The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New girl looking for soups to go with my bread

Caro-lyn's picture

New girl looking for soups to go with my bread

Hi, all! I took up baking a few months ago and have been pleased with the bread I've made so far. I love this site, although I'm still exploring.


Also, slightly off-topic: my friends and I have been having weekly soup-and-stew nights since the fall, but we've started to run out of recipe ideas. Does anyone have a favorite vegetarian soup/stew recipe that they'd like to share?


Happy baking, everyone!


patman23's picture

I have a recipe for a Smoked Gouda and Chipotle Potato soup that is quite good.  Its obviously got milk / milk products in it so I dont know if it fits your Vegetarian requirement.  I'll be happy to give it to you if you'd like to though. 

cranbo's picture

My girlfriend really liked this cauliflower soup, as did I.

I added about 1/2 cup of cream for extra richness, but it's perfectly good as is. The parmesan complements the cauliflower beautifully. 

Caro-lyn's picture

Ooh, this does look good. My boyfriend's a big fan of cauliflower, so I may try this next.

geraintbakesbread's picture

If you want to avoid cream and/or dairy or just try a different flavour, cauliflower soup is great with ground cumin (added once the onions have softened) & ground almonds (added towards the end of cooking) & finally a squeeze of lemon.

breadsong's picture

This is an old favorite - from Bon Appetit magazine, August 1997 -

I've never served it cold as the recipe suggests, only enjoyed it hot, sometimes with a dollop of creme fraiche on top in place of ricotta.
from breadsong

Roasted Tomato and Red Bell Pepper Soup
Serves 4

2 1/4 pounds tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 large red bell peppers, quartered, seeded
1 onion, cut into thin wedges
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 cups (about) water
4 tablespoons part-skim ricotta cheese, room temperature
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Arrange tomatoes (cut side up), bell peppers, onion and garlic cloves on large baking sheet. Drizzle oil over; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables until brown and tender, (my note added: watch carefully to guard against burning - it's a hot oven! - I've turned down the temperature on my oven when tomatoes etc. were getting too dark too quickly), turning peppers and onion occasionally, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool.

Transfer vegetables and any accumulated juices to processor. Add thyme leaves. Puree soup, gradually adding enough water to thin soup to desired consistency. Chill until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated. If soup becomes too thick, thin with water to desired consistency.)

Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.


G-man's picture

This is almost exactly the same recipe I use as an appetizer for when I have friends over for a nice dinner during late summer and fall, only I use heavy cream for the ricotta cheese and homemade chicken stock in place of the water. Of course, homemade vegetable broth would work just as well if not better. 

One thing I've learned is that you might want to grill the bell peppers (I can't use a barbecue since I live in an apartment, but I have a cast iron grill pan that works just fine) until the skin loosens up and then peel them. The skins can get a bit tough.

GSnyde's picture

Here's a variation on a white bean soup recipe from Emeril.  Really great with bread:


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 ham hock, skinned and scored

1 cup chopped yellow onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (optional)

2 bay leaves

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 pound dried white navy, cannellini, or great Northern beans, rinsed and sorted over, soaked overnight and drained (or brought to a boil, then turned off to sit for an hour)

8 to 10 cups chicken stock or water


Cayenne pepper, to taste

1 pound andouille cut into 2-inch lengths (optional)

Cooked white rice, for serving

Louisiana red hot sauce, for serving



Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add the ham hock, onions, celery, and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves, thyme, and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the beans and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the beans just simmer and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the skin on the beans is tender and the beans begin to soften, about 2 hours. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add the sausage and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft and creamy, about 1 hour longer. (If desired, the ham hock can be removed at this point and either discarded or, when cool enough to handle, the meat can be removed from the bone and returned to the beans and the bone and skin discarded.) 

Happy dipping!

EDIT:  Oops!  Just noticed you specified vegetarian.  Well, maybe you can find some smoked tofu in place of the ham hocks 8-).



G-man's picture

I make sausage at home, and I've found a few replacements for pork products in a few forrays into vegetarian sausages. Of course nothing replaces the unique flavor of pork, but these can give you a depth of flavor you will otherwise be missing when you remove pork from a recipe. If you already know these tricks I apologize:


Vegemite. If you're from Australia you know what this is, if you're from the US you probably don't. It's made by Kraft, comes in a little yellow jar. It's dark brown, almost black. I think it's extract from brewer's yeast. Very salty. You don't need much to get a lot of flavor.


