Pre-Thanksgiving soup ideas

I always make a hearty soup for a family meal for the night before Thanksgiving. I usually just serve with a good bread and a green salad. But I like to change up the kind of soup each year, and this year I'm drawing a blank. Hoping you Food52ers can give me some inspiration!
Past soups have included various kinds of chilis (including sweet potato and barley chili), a thick yogurt and barley soup and a root vegetable purée. It DOESN'T need to be vegetarian, though that's frequently what I land on. I do like to avoid poultry, however, because, well, you know what's coming the next day....
Thanks in advance for your ideas!

  • Posted by: TobiT
  • November 9, 2014


David November 14, 2014
I would suggest potato and Leek soup its hearty, thick and relatively easy to make.
I find always a crowd pleaser
TobiT November 13, 2014
You all are so generous with your great ideas - thank you! And Happy Thanksgiving!
Sam1148 November 12, 2014
How about something completely un thanksgiving like.

A Thai coconut curry soup. Use eggplant, mushrooms, yellow squash for the veggie base sauteed in Red Curry paste (supermarket brand is fine)...and add lime zest...simmer with coconut milk. Add chicken stock...and finish with fish sauce and LOTS of lime juice.

You can adjust the heat and personalize the basic recipe for what you happen to have locally.

Given today's main article about Tahini a tahini based spread with pita bread would be a nice addition.
TobiT November 12, 2014
Everyone's suggestions have been great, but this one really made my mouth it's probably what I'll do.
One follow-up question though, Sam: I usually eat my Thai soups with chicken as the protein, but would like to avoid poultry on Thanksgiving eve. While I love tofu, not everyone present will be happy to go that route. So I'm wondering what you think would be a good protein option to to put in this soup? Shrimp might be nice but it's really hard to find good ones. If beef, what cut/form? Would pork work? Would lobster work, or would the strong Thai flavored overwhelm the lobster?
Nancy November 12, 2014
Building on Sam's suggestion for a Thai inflected soup, and your desire for not poultry, not chicken. Your beef idea will stand up to the seasoning, as will simple white or black beans, or light-fleshed fish (not oily dark one) like bass carp cod haddock halibut perch pickerel pike trout.
Susan W. November 12, 2014
Pork is an awesome meat for such soups. As I said in my first post above, I just made a pumpkin, thai, ramen inspired soul. It has coconut milk, ginger, garlic, pumpkin and pork.
Sam1148 November 12, 2014
With eggplant, squash and mushrooms, you won't miss the beef or poultry...but shrimp would be a great addition.
You could even serve it over rice if you want something more filling.
Oh, and add some red peppers to give it a bit of color in the mix.
For the shrimp. Get ones that frozen. In land locked places the ones on ice are previously frozen. So skip that and get the frozen ones. Peel and chop them and sautee.

Also if you do some of the Tahini suggestions from the main page...that rounds outs everything.

Heck, skip the shrimp in the soup and make up some rice paper rolls with shrimp.
Sam1148 November 12, 2014
Oh and riffing off the pork idea for the coconut milk soup.
I've done it before. Get just a few boneless pork chops, trim and cube them up and give them a rough grind in a mini-prep food processor.
keg72 November 12, 2014
I'm a big fan of this sausage and white bean soup/stew from the NYT.
Patricia November 11, 2014
Google a Laura Calder recipe called Tizza Soup. It's soo much more than the sum of its parts, - a delicate, ephemeral flavour, but filling at the same time And easy if you just use tinned artichokes, which I've always done.
TobiT November 10, 2014
Wow, everyone - such great suggestions. So much to choose from - the only thing I've been able to decide so far is that I'm NOT going to wait for Thanksgiving before trying some of these out. And they will surely carry me through the next set of holidays. Yum!
Summer O. November 10, 2014
Ellen November 10, 2014
I've made Mrs Wheelbarrow's creamy mushroom soup recipe for
Thanksgiving. We all really enjoyed it
Susan W. November 10, 2014
White bean, leek, garlic, carrot and kale is a nice soup this time of year. You can make it with vegetable stock or go heartier with chicken stock and pancetta. I like to use my immersion blender to make it a little creamy before I add the kale.
creamtea November 10, 2014
AntoniaJames' lentil soup:
cookbookchick November 10, 2014
I second your suggestion, CreamTea. I've made AJ's soup many times with various kinds of sausage, various greens, and it never fails to satisfy. A delicious cold-weather meal in a bowl!
cookbookchick November 10, 2014
And don't skip adding the ketchup at the end! It makes a great finishing touch.
sexyLAMBCHOPx November 10, 2014
How about a delicious beef stew or a chunky potato, bacon and cheese soup?
sexyLAMBCHOPx November 10, 2014
Forgot to add my brother-in-law's Lobster Bisque. I don't eat shellfish but that's his contribution Christmas Eve or for my MIL on Christmas for everyone's lunch the next day.
cookbookchick November 10, 2014
Ina Garten's shrimp bisque is excellent, too.
drbabs November 10, 2014
And I have a personal bias towards shrimp gumbo:
ChefJune November 10, 2014
Soupe au Pistou is great any time of fall or winter. Here's my take on it...
aargersi November 10, 2014
I have a personal bias towards chili gumbo :-)
Nancy November 10, 2014
two favorites - a minestrone with good Parmesan passed at table to grate, any chowder (potato, corn, salmon, on and on) served with any bread not the one you plan to use in stuffing the next day.
ATG117 November 10, 2014
I would search soups on the site, but lentil soup comes to mind for nice and hearty. there's a lentil sausage soup on this site as well as a minestrone with tortelini, and many others, including french onion.

Voted the Best Reply!

Greenstuff November 9, 2014
Oyster stew?
kimhw November 9, 2014
Sweet and sour soup. Pork, tofu, mushrooms, veggies. Yum!
Susan W. November 9, 2014
I made a pumpkin, butternut squash and pork ramen with coconut milk, lemon grass and ginger today. You could easily skip the pork if you want vegetarian. The pumpkin is really more color than flavor, so it doesn't scream Thanksgiving.
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