins, use any sweet winter squash. Get our Roasted Pumpkin Soup recipe.
12. Celery Root Soup
Knobbly, tentacled, pale tan celery root (also known as celeriac) may look unassuming—or even scary—in the produce aisle, but it has a nutty, sweet, and earthy flavor somewhat like a cross between (guess what) celery and turnips. It’s delicious simmered with potatoes and apples and blended into a creamy soup that doesn’t actually contain any cream or dairy. You can add diced sauteed apples for a textural contrast, or just serve crusty bread on the side. Get our Celery Root Soup recipe.
Naturally sweet carrots marry beautifully with the warm spices in a curry blend (best to buy fresh or make your own), and coconut milk makes this another creamy soup that’s also vegan (unless, of course, you swap in chicken broth). Get our Curried Carrot Soup recipe.
14. Asparagus Soup
Spring asparagus is almost here again, and this pale chartreuse soup highlights its delicate vegetal flavor with a little help from onion, garlic, butter, chicken broth, and crème fraîche. Fresh lemon juice further brightens the flavor, and a couple of asparagus shavings (easily made with a veggie peeler run down the length of a stalk) are a lovely garnish. Get our Creamy Asparagus Soup recipe.
15. Green Pea Soup
Another soup that celebrates the spring harvest, this one also happens to be great with frozen peas, so you can enjoy a jolt of vibrant green color and flavor even in the dead of winter. Sweet leeks, homemade vegetable stock, and a bit of mint amplify the freshness. The crème fraîche swirl on top is optional; without it, this is vegetarian (the creamy texture comes from the pureed peas). Get our Green Pea Soup recipe.