Velvety Thanksgiving Veggie Soup: Family Favorite

Thanksgiving Soup Recipe - Chef Jean-Pierre Hello friends, you know there’s nothing quite like the comfort of preparing a heartwarming soup. Thanksgiving soup isn’t just about mixing ingredients; it’s about embracing the hearty, comforting flavors that only a blend of the best fall vegetables can provide.

Today I want to share with you a recipe to create a dish that is not only delicious but is destined to become a Thanksgiving tradition.

Pro Tip: Elevate Your Thanksgiving Soup To The Next Level

To enhance the flavor of your soup be sure to roast your vegetables before adding them to the broth. This one step is a game-changer, as it brings out the natural sweetness and depth in the vegetables, adding layers of flavor to your soup that you simply can’t achieve otherwise.

Note: For a guide on the proper way to cut and dice vegetables, including Butternut Squash and 22 other vegetables, be sure to check out my How to Chop Vegetables Like a Chef webpage and video.

This Velvety Thanksgiving Soup is more than just a recipe; it’s an invitation to embrace the warmth and joy of the holiday season. The simplicity of the ingredients, results in a soup that is not only super delicious but also a potential new Thanksgiving tradition.
So, get ready to create something truly special and grab your favorite pot. Let’s get cooking!


Thanksgiving soup

Thanksgiving Soup

chef jean pierre 200x200 2Chef Jean-Pierre
Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without a comforting and hearty soup to kick off your feast. This Thanksgiving Soup is a delightful combination of various vegetables like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and cauliflower, all pureed into a silky, flavorful bisque. It's the perfect way to warm up your Thanksgiving dinner, and it can be made in large batches to enjoy leftovers throughout the season.
Get ready to impress your guests with this rich and satisfying bisque - let's get cooking!
4.93 from 13 votes
Course Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8 - 10 servings

Recipe Video

Recipe Ingredients

For the Soup:

  • 2 large Onions, sliced
  • 3 pounds Carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 Celery Stalk, chopped
  • 2 large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups Baking Potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large Butternut Squash, peeled and diced
  • 2 heads of Cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 Leeks (white and light green parts), chopped
  • 10 to 12 Garlic Cloves
  • Salt to Taste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Curry Powder, adjust to taste
  • 10 cups Chicken or Vegetable stock (or JUST enough to cover the vegetables)
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 8 ounces 225g Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste

For the Curry Powder:

  • 3 tablespoons Cumin Seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tablespoons Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger ground
  • 1 tablespoon Red Chili Pepper ground
  • 1 tablespoon Turmeric ground
  • 2 teaspoons Red Chili Flakes

For Garnish:

  • Reserved Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • Small Cauliflower florets, blanched

Recipe Instructions

Make the Soup:

  • In a large soup pot, add the sliced onions and cook until light golden brown.  This could take 15 minutes.
  • Add chopped carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cauliflower, leeks, and garlic cloves.  
  • Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and add the curry powder for flavor. Adjust the amount of curry powder to your taste preference.
  • Pour in enough chicken or vegetable stock to barely cover the vegetables. The secret is not to add too much stock initially, as you can adjust the thickness later.  
  • Bring the pot to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for about 1 ½ hours, or until all the vegetables are tender and easily pierced with a fork.
  • Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender) to puree until smooth. Be cautious with hot liquids in a regular blender.
  • Then stir in the heavy cream. Gradually stir in the grated cheddar cheese until it's completely melted and incorporated into the soup.  
  • Adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper, or curry powder if needed.

Make the Curry Powder:

  • Sauté the seeds in a frying pan for 4/5 minutes and let them cool on a cookie sheet.  
  • For the rest of the ingredients, use a coffee grinder and grind until very smooth and all are well blended.

To Serve the Soup:

  • Ladle the bisque into serving bowls.
  • Top each bowl with reserved grated cheddar cheese, chopped fresh parsley, and blanched cauliflower florets and grated carrots.
  • Serve the Thanksgiving Bisque hot and enjoy!


Frequently Asked Questions about Thanksgiving Soup


1. What makes a good Thanksgiving soup?

A good Thanksgiving soup is characterized by its warmth, thickness, and comforting nature, essential for the chilly autumn season. It usually features an array of seasonal vegetables such as cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash, which are often pureed into a smooth, creamy bisque. The richness of the soup is not just in its texture but also in the harmonious blend of fall flavors that epitomize the essence of Thanksgiving.


2. Can I use any vegetables for Thanksgiving soup?

Absolutely, Thanksgiving soup is versatile and can incorporate a wide range of vegetables. The video suggests using carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and onions, but this is just a starting point. Feel free to include other vegetables like turnips, parsnips, regular potatoes, or any seasonal produce available. The key is to balance the flavors and textures to create a harmonious final product.


3. Do I need to peel the vegetables for the soup?

Peeling vegetables for Thanksgiving soup is not always necessary and depends on the type of vegetable and personal preference. For instance, carrots can be thoroughly washed and used without peeling to retain more nutrients and flavor. However, for vegetables like butternut squash, peeling is advisable to ensure a smooth texture. Remember, the soup will be pureed, so a little texture from the skins is generally not an issue.


4. How do I enhance the flavor of my Thanksgiving soup?

Enhancing the flavor of Thanksgiving soup involves a careful selection of spices and seasonings. The video highlights the use of onion salt and curry powder, used in moderation to create a rich background flavor without dominating the soup. These ingredients add depth and complexity to the soup, elevating the natural flavors of the vegetables and creating a more dynamic and interesting taste profile.


