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Thanksgiving soup?

Do you serve soup at Thanksgiving dinner? I would like to, and am looking for ideas. I know butternut squash/apple soup is traditional, but any other suggestions? Vegetarian recipes a plus! TIA

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  1. I made a roasted chestnut soup a few years back - was very good and well received. I just roasted and peeled some chestnuts (maybe a potato or 2 as well) and pureed them in some homemade stock that I infused with some star anise.

    1 Reply
    1. re: howchow

      ohh lobster bisque is another good one. or creamy corn chowder

    2. Wild rice--cheesy, creamy and with (or without) bacon.

      6 Replies
      1. re: splatgirl

        Can't find it on the net K Paul has a very good cauliflower ham cream soup very eligant and rich i'm not at home post if you want me to find it.


        1. re: don515

          Sounds wonderful. Would love to have the recipel Thanks,

          1. re: peppergal

            will try to remember to post Sat night


            1. re: peppergal


              I have Cauiflower soup recipe in a PDF please send me your email and I will foward the recipe.



              1. re: don515

                Don515, I'm new to this, so please forgive my ignorance. I sent an email (outside chowhand, via regular email) to your email address (i.e., don515@aol.com) from my regular email address. Should I have sent it through Chowhound? Ohmygoodness, isn't it humbling to be new at something, once again? On the other hand, what a gift, many decades after first grade, still to be learning.

                I wasn't planning to serve your creamed cauliflower with ham soup for Thanksgiving, so no rush -- still, I'd love to have it. If you can help me figure out how to get my email to you, I'd appreciate it very much.

                Thanks -- and a happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


                1. re: peppergal


                  That should have worked but did not see-I get a lot of junk. Just resend
                  to don515@aol.com and put CAUIIFLOWER IN CAPS BOLD IN subject line so I see it. Having a late dinner tonight did buttteyfly cornish game hens with prosciutto sage cornbread stuffing-how bad can it be....


        2. I made a creamy, cheesy cauliflower recently. Quite good. I added thyme and a pinch of turmeric for color.
          Curry also goes really well, but it depends on your guests.

          1. We are discussing doing a creme of corn this year.

            1. I just did a corn chowder today as a trial run for my class Monday night. Yum.

              1 Reply
              1. +1 for chestnut soup and corn chowder.

                i also love to serve wild mushroom soup on Turkey Day.

                3 Replies
                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Love anything with wild mushrooms. Do you have a recipe?

                  1. re: mom22tots

                    the recipe from the original Silver Palate Cookbook is terrific. don't know if you have access to a copy of the book, so here's a link to it:

                    i cut the butter in half and use low fat evaporated milk instead of heavy cream. it still gets raves.

                    i also have my eye on this one from Wednesday's NY Times:

                    and i know a lot of Hounds like the recipes from Ina Garten, Cooks Illustrated, and Ruth Reichl. here's a good thread from a while back:

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Thanks ghg...the Silver Palate recipe looks great...and I knew you'd have something gluten free for me!!

                2. Actually, no. Meal's too complex and heavy to start with that, but I always like the idea.

                  1. I'm quite attached to starting dinner with a puree of fennel soup, finished with a dash of pernod. Been doing it for many years, every other or every third Thanksgiving. It's just something a little different.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                      i'd *love* to be able to serve fennel soup. those anise flavors are just so tricky with a large group - lotsa haters out there. lucky you for having a group that enjoys it...i'd be happy to have you all at my table any time :)

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Such a great reminder to step back and ask if the flavors you love will play well with a large group.
                        I love fennel too, but many people have never eaten it even.

                        1. re: monavano

                          yeah, i'm used to it. based on the disparate palates in my family you'd think none of us shared any DNA. heck, planning the "orphan" gatherings i used to host for all my friends who couldn't make it home for the holidays was actually easier ;)

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            All very true, you have to know your diners. I'm fortunate, when I do a waifs and strays holiday dinner, my guests all have adventurous palates!

                        1. re: mdzehnder

                          Happy to share. I've been making it for sooo long, I don't remember where the recipe came from, so I can't give proper credit.
                          Puree of Fennel Soup (for 6)

                          3/4 lb onions, sliced thin
                          3 T unsalted butter
                          1 1/2 lb fennel bulbs, trimmed, sliced thin
                          1 T fresh lemon juice
                          1/2 lb boiling potatoes
                          4 cups chicken stock
                          2” of fennel stalk
                          1 T pernod, or more to taste
                          6 sprigs fennel top

                          In large saucepan, cook onions in 2 T butter over moderate-high heat, stirring, until softened. Add fennel bulbs and lemon juice. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes, peeled and sliced thin, and stock. Bring to boil, then simmer, covered, 30-45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

                          While simmering, halve fennel stalk, slice thin on diagonal. Sauté in 1 T butter over moderately low heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

                          Purée soup in batches and transfer to saucepan. Add Pernod, salt and pepper to taste.

                          Soup may be made up to one day in advance, kept chilled and reheated.

                          Divide soup into 6 heated bowls, garnish each with sautéed slices of fennel stalk arranged in fan, and sprig of fennel top.

                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                            that's my kinda soup! sounds delicious. i might actually try it with celery root instead of potato one of these days.

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              That sounds like a great idea. If you do it, I'd love to hear how you liked it!