Deeply caramelized onions. Mix brown or raw sugar and a bit of salt together, more sugar than salt, add them to a splash of balsamic vinegar, and sautee in a pan. Get them close to burned without going over that edge. You want them brown brown brown.


Liquid smoke. This stuff, like vegemite, goes pretty far. It will give you the smoky flavor you're losing when you remove smoked ham hocks from a recipe.


Using rice, textured vegetable protein, nutritional yeast and some ground nuts, oats and other grains it gets pretty easy to make a sausage-like mixture that has some real flavor, so you might be able to incorporate some of those too. If you're a lifelong vegetarian you may have some better tricks than I can come up with. If so let me know.

Caro-lyn's picture

Thanks for the suggestions, G-man!


I've heard of vegemite, but never seen it at the grocery store (must have a look next time I'm at the international grocery). I've been using something called "better than bullion" to make soup stock. It's black and paste-y, but I think it's just vegetable mash, no yeast.


Another thing I'll add to your list are lentils. We had a lentil soup last night and everyone remarked how "meaty" it tasted. Here's the recipe:

RobynNZ's picture

Lydia's site has lots of ideas:

bnom's picture

One of my favorites is a pureed celery soup finished with the addition of stilton (or othe blue cheese, mixed with cream. Very elegant and delicious - wonderful with rye bread.  

kefir crazy's picture
kefir crazy

Here's one of my favorites!  If you have fresh basil give it a try...really tasty :)SERVES 6 AS A MAIN COURSE

If you cannot find haricots verts (thin green beans), substitute regular green beans and cook them for an extra minute or two. You can substitute any small pasta shape or thin strand pasta broken into 2-inch lengths for the orecchiette (the cooking time might change slightly). Rinsing the canned tomatoes after they’ve been drained and chopped prevents the soup from looking murky. The pistou can’t be made more than a few hours ahead, or its color will dull.


3/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 ounce Parmesan cheese , grated (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 medium garlic clove , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium leek , white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced 1/2 inch thick, and rinsed thoroughly
1 celery rib , cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 carrot , peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  Salt and ground black pepper
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
3 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1/2 cup orecchiette
8 ounces haricots verts , trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch lengths (see note)
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini or navy beans , drained and rinsed
1 small zucchini (about 6 ounces), halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large tomato , cored, seeded, and chopped medium
  1. 1. FOR THE PISTOU: Process basil, Parmesan, oil, garlic, and pepper together in food processor until pureed and smooth, about 10 seconds; transfer to serving bowl and set aside.

  2. 2. FOR THE SOUP: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add leek, celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. 3. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth and water and bring to simmer. Stir in pasta and simmer until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in haricots verts and simmer until bright green but still crunchy, about 3 minutes. Stir in zucchini, cannellini beans, and tomatoes and simmer until all vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes longer.

  4. 4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into individual serving bowls and garnish each with generous tablespoon of pistou before serving.


pmccool's picture

check out this link.  It's about a soup cook book but there are several soup recipes in the posts that follow.


jackie9999's picture

Breadsong, that recipe looks great - I will definately try it and had a couple of questions - do you skin tomatos/peppers? And have you tried freezing it?


breadsong's picture

Hello Jackie,
I've used an immersion blender to puree the soup so haven't bothered to skin the tomatoes or peppers.
G-man roasts his peppers on the grill and peels them (please see his note above).
I haven't tried freezing it (it's always so tasty we eat it up right away!).
from breadsong

AOJ's picture

This is a great soup, especially served in a sourdough bread bowl. Perfect for the blizzarding weather currently in Minnesota. I also now need to bake a loaf for the neighbor who plows out the alley and snowblows the sidewalks!

 add plenty of broccoli

1 bunch broccoli -cut up
1 1/2 C chicken stock
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 c light cream (or milk)
salt & pepper to taste
8 oz cubed Velveeta
1/2c shredded carrots
1/2 c minced white onion
1 T olive oil

Sautee carrots and onion in olive oil.  Add broccoli, chicken stock, soup,cream (or milk), and Velveeta. Simmer on med-lo until broccoli is tender. Once broccoli is tender, scoop out about 1/2 of the mixture and pulse in a blender a few times. Be careful because the mixture is very hot. Add back to the pot and stir well.

patman23's picture

I got a message asking for the Smoked Gouda, Chipotle, and Potato Soup recipe so here goes...