5. What is the secret to a perfect Thanksgiving soup texture?

Achieving the perfect texture in Thanksgiving soup is a matter of precision in liquid measurement. The secret lies in adding just enough stock to cover the vegetables, which ensures the soup is thick and creamy after blending. Too much stock can lead to a watery consistency, while too little might make the soup overly thick. This balance is crucial for a velvety, smooth soup that’s a delight on the palate.


6. How long should I cook the vegetables for Thanksgiving soup?

Cooking the vegetables properly is crucial for a smooth, flavorful Thanksgiving soup. Typically, the cooking process takes about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the quantity and type of vegetables used. The goal is to cook them until they are completely soft and blendable. This ensures that the flavors meld together beautifully and the soup achieves a silky-smooth texture.


7. Can I make Thanksgiving soup in advance?

Thanksgiving soup is an excellent make-ahead dish. It can be prepared in advance, stored in the refrigerator, or frozen for later use. When reheated, the soup often tastes even better as the flavors have had more time to meld. This makes it a convenient option for busy holiday preparations, allowing you to focus on other aspects of the feast on the day.


8. How do I know when the soup is ready to puree?

To determine when the soup is ready for pureeing, perform a fork test on the vegetables, especially the denser ones like carrots. If the fork pierces through them easily, it indicates that the vegetables are soft enough to be blended into a smooth consistency. Ensuring the vegetables are adequately cooked is key to achieving the desired creamy texture of the soup.


9. What tool is best for pureeing the soup?

For pureeing Thanksgiving soup, several tools can be effective. An immersion blender is ideal for convenience, as it allows you to puree the soup directly in the pot. Alternatively, a regular blender or food processor can be used, though this might require blending in batches. The goal is to achieve a smooth, even texture, regardless of the tool used.


10. Can I adjust the thickness of the soup after pureeing?

Yes, the thickness of the soup can be adjusted after pureeing. If the soup turns out too thick, additional stock or cream can be added to achieve the desired consistency. This flexibility allows you to tailor the soup to your preference, ensuring it’s neither too thin nor too thick, but just right for your taste.


11. What additional ingredients can I add to the soup for richness?

To add richness and depth to Thanksgiving soup, ingredients like cheddar cheese and cream are excellent choices. These add a luxurious texture and a depth of flavor that elevates the soup from a simple puree to a decadent first course. The cheese and cream meld with the vegetable base, creating a harmonious and indulgent experience.


12. How do I use leftover turkey in Thanksgiving soup?

Incorporating leftover turkey into Thanksgiving soup is a fantastic way to repurpose holiday leftovers. Shredding and adding the turkey during the last stages of cooking infuses the soup with a savory depth. It’s a practical and delicious way to extend the enjoyment of your Thanksgiving turkey while adding protein and flavor to the soup.


13. Is it possible to make a vegan Thanksgiving soup?

Creating a vegan Thanksgiving soup is entirely feasible and can be just as delicious as traditional versions. To do this, substitute chicken stock with vegetable stock and omit any dairy or animal-based products. For creaminess, consider using plant-based alternatives like coconut milk or cashew cream, ensuring that the soup remains rich and flavorful while adhering to vegan dietary requirements.


14. Can I add grains or pasta to the soup?

Adding grains or pasta can transform the soup into a more substantial dish. Incorporating ingredients like rice, barley, or small pasta shapes adds texture and makes the soup more filling. This is an excellent way to turn the soup into a complete meal, especially if you’re serving it as the main course rather than a starter.


15. How do I serve Thanksgiving soup?

Serving Thanksgiving soup involves more than just ladling it into bowls. It’s often garnished with additional vegetables, herbs, or a sprinkle of cheese for added flavor and visual appeal. Accompanying the soup with bread or rolls makes for a perfect pairing, allowing guests to soak up every delicious drop.


16. Can I use Thanksgiving soup as a way to use up leftovers?

Thanksgiving soup is an excellent vehicle for utilizing leftovers. In addition to turkey, you can incorporate leftover vegetables or even mashed potatoes. This not only reduces food waste but also creates a new and enjoyable dish that encapsulates the flavors of the holiday in a comforting bowl of soup.


17. What if I don’t have all the vegetables mentioned in the recipe?

The soup’s versatility means that it can be made with a variety of vegetables, depending on what you have on hand. While certain vegetables are suggested in the recipe, feel free to substitute or omit them based on availability. The most important aspect is creating a balanced and flavorful combination that appeals to your taste.


18. How should I store leftover Thanksgiving soup?

Storing leftover Thanksgiving soup is simple and convenient. Place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days, or freeze it for longer-term storage. This ensures that the soup retains its flavor and texture, making it a ready-to-eat option for a quick meal or snack in the days following Thanksgiving.


19. Can I make Thanksgiving soup in a slow cooker?

A slow cooker is an excellent tool for making Thanksgiving soup, especially if you prefer a hands-off approach. Combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker, set it on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, and let it do its magic. This method allows the flavors to develop deeply and meld together for a rich and satisfying soup.


20. How do I make my Thanksgiving soup gluten-free?

To ensure your Thanksgiving soup is gluten-free, carefully select ingredients that do not contain gluten. This includes using a gluten-free stock and avoiding any thickeners or additives that might contain gluten. With these precautions, the soup can be enjoyed by those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

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