Illustration of Thanksgiving Soups

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Rich, heavy foods like mashed potatoes and cheesy casseroles dominate at Thanksgiving. This is fine, even great, until an hour after the meal when the heartburn and bloating set in. But what if this year you swapped your famous casserole for a lighter side dish like, say, soup?

Not only are soups often nutritious and low in carbs, but they’re usually easy to make, too. And we’ll make the process even easier by directing you to 20 top-rated Thanksgiving soup recipes. In this list, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a health-conscious vegan, a meat-loving home chef, or a penny pincher who wants to make use of leftovers. One thing is for sure: These are some of the internet's best Thanksgiving soups, some of which we’re sure will become part of your yearly rotation.

Hot soup, Lentil Soup, Butternuts squash and red lentils soupPhoto credit: Pinkybird/istockphoto

1. Butternut Squash Soup

This butternut squash soup recipe is comforting, cozy, and delicious without using animal products. And with only 10 ingredients, it’s easy to cook ahead of time for large groups. Note, however, that you will need a blender to liquify all the flavorful ingredients.

Recipe: Love and Lemons

Wild Rice SoupPhoto credit: alisafarov/istockphoto

2. Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup

If you’re looking for a creamier soup, consider this hearty vegetable soup, fortified with autumn veggies and protein-rich wild rice. Although this soup has a cream base, vegan home cooks can opt to use coconut milk to thicken the broth. Another plus? Gimme Some Oven includes instant pot instructions.

Recipe: Gimme Some Oven

Pumpkin, carrot cream soup in a bowl.Photo credit: Rouzes/istockphoto

3. Autumn Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

This recipe is like putting on a “soft knit sweater,” which is to say that it’s the perfect soup for a crisp, dark Thanksgiving evening. It’s also festive on account of its seasonal ingredients — carrots, sweet potatoes, and apples — all of which add a hint of sweet to this savory soup. 

Recipe: Once Upon a Chef

Butternut Squash SoupPhoto credit: rudisill/istockphoto

4. Miso-Squash Soup With Sesame-Ginger Apples

For a unique take on a classic Thanksgiving soup, whip up this complex miso-squash soup. Using classic Japanese ingredients — kombu, bonito flakes, and shichimi, to name a few — food writer Daniel Gritzer complements squash’s nutty, earthy flavors. While it’s sure to taste amazing, keep in mind that some of these ingredients may be unavailable at conventional grocery stores.

Recipe: Serious Eats

Mushroom soup homemadePhoto credit: Igor Ploskin/istockphoto

5. Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup With Crispy Shiitake Chips

Don’t be intimidated by this recipe. Sure, it has a few unusual ingredients, such as porcini mushrooms and miso paste, but it only takes 20 minutes of active cooking (50 minutes total). And it’s sure to please mycophiles, as this thing is loaded with fungus and umami.

Recipe: Serious Eats

Home Made Turkey SoupPhoto credit: LauriPatterson/istockphoto

6. Easy Turkey Soup

Looking for a classic, no-nonsense soup for Thanksgiving dinner? This is the one. Not only are the ingredients cheap and easy to find, but this “shortcut soup” also comes together in 25 minutes (not counting preparation time). It’s also a great post-Thanksgiving meal, as you can use leftover turkey chunks.

Recipe: Spend With Pennies

7. The Ultimate Creamy Potato Soup

If you’ve had it with light soups and just want something filling, wholesome, and comforting, then this one-pot dish fits the bill. Just be sure you can tolerate lactose, as this recipe comes loaded with milk, heavy cream, butter, cheese, and sour cream. Oh, and it’s topped with bacon.

Recipe: Sugar Spun Run

Broccoli cream soup on wooden backgroundPhoto credit: Rouzes/istockphoto

8. Creamy Roasted Broccoli Soup With Buttermilk and Spiced Pepitas

You’ve probably noticed by now that Serious Eats has a unique approach to recipe development. They take something classic, like a creamy broccoli soup, and elevate it with a few flourishes. In this case, the soup is made sans cream, relying on buttermilk for body and roasted broccoli for flavor.

Recipe: Serious Eats

Chicken and Wild Rice SoupPhoto credit: Mizina/istockphoto

9. Day-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Carcass Soup

This recipe has an unfortunate name. Still, it’s a classic Cheapism recipe in that it uses leftovers, saving you money and time. It even makes use of extra stuffing, making it an excellent choice for a day-after Thanksgiving feast.