1/2 lb trimmed smoked gouda

2 cups milk

4 tbsp flour or 2 tbsp potato starch

2 shallots diced

3 large or 4 or 5 med potatoes (yukon gold is good here but russets will work well too)

1 -3 tbsp of chipotle sauce (to taste)

4 cupos chicken broth

1 cup diced ham optional

Salt & pepper to taste, I usually salt and pepper the potatoes as they are cooking but I leave the remaining seasoning to the end.

1/2 cup fresh parsley

1/4 cup canola oil

1 stalk of cellery diced finely

1/4 cup finely diced carrot


Salt and pepper the diced potatoes add them to a large stock pot and brown using hte canola oil as if to make hashbrowns. 

Once they start to brown up add the shallots, cellery and carrot (and Ham if using). 

Once shallots and cellery start to get translucent and start to brown add the chicken stock.

Boil on med-high heat for about 5 minutes.  Till taters are almost done.

Add the cheese and let st begin to melt.  It will no disperse evenly into the spup initialy. 

Add the chipotle sauce

Add the milk and potato starch mixture

As you stir this mixture the cheese will disperse much better and the flavvors will ecen out quite a bit.

Add black pepper and salt if desired.  I tend to add about 2 tsp of fre cracked pepper and just a touch of salt.  The cheese and chicken stock tend to add a good level of salinity. 

Stir in the parsley and serve.

This is really wonderful in a bread bowl or with a nice crusty roll....

I worked on this for a few months till I got it exactly where I wanted it.  There are obviously all sorts of variations you can add.  Leeks are good here, onoins make a good addition as well as roasted garlic or adding butter ad the potatoes are cooking.  Smoked swiss makes a great addition as well...  Have fun with it and make it your's..

fyrfli's picture

this makes me wish we were going into fall instead of Summer lol! i LOVE fall foods <3

whosinthekitchen's picture

Check out the Pho stle soups from Vietnam!  Oncew the ingredients are on the counter, this goes together quick and is scrumptious.

For "ham: for vegetarians.....   check around where you shop for smoked tofu.  Yes, I did say smakied tofu.  Discovered this in Chinatown in Manhattan several years ago.  Moved away.... bought the spuse a smoker... cube the smoked tofu, add to the nearly done pot of beans or bean soups .... and viola!    Ham smoky flavor with out the pig!

We are carnivores however.  And one of our favorite stews is a mexican meatball  made with ground turkey.  The meatballs are easy with just a bit of your favorite seasonings ( we like ancho pepper and cumin), a bit of garlic, a splash of sesame oil, pinch of salt and dash of fresh black pepper.  Brown these and remove from the skillet or pot.  I make this in my very large skillet.  Brown equal amounts of onion and your favorite type of green pepper.  (we like  Anaheim).

Put the meatballs back in the skillet, add 2-4 cups chopped tomato (depending on your taste, I have enven used canned ones).  The secret ingredient is .... wait for it ......

a large can of Las Palmas Green enchilada Sauce.  We do not use much in the way of canned goods but since we can not get the fresh peppers to make a green enchilada sauce with the NEW MEXICAN PEPPER  falvor, this is my go to flavor 

kicker.  This can be served as is, over rice, with rice on the side....  I like to cut the tortillas into strips, crisp them in a skillet with the least bit of oil I can get away with as a garnish. Friends have gone home and made this with great results reporting back they like it with a dappop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of grated sharp cheddar chese.


whointhekitchen, Lisa


flournwater's picture
joyfulbaker's picture

One of my old-time faves:

ZUCCHINI BISQUE (or summer squash soup; serves 5-6)

2 good sized onions, sliced and roughly chopped.

2 or 3 finely chopped or pressed garlic cloves

3 TBSP oil or butter

1 1/2 lb. zucchini or yellow squash (about 6, depending on size--those big ones equal two apiece!), washed, unpeeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces

1/8 cup chopped fresh basil or 1-2 tsp. dried basil (you might use parsley or tarragon, but I think the basil tastes best) 

1 1/2 TBSP "Better than Bullion" vegetable soup base diluted in 6 1/2 cups water

salt and pepper to taste

nutmeg to taste

1/4 cup cream (or soy milk/creamer or almond milk)

 1.  In a heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven, saute onions in oil for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat until they are lightly browned and soft; add garlic near the end of this step.

2.  Add sliced squash and basil and cook another 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring to distribute and cook the squash.

3.  Add stock, cover pot and cook on simmer for about 25 minutes, until squash are soft.  You can cool and refrigerate soup at this point if you plan to puree it later (can refrigerate overnight).

