14 Seasonal Thanksgiving Soups

Carrot ginger soup

The Spruce

Starting Thanksgiving dinner with a bit of soup is a lovely tradition, whether it's as a first course to a formal feast or a simple ladle of soup into mugs to sip before everyone sits down at the table. In my experience, having a pot of soup going can keep everyone from getting crazy-hungry or gorging on chips before the turkey's done. You can make most of these a day or two ahead and simply reheat them if (when) stomachs start grumbling.

  • 01 of 14

    Brussels Sprouts Soup

    Cream of Brussels Sprouts Soup
    Molly Watson

    Capture a nutty, grassy flavor in this simple brussels sprouts soup—perfect for making ahead and reheating when everyone's ready to get the feast started.

  • 02 of 14

    Butternut Squash Soup

    Butternut Squash Soup
    Molly Watson

    This recipe for simple butternut squash soup includes plenty of flavor variations to mix up this autumn favorite.

  • 03 of 14

    Carrot Ginger Soup

    Carrot ginger soup

    The Spruce

    This carrot ginger soup is easy, delicious, and, if you use the optional almonds, filling. Use the almonds if this soup is standing in as a light lunch, leave them out if you're offering it as part of the big feast.

  • 04 of 14

    Cauliflower Soup

    Molly Watson

    This quick and warming cauliflower soup makes a gentle start to a heavy meal. Serve small bowls with the swirl of herb butter at a more formal dinner, or stir it all together for easier serving at more casual gatherings.

    Continue to 5 of 14 below.
  • 05 of 14

    German Onion Soup

    German Onion Soup - Zwiebelsuppe gratiniert
    FoodPhotography Eising/StockFood Creative/Getty Images

    This German onion soup recipe is a light-colored cousin to the darker French onion soup. It is sweet and luscious and warming and perfect for a cozy start to Thanksgiving.

  • 06 of 14

    Instant Pot Potato Soup

    Instant Pot Potato Soup

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    Put your Instant Pot to work and let it cook up a delicious potato soup for the big dinner. It's creamy and hearty, flavored with garlic, shallots, and thyme, and ready in just 30 minutes. Have baked potato toppings like bacon, shredded cheddar, chives, and sour cream available so everyone can load it up as they please.

  • 07 of 14

    Corn Soup

    Corn Soup with Chile
    Molly Watson

    By grating the corn off the cob, you avoid having to strain this soup to remove excess husky or fibrous kernels. The bit of onion adds sweetness; the potato adds body. Garnish this corn soup with chopped roasted green chiles if your friends and family like things spicy.

  • 08 of 14

    Cream of Green Chile Soup

    vegetarian cream soup of green vegetables.
    Sedaeva / Getty Images

    This spicy cream of green chile soup is wonderfully warming and luscious—and a nice twist to the traditional Thanksgiving menu while honoring one of the great North American contributions to delicious eating: the chile.

    Continue to 9 of 14 below.
  • 09 of 14

    Creamy Parsnip Soup

    Creamy Parsnip Soup
    Molly Watson

    Nutty flavor fills up the bowl in this creamy parsnip soup. Serve small cups of it while people are milling around waiting for the main turkey event.

  • 10 of 14

    Creamy Turnip Soup

    Creamy Mushroom Soup with Crackers
    LauriPatterson / Getty Images

    This creamy turnip soup could not be easier to make. Just saute a few aromatics, boil them in broth with the turnips, puree, and add cream. It's warming and comforting and full of flavor. It's a perfect starter to a huge meal.

  • 11 of 14

    Potato Mushroom Soup

    Mushroom Soup
    Molly Watson

    A little bit of potato adds thickness to this simple potato mushroom soup that brings tons of fall flavor to the feast.

  • 12 of 14

    Red Lentil Paprika Soup

    Smoked Paprika Lentil Soup
    Molly Watson

    Spanish paprika adds a lovely light spicy, smoky note to this beyond-simple red lentil paprika soup. Good for adding taste and color to the Thanksgiving table.

    Continue to 13 of 14 below.
  • 13 of 14

    Sweet Potato Carrot Soup

    Sweet Potato Carrot Soup
    Molly Watson

    The addition of a small amount of cream at the end will soften and enrich this sweet potato carrot soup, but is fully optional—the soup is just as smooth and tempting without it—and I'm likely to leave it out when serving it on Thanksgiving.

  • 14 of 14

    Wild Rice Mushroom Soup

    homemade chicken vegetable & wild rice soup with baguette

     Funwithfood / Getty Images

    This super-fall wild rice mushroom soup is an ode to a soup I had once at the St. Paul Hotel with my grandmother. Minced mushrooms mingle with earthy, nutty wild rice in a creamy mix. Serve small portions to jump-start everyone's appetite before the bird arrives at the table.