Post updated June 1, 2017
Vegan soup, chili, chowder, bisque and stew, here we come! Fall has arrived and what better way to get all wintery than a big pot of something warm and hearty cooking on the stove. Making really great vegan soups comes down to having a handful of reliable recipes and a few of the tools that make it so much easier. Dust off that crockpot, we’re going to make some soup!
Let’s start with recipes, as there are few things you can have prepared ahead of time, that make most of these recipes easy enough for a weeknight. There are the obvious ones, like chopping your vegetables early, but one of my favorite time savers is to have cashew cream already prepared and in the freezer. You can make a big batch and freeze it in 1/4 cup Tupperwares. Then when it’s time to make, soup just pop a frozen cube into your soup and let it thaw. This technique also works great for freezing leftover coconut cream, wine and broth. And speaking of freezing, remember most soup recipes freeze really well! So don’t get burnt out eating an entire pot of the same soup all week long. Freeze some in lunch size portions and tuck it away for a few weeks.
When it comes to kitchen tools for soup making, my hands down favorite piece is my dutch oven. It’s the perfect size for darn near everything and the absolute workhorse of my kitchen. After many years of contemplation (and a few junk dutch ovens), I sprung for the swanky Le Creuset, but the Lodge is also superb if you’re looking for something more affordable. My second favorite tool would have to be a really great wooden spoon. Sounds kinda silly, right? But something about have a simple, well made spoon makes cooking more enjoyable for me. A wise woman once told me, if you use it everyday, buy a good one.
A Few of Our Favorite Soup Recipes
This recipe is an exotic twist on a classic weeknight dinner. The mango makes it a bit sweeter than traditional chili, but there’s still plenty of spice to keep it grounded. A splash of bourbon adds just the slightest touch of flavor without being too much, while hearty black beans and tomatoes fill out the body to give this dish a serious stick-to-your-ribs finish.
There are nights where you need something cheap and amazing. When I require the (near) impossible, it’s time to make a little Curry Ramen with Crispy Baked Tofu. In about 30 minutes, you can create a restaurant worthy ramen with a humble block of tofu and the remnants of your veggie drawer.
This red lentil soup with lemon is easy to pull together any night of the week and completely versatile. For a heartier meal, thin the soup with a little extra water and serve over rice. It’s also great if you have a little leftover coconut milk to mix in or your favorite curry powder.
Mushroom and wild rice soup is the perfect way to stay warm during these cold winter months. I just love the nuttiness of the wild rice, but seldom can take 100% wild rice, so I like to use a wild rice blend.
This rosemary white bean soup is a simple and delicious recipe that’s great to make on a rainy day. It fills the whole house with the smell of fresh rosemary. It’s also extraordinarily simple and quick, so long as you remember to soak the beans the night before.
This is the perfect black bean chili recipe — flavorful, a little on the spicy side with a hint of sweet from the corn. Simple enough for when you’re short on time but eager for something warm and hearty.
This Chickpea, Rice and Kale Soup is one of my winter favorites from Isa Chandra. If you haven’t been to her site, it’s a prolific collection of tried and true vegan recipes, most of which you won’t find in her cookbooks.
Who doesn’t like a warm, creamy bowl of vegan corn chowder?! It’s easy enough to whip up, just remember to get your cashews soaking the night before.
Sometimes I really prefer a French lentil to just about any other, when making lentil soup. They’re heartier and tend to hold their shape far better than their fellow lentils.
This tomato bisque recipe comes by way of, Tal Ronnen, my favorite vegan chef. All of his recipes are delicious, but his method can be a bit persnickety at times. This version of his classic has been simplified and the results are still perfection.
I’m always a little skeptic of recreating a classic, a dish with serious expectations, but this portobello stew delivers! The amazing folks over at Post Punk Kitchen have done it again. It’s hearty and flavorful, so much so my husband declared it surpassed the real thing.
Our Favorite Soup Making Kitchen Equipment