Delicious Soup Recipes to Kick Off Thanksgiving Dinner
When November rolls around, it’s time to start the countdown to the day of thanks and feasting. When it comes to the feasting, Thanksgiving Day is a marathon, not a sprint—and we relish every second of every course. Our mountainous menu must cover all of the bases, from our favorite family dishes to the bountiful fall flavors. We like to give every course our full attention, and we know it’s just as important to pick the perfect starter to kick off the Thanksgiving feast on the right note as it is to bake those pumpkin pies. These soups are sure to impress your guests and get the ball rolling on a Thanksgiving dinner that won't disappoint. You can pick a soup that highlights the tastes of fall from the get-go, or you can select a palette-pleasing soup that saves those fall flavors for the main event. We love serving our starter soups in festive shooters for a pretty presentation and perfectly sized portions, while garnishing with toasted pumpkin seeds and fall-hued creams always gives that Thanksgiving pizazz. We can’t wait to let these delicious soups don our Thanksgiving table this year!
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Recipe: Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkin is hands-down the flavor of the season, and roasting the pumpkin before combining the ingredients gives it a unique caramelized flavor that really ramps up the warm, cozy taste.
Butternut-Squash Parsnip Soup
Recipe: Butternut Squash-Parsnip Soup
Butternut squash is one of our favorite fall standouts when it comes to Thanksgiving, and this simple, velvety soup is made even better with carrots, cream, and a hint of paprika and cumin.
Smoky Red Pepper Soup
Recipe: Smoky Red Pepper Soup
This smoky soup will get the family ready for round two, and we love the warm flavors that embody the season without using the expected ingredients. A touch of whipping cream adds a subtle creamy finish, while plenty of spices give epic flavor. Serve in copper mugs for a festive flair!
Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Avocado Cream
Make a statement with this fall-inspired soup. It’ll get your guests’ taste buds fired up for the main meal, but the smooth avocado cream is sure to give a cool finish to balance the heat.
Creamy Potato-and-Ham Hock Slow-Cooker Soup
We can’t get enough of this favorite fall soup, so we’re thinking it’s a great bet to impress our guests at Thanksgiving. It’s big on flavor, low on effort. Because all the ingredients sit in the slow cooker together, the potatoes soak up each element, especially the ham, so every bite is a full-flavored one.
Sweet Potato Soup
Recipes: Sweet Potato Soup
The oven-browned onions are the secret weapons in this fall favorite soup. With only six ingredients, you’re definitely going to want to whip this up for an easy, delicious Thanksgiving starter.
Maque Choux Soup
Recipe: Maque Choux Soup
The charred sweet corn and paired spices, cumin and coriander, give this soup a completely amazing robust flavor. When you’re cutting the corn off the cob, make sure to catch the sweet corn milk in the bowl—it’s going to add a special touch.
Classic Oyster Stew
Recipe: Classic Oyster Stew
Maybe your family usually does Oyster Dressing, but wants to try a new recipe this year without oysters—well, you can get your holiday oyster fix with this decadent seafood stew! To achieve the perfect texture of just-cooked oysters, poach them in the milk until their edges begin to curl, set aside, and return them to the stew just before serving.
Spiced Butternut-Pumpkin Soup
Recipe: Spiced Butternut-Pumpkin Soup
Using an array of spices and fall produce, this soup is perfect for autumn. Butternut squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, and apple make sure all of your bases are covered. Since it’s thickened with cream, we like to serve this soup in smaller shooters for a fun presentation and perfectly sized portions.
Recipe: Carrot-Apple Soup
This soup is perfect for Thanksgiving because it’s full of fall-inspired ingredients that aren’t focused on as heavily in the holiday meal (such as how pumpkin, sweet potato, or squash are). Carrots, apples, apple cider, and thyme make this a fresh option for a starting course. If you want it a little thinner, stir in more broth a little a time until you hit the desired consistency!
Recipe: Parsnip-Potato Soup
Parsnips, leeks, and thyme give this potato soup a welcomed boost of flavor. The soup is not too heavy on the use of cream (using primarily chicken broth), making it a light potato soup to serve before the hearty holiday meal. Bonus: you can make this soup ahead of time!
Recipe: Pecan Soup
This velvety soup is like chestnut soup, but with a Southern flair. With the delicious (and crunchy) addition of toasted pecans, this starter soup gives the quintessential “fall in the South” taste we love.
Wild Mushroom Soup
Recipe: Wild Mushroom Soup
Your guests will love this light, earthy, savory soup—it’s a great way to introduce the hearty meal coming! It’s packed with flavor, but won’t overtake the rest of the meal. It’s light enough to keep guests wanting more and doesn’t use traditional fall ingredients.
Lyda's Cream of Carrot Soup
Recipe: Lyda's Cream of Carrot Soup
This pretty soup will look delightful on your Thanksgiving tablescape, and the creamy starter will go over just as well with your guests. Carrots, parsnips, and onion meld together in a Dutch oven for a flavorful result. We love to top with a dollop of sour cream, fresh chives, and freshly ground pepper—it gives a great finishing touch for taste and presentation!
Buttermilk-Lady Pea Soup with Bacon
This Southern-inspired soup doesn’t try to outshine your fall flavors, but just gives a delicious start to the festive meal. You can use Lady Peas that you’ve frozen from the summer, or switch them out for your favorite fall peas. The thick-cut bacon topping will get your guests feeling ready for the next hearty course.
Creamy Southwestern Pumpkin Soup
Recipe: Creamy Southwestern Pumpkin Soup
We love the idea of changing up the flavor palette a little bit for the first course, while sticking with traditional ingredients, such as pumpkin. This soup is bursting with fresh, Southwestern flavors that ensure a crowd-pleasing appetizer and enhance the pumpkin taste.
Recipe: Lemongrass-Turkey Soup
We like to call this soup “the antidote to a rich Thanksgiving feast,” making it the perfect light, fresh starter to cleanse and make ready your guests’ taste buds for that hearty meal.