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I Need an Elegant Soup Recipe

Here's the thing. Every holiday season, my friends and I do an over-the-top dinner party, centering around a Prime Rib, called "Beast Feast."

The last few years, I've been doing a killer lobster bisque as a first course, but I'd like to change it up this year. Any suggestions?



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  1. Ina Garten's cream of mushroom soup.

    Trust me.

    You're welcome.


    5 Replies
    1. re: charmedgirl

      +1 for Ina's cream of mushroom soup. It's heavenly. I have served it with a melted brie crostini.

        1. re: itryalot

          Ha! I looked it up and copied it out yesterday after reading these posts. I assume this is the correct link:


          1. re: itryalot

            Oh, sorry! It is on a bunch of webpages all over the internet (food network, blogs, etc.) that I didn't think to include it. The one JoanN linked to is it. Seriously delicious, especially if you follow the recipe and actually make the mushroom stock. I served it at Thanksgiving and people were scrapping the bowls with their spoons -- including me!

          1. I must be more itred than I thought, I could of sworn that your post read "I Need an Elephant Soup Recipe", woke me up a bit though!

            1. More tired .... but I've done a clear, rich chicken broth, enriched with sherry with smallish chicken/pancetta/parmesan ravioli floating in it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: lrostron

                Sounds elegant.
                How about this. Make Irostron's rich chicken broth and set aside what you need for your soup. Take the rest and reduce it down until, when cold, it makes a firm gelatin. Cut the gelatin in squares. Seal them between wonton skins. To serve gently simmer these gelatin filled, flat, wontons in the set aside broth. Ladle into your soup plates and garnish use a thin slice or two of mushroom and a little chopped chives.

              2. John Folse's oyster rockefeller soup: http://www.jfolse.com/recipes/soups/s...
                Crab and brie soup: http://www.louisianaseafood.com/recip...
                Or, how about a turtle soup? Commander's Palace's turtle soup is divine: http://www.commanderspalace.com/desti...

                1. Something very simple but elegant and perhaps surprising: Marcella Hazan's immortal Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion. Marcella herself announces in the recipe that many prefer to eat it with a spoon than as a sauce, and I have to say that this is marvelous served as a soup - it's always eaten to the last drop, even by folks like me who don't care for what usually passes for tomato soup. (I usually take the cooked onion and put it through the food processor and add it back into the soup for body and texture when serving this as a soup)


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Karl S

                    I love the Celeriac and Porcini Soup from Breakfast Lunch Tea at the Rose Bakery in Paris by Rose Carrarini. It's easy to make, quite delicious, and also quite elegant. I served it last weekend with a bit of low fat yoghurt added at the last minute. Creme fraiche would be lovely, too. I'll post the recipe if anybody is interested.

                    Another tres chic soup is the Carrot and Red Pepper Soup from the Chez Panisse Cookbook. It's a simple carrot soup with another smaller batch of soup made by simmering red bell peppers in butter, etc. pureeing and then ladeling a dollop on top of the carrot soup. Will post if interested. I think it may already be here on CH somewhere.

                    1. re: oakjoan

                      If your main is going to be quite heavy and rich, then why not go for a soup that is rich in vegetables, but not cream? An asparagus puree, carrot or squash with ginger, or even a pea puree (use frozen sweet peas) with fresh mint makes a lovely start to any meal, Beast Feast or otherwise.

                  2. I find a consomme to be elegant. Especially if it is a pheasant crystal clear consomme with a little bit of finely diced onion & carrot.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sarah galvin

                      I just made a beef consomme recently for the first time. Kind of an interesting process with the egg whites and egg shells stirred in to "capture" the little bits to clarify it. I hadn't given any thought to how that was done before needing one for something else.

                      1. re: karykat

                        Just curious what you needed it for. I did it once, many years ago, for a consomme Madrilene. Talk about elegant! Awful lot of work, though. And I wonder if it's too refined today for all but the most sophisticated palates. I'm sure some of my friends would appreciate it, but not many.

                    2. I like the mushroom soup recipe from the Les Halles cookbook. It has no cream, at all. I make it every year as part of my Christmas dinner. Delicious!