                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                promise to report back when i eventually get around to trying it. Mom loves fennel so perhaps i'll see if she wants me to make it for her sometime in the next couple of weeks. great excuse to crack open the pernod i spotted in the pantry ;)

                            2. re: L.Nightshade

                              Thanks! I have a bulb of fennel floating around in the icebox, so this sounds like a perfect excuse to buy some Pernod.

                        2. I remember many holiday meals staring out with Wedding soup. It's not heavy, those little meatballs whet the appetite for more and a fresh grate of salty Parmesan or Pecorino attenuates the taste buds and readies them for the feast!
                          More recently, my MIL makes a similar soup where farina dumplings replace the meatballs in the chicken broth.
                          Same effect. Love it!

                          1. oystah chowdah (If you don't want to shuck your own, I used to buy good oysters in a jar at the fish market on Wed.)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Jay F

                              I've done a trio of small portions of essence of wild mushroom, duck & sausage gumbo and lobster bisque. Worked well, just make sure the portions are only about 2.5 oz each. Concept came from Commanders Palace in New Orleans.

                            2. I usually do a chestnut-apple soup. This year I'm thinking a wild mushroom.

                              1. Pumpkin Curry Soup is our family favorite. My teenagers actually brag to their friends about it. It's delicious, not too heavy, and really easy. You can use canned pumpkin or cook your own and puree it.If you do that, strain out the water (a coffee filter-lined strainer works perfectly) before measuring. This is easily doubled or tripled depending on the size of your crowd.

                                Pumpkin Curry Soup (6 servings)

                                2 Tbsp butter or margarine
                                1 cup chopped onion
                                2 cloves garlic
                                1 1/2 tsp curry powder
                                1/2 tsp salt
                                1/4 tsp ground white pepper
                                3 cups chicken broth
                                1 15 oz can pumpkin
                                1 12 oz can evaporated milk

                                Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in curry powder,salt and pepper; cook for 1 minute. Add broth and pumpkin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in evaporated milk. Transfer mixture to a food processor or blender(in batches if necessary) (or use immersion blender). Cover, blend until smooth. Serve warm.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: AmyH

                                  Sounds great, and I was already thinking on browsing the replies that an Indian curry soup might be a nice accent to the usual fare.

                                  I really like a Madhur Jaffrey recipe which she calls "Gingery Cauliflower Soup," but it's really a balance of potato and cauliflower with ginger and spices.

                                2. I think the soup you choose would depend on the balance of flavors at the meal. For example, a squash soup might be too much like your sweet potato dish, so that something else would be called for. And it would make a difference if you are serving a bowl of soup or a cup. A wild rice and celery soup in broth, for example, might be nice. I think a creamy cauliflower soup would be good. If you push your meal in the direction of a southwestern theme, you might even think it terms of a bisque-type soup with pureed, roasted bell peppers in it. Spinach bisque is also another winner. My favorite soup cook book is James Peterson's "Splendid Soups." He has a recipe for Mulligatawny Soup flavored with almond milk that surely would please. Or even simply a puree of mixed vegetables. (I would favor purees for a Thanksgiving meal, in any case.) Then, of course, there is the classic Potato and Leek Soup that is one of the simplest and greatest soups of all.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Father Kitchen

                                    In addition to planning according to your side dishes, be sure to serve only a small cup (demitasse cups are nice), certainly not more than 4-6 ounces, if you want your guests to have enough room for the other dishes. If you serve soup, don't serve appetizers beyond a relish tray and/or some nuts, unless it's a long event where you do nibbles in the early afternoon but don't sit down to dinner till 3 hours later.

                                  2. A friend of mine usually makes Roasted Red Pepper soup (no chicken broth) & everybody loves it as it is light yet flavorful. Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe. But my guess after a quick search online is as follows: fresh peppers, some tomato, some onion & garlic.

                                    1. Mushroom soup. I saute onions and a variety of mushrooms (buttons, shiitake's, oysters) in butter, then toss it in the pot with water, beef broth, sherry, and a touch of worcestershire. As it simmers, I add at least 1 packet of dry porcini's, then some barley. If I decide to be real fancy, some wild rice. Simmer it for a few hours, salted to taste (or I add anchovy/anchovy paste/fish sauce instead of salt).

                                      1. I used to serve soup before Thanksgiving dinner, but no more. Even in small portions it just ended up too filling. However, when I did serve soup, a favorite was an early Martha Stewart recipe from her mother. It was a Cream of Mushroom soup that was rich & REALLY delicious. It was in one of her earlier books & could easily be made vegetarian. I'm sure the recipe wouldn't be difficult to find online. Martha may even have it on her website.

                                        1. A pumpkin soup or a lobster bisque have worked work in our house (I'm lobbying for a pan roast, maybe mussels and oysters this year). We keep portions on the modest side but we don't stint on flavor: the bolder the better.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: steve h.

                                            Jungle drums tell me lobster bisque will be on the Thanksgiving menu. Carcasses have been removed from the freezer. Pan roast will have to wait for another holiday.

                                          2. I have done curried pumpkin soup and artichoke/mushroom soup. This year I am making a potato/leek/mushroom soup

                                            1. Sometimes I do very small cups of an intense cream of mushroom soup. Always a hit.