Recipe: AllRecipes

minestrone soup on the potPhoto credit: esseffe/istockphoto

10. Vegan Harvest Vegetable Soup

If the last recipe made you gag — who writes a recipe with “carcass” in the name — then we have something a little less meaty and a little more humane-sounding: a vegan soup loaded with veggies. In this harvest soup, butternut squash is the star of the show, though diced pumpkin would also work.

Recipe: Healthy Seasonal Recipes

11. Creamy Fall Soup in Acorn Squash Bowls

Impress your friends and family on Thanksgiving with this eye-catching creamy fall soup, which you’ll serve in hollowed-out acorn squashes. What’s more, this fiber- and protein-rich soup is vegan, which means it can serve as the entree for a plant-based Thanksgiving

Recipe:Minimalist Baker

Carrot SoupPhoto credit: kajakiki/istockphoto

12. Creamy Roasted Carrot Soup

This soup recipe promises to be ultra-creamy … without the cream. The secret is a little unsalted butter as well as the roasted carrots, which deepen this simple dish’s flavor. Cookie and Kate also include several variations, allowing home cooks to make ginger, curry, Thai, and vegan versions.

Recipe: Cookie and Kate

Cream Soup Served with toasted bread, Food Photography, close-up (Click for more)Photo credit: nzphotonz/istockphoto

13. Mashed Potato Soup

Don’t toss your leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving. Instead, repurpose them using this super simple recipe, which involves leftovers, plus five ingredients most people will already have in their kitchen.

Recipe: Katie’s Cucina

Cauliflower Soup in Rustic Black Bowl Top ViewPhoto credit: robynmac/istockphoto

14. Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Soup

Cashews, cannellini beans, and cauliflower come together to make this simple, extra-velvety vegan soup. Beyond the health benefits, this plant-based dish also freezes well, making it a good choice for cooks who want to get ahead of their Thanksgiving plans. 

Recipe: Rainbow Plant Life

Homemade Wild Rice and Chicken SoupPhoto credit: bhofack2/istockphoto

15. Cozy Chicken Curry Soup

OK, so this isn’t exactly on-theme apart from the fact that it’s cozy. But we can assure you that no one is going to complain if you cook this up for Thanksgiving. (And if they do, just say it’s turkey). The meat? Delectably tender. The broth? Irresistibly rich. Of course, the flavor is great too, with curry powder and garam masala stealing the show.

Recipe: Gimme Some Oven

Homemade Turkey Chili Con CarnePhoto credit: bhofack2/istockphoto

16. White Turkey Chili

Throw those Thanksgiving leftovers into a slow cooker with some onion, beans, and veggies, and you’ll have a pretty incredible meal at the end of the day. Although this one has some spice — the recipe calls for jalapenos — you can simply adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Recipe: Spend With Pennies

New England Clam Chowder Soup In A Bread BowlPhoto credit: DebbiSmirnoff/istockphoto

17. Homemade Bread Bowls

Pick one of these recipes, throw it in a bread bowl, and you’ll have a show-stopper of a side dish. Admittedly, this will be a lot of work, as you’ll have to make and bake the bread (a two-hour process) in addition to cooking the soup from scratch.

Recipe: Tastes Better From Scratch

Comfort Food Pumpkin Soup with Roasted BaconPhoto credit: GMVozd/istockphoto

18. Orange You Glad It’s Thanksgiving Soup

Pulpy orange juice with chicken broth and butternut squash puree — I’m sorry, what? Rachel Ray went Rachel Cray with this recipe … and yet it’s got one glowing review from someone who’s been cooking this up for the past six years. “It is a crowd pleaser,” they explain, adding that it’s a “wonderful start to your meal” that’s “not heavy.”

Recipe: Food Network

Curry Pumpkin Soup......Photo credit: Lesyy/istockphoto

19. Easy 30-Minute Red Lentil Soup With Curry Yogurt

Let’s say you’ve only got an hour before guests arrive, and you’re without a side. Pick this soup. It’s easy, more interesting than run-of-the-mill soups, and has tons of flavor. The only hangup you might have are the ingredients, which aren’t in everyone’s pantry.

Recipe: Serious Eats

delicious pumpkin stewed with meat and vegetables close-up in a saucepan. horizontalPhoto credit: ALLEKO/istockphoto

20. Pumpkin Chili

This recipe blends sweet pumpkin with smoky chili powder and spicy Italian sausage. Accented with cinnamon, it's a quick, cozy dish perfect for cold evenings, best served with cornbread.

Recipe: The Pioneer Woman

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