National *insert food item here* months and days seem to be a phenomenon that’s taken over recently. From tacos to burgers and pizza, society has likely given your favorite dish a designated date upon which you can guiltlessly indulge. Not that you necessarily needed permission, but it’s always nice to have a little encouragement. This month just so happens to go out to all of the soup lovers of the world.
That’s right, according to the internet (and Campbell’s, because who would know better than Campbell’s), January is where ladles come to thrive. It makes sense: This month—for anyone residing somewhere with seasons—is notoriously cold. And, aside from a cup of tea, there’s nothing better to warm up your out- and insides on a frigid winter day than a piping hot bowl of soup.
To help you navigate the underrated dish, we tapped chefs across the country and had them share their favorite soup recipes. Don’t let the professionally plated photos fool you, they are simple enough for even the most novice of cooks.
Despite what you might believe, there’s so much room for culinary exploration outside of tomato and chicken noodle. We know "cooking more" was somewhere on your New Year's resolution list anyway, here is a great place to start. All of the soup for you!
Butternut Squash Soup by Daven Wardynski, executive chef at Omni Amelia Island Resort
You've never had butternut squash soup like this before. It's traditional, but the addition of ginger and lemongrass gives it a welcome, colorful burst of flavor.
Ingredients (serves up to 40):
10 lb. butternut squash seeded and peeled
1 cup olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 oz. peeled and diced ginger
1 oz. diced garlic
40 oz. diced onion
1 oz. lemongrass (leave whole)
1 1/2 gallon chicken stock
1/5 gallon heavy cream
2 lbs butter (whole)
1 1/4 cups lemon juice
Pickled butternut squash to garnish
Red chili-spiced apple to garnish
Combine the squash, salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, onion, and olive oil and roast at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. While the squash is roasting, warm the olive oil, combine chicken stock, lemongrass, and cream. Add the roasted squash to the chicken stock and cream and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.
Remove the lemongrass stalk. Puree the soup with the butter and add the lemon juice. Cool and reserve for dining. Garnish with pickled butternut squash and red chili-spiced apple if you so desire.
Rhode Island Clear Chowder by Michael Cimarusti, executive chef at Connie and Ted’s
This isn't the creamy chowder you might be used to slurping up. The clear clammy broth is less intense and has a seawater tang that will have you wondering if buying a boat is excessive.
4 oz. salt pork
2 oz. sweet butter
4 oz. medium yellow onion
40 oz. clam juice
40 oz. Idaho russet potatoes, diced and peeled
40 oz. chopped cherrystone clams
Sea salt to taste
Chives and butter to garnish
Dice the salt pork and then run it under a cold tap for half an hour to remove most of the salt. Place a large soup pot over a medium flame and add the butter. Allow the butter to melt and then add the salt pork. Moderate the heat so that the salt pork renders without coloring. After the salt pork has rendered for several minutes, add the onions and cook them until translucent. Add the clam juice and the potatoes; turn up the heat so that the broth comes to a simmer. Cook the chowder until the potatoes are cooked through. Remove the chowder from the fire and chill it as quickly as possible. Refrigerate the chowder overnight.
When you are ready to serve the chowder, place it back on the fire and bring it to a simmer. Hold the soup at that temperature for five minutes before adding the chopped clams. Allow the clams to cook for three minutes before serving. Before serving taste the soup for seasoning. Usually, there is enough salt in the clam broth and the clams themselves.
Serve the chowder piping hot with a pinch of chives over the top and a small pat of butter, if you like.
Broccoli and Fontina Soup by Laurent Tourondel, owner of L’Amico
Lactose-intolerant individuals should sadly steer clear of this option. Everyone else, though, bookmark this sooner rather than later.
8 oz. butter
4 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup flour
1 quart half and half
4 quarts chicken stock
2 bay leaves
5 lb. broccoli, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and shredded
32 oz. fontina, grated
2 oz. pecorino, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the butter in a large rondeau pan over medium heat until just melted and foamy. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and sauté for two minutes. Add the chicken stock and half and half and whisk until well combined. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the bay leaves, broccoli, and carrots and cook another 10 minutes until the broccoli is tender. Remove the bay leaf and blend the soup with a hand blender, leaving the soup a little chunky. Remove from the heat and whisk in the fontina and pecorino. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Leftover Turkey and Dumpling Soup by Camron Woods, executive chef at
“This unique soup is made of the many ingredients from leftover holiday dinners, such as leftover turkey gravy, carrots, green beans, and turkey, all in a tasty chicken broth," Chef Camron Woods tells us. "The dumplings can be made with leftover mashed potatoes and cornbread.” Of course, if you've already devoured your leftovers, picking the ingredients up from the store is also always an option.
Ingredients for the stew:
1 quart leftover turkey gravy
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup leftover cooked carrots
1 cup leftover cooked green beans
2 cups chopped leftover turkey
Ingredients for the dumplings:
1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
1 cup crumbled leftover cornbread
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
Heat the gravy over low heat in a stock pot. Add the chicken broth. Add the turkey and vegetables and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.
For the dumplings, start by combining the cold mashed potatoes and cornbread crumbs in a food processor. Next, add the eggs and baking soda. Allow to cool for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Scoop spoonful size amounts of the dough into the simmering stew. Allow to simmer an additional 30 minutes. Add the chopped sage and serve immediately.
Sunchoke & Asparagus Vegan Soup by Gino Angelini, owner of Angelini Alimentari
One look at the above picture and you'd probably assume that this soup is doused in dairy, right? Not the case. This vegan option is all veggies and surprisingly easy to make.
2 lb. sunchokes
Water and lemon juice, enough to submerge the sunchokes
1 lb. asparagus
2 white shallots
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 liter of vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
Chop sunchokes and place in a bowl with water and lemon juice. Then, chop asparagus and set aside.
Simmer finely chopped shallots in a pan with the olive oil. Next, place drained sunchokes and asparagus in the same pan with the sautéed shallots. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add vegetable stock and cook for 35 minutes, reducing the heat to medium/low. Cool and place in blender and blend on high until puree consistency is reached. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top and serve in a bowl at desired heat.
Minnesota Wild Rice Soup
by Todd Kelly executive chef at
No soup list is complete without a bisque option. There might not be any seafood involved in this one, but you won't mind the lack of crustaceans once you taste it.
8 oz. butter, divided
12 oz. raw wild rice
16 oz. chicken stock
2 oz. celery
2 oz. onions
1 teaspoon shallots
2 oz. carrots
2 oz. smoked bacon
4 oz. Kentucky ham
8 oz. heavy cream
8 oz. veal stock
Heat four ounces of the butter in a saucepan. Add raw wild rice and stir to coat with butter. Add chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked. Set aside.
Chop vegetables, bacon, and ham. In another large stockpot, heat the remaining four ounces of butter. Add celery, onions, shallots, carrots, bacon, and Kentucky ham. Sauté for three minutes, or until vegetables become transparent. Add heavy cream and veal stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to desired consistency. Add wild rice and simmer for an additional five minutes.
Sweet Potato Soup With Pears by Todd Kelly executive chef at
Sweet potatoes and pears sound like an unlikely combination, but sometimes the strangest pairings also happen to be the best ones.
½ stick of butter
2 lb. sweet potatoes
2 lb. sweet pears
½ cup of French curry
6 oz. sorghum
1 gallon of water
Salt and pepper to taste
Honey to taste
In a stock pot, add butter, shallots, potatoes, pears, and curry. Cook until fragrant. Next, add the sorghum and lightly caramelize. Add water and simmer until potatoes are tender. Puree and strain through a chinois strainer then season with salt and white pepper. Add honey to taste.