4.  After squash and liquid are cooled, puree in batches in blender until smooth.  (You can use an immersion blender, but a regular blender really gets it smooth.  A food processor is messy and doesn't do as well.)  Reserve some of the liquid until all the squash/onions/basil are pureed so you can adjust the thickness of the soup.  You will need to have another big bowl or pot on hand to transfer the pureed soup.

5.  Stir in cream and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

6.  Serve hot or cold (well chilled--I divided it into two batches to chill more quickly, which took about 2 1/2 hours).  Garnish with a little nutmeg or chopped parsley or chives.  Enjoy!


Prairie19's picture

Dal refers to legumes used in Indian cooking:  lentils, dried beans or peas.  There are many recipes, but one of my favorite dals is very simple to make and goes very well with bread (or rice).

1 - 1/2  Cups of red or pink lentils, cleaned and rinsed (you don't have to soak them).

5 cups water

3/4 teaspoon turmeric

Combine ingredients in a thick bottomed pot, bring to a boil, stir occasionaly so they don't stick, and then simmer slowly partially covered for about 30 minutes.

The lentils will turn yellow and form a puree.

Add salt to taste.

To finish off the dal, add a tadka or flavoured oil.  Heat 3 - 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a small frying pan over medium heat.  When the oil is hot add 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seed.  Heat the seeds for 20 seconds, then pour the hot flavored oil over the dal.  It will make a very pleasant sizzle when you pour it on.

I like to eat red lentil dal served over cubes of old bread.  It's a great way to use up the hard end of a 4 day old baguette.   Just cut the old bread into cubes, put a handfull or so into a bowl and pour on the dal.






Wild-Yeast's picture

Cream of Curried Zuchinni a la Key Bridge Marriott 1985 with Caesar Salad. Hold the croutons on the Caesar and substitute Garlic Bread [Ciabatta etc.] and plain bread with several dips; olive oil + balsamic vinegar dip and/or garlic cannellini bean dip.

You'll have to search for a recipe. The two star restaurant at the Key Bridge Marriott is, alas, no more. Best to use a vegetable stock that includes the addition of braised shallots and thickened with waxy potatoes.

This is nicely paired with a Chardonnay or a Neu Wein Riesling [bubbly Liebfraumilch will do]...,


Urchina's picture

I have a fantastic vegetarian soup book called "Love Soup" by Anna Thomas. Here's the Powell's link:


We've had five or six of these soups already, and they're all outstanding. Highly recommend! We particularly love her Sopa de Ajo (Spanish garlic soup with smoked paprika and (optional) poached eggs, poured over day-old toasted bread). Awesome!


Have fun! We do Soup Night with friends, too, and love it. 

LisaAlissa's picture

Deeply caramelized onions. Mix brown or raw sugar and a bit of salt together, more sugar than salt, add them to a splash of balsamic vinegar, and sautee in a pan. Get them close to burned without going over that edge. You want them brown brown brown.

Another way to carmelize onions which doesn't require sugar/salt/balsamic to be added.  (There's enough sugar in the onions to carmelize without adding any.)  Carmemlized onions are generally an ingredient to use with something else, you can add the salt and/or balsamic in a more controlled fashion as a part of that recipe.  

5 pounds of onions (I've used everything except red onions.)--get whatever's available, it doesn't seem to matter.  Peel skins & cut tops and root ends off.  Quarter the  onions, then cut thick slices & separate.

Put the onions, together with a stick of unsalted butter, into a slow cooker and cook on low for 14+ hours (depending on the cooker, I've had them in for up to 20 hours.).  That's it.

They'll keep in the refrigerator for several weeks and can be used on pizzas, in caseroles/omelets, on steaks/roasts, on salads, in sandwiches. Or they make great French Onion Soup.

1 part (by volume) carmelized onions to 3 parts (by volume) stock or boulion (I use chicken, but I don't see why you couldn't use vegetable stock.)  Bring to a boil, then assemble in oven proof bowls/cups/mugs.  (Can be refrigerated in advance at this point.)

Dry bread in the bottom of the bowl, add soup, float a slice of dry bread on top & top w/ grated swiss or gruyere cheese.  Put bowls in oven at 230-250 degrees for 20 minutes.  Cheese will be melted & starting to brown.  (For a lighter version, no bread at the bottom of the bowl.)



etd: duplicate word


Barmy's picture

This is a family favourite.  Toast a piece of your homemade bread, rub a garlic clove on one side of the toast and drizzle with olive oil.

Red Lentil and Tomato Soup

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 – 2 Thai birds eye chillis

2 tins of diced tomatoes

1 cup red lentils

1.5 litres stock ( veg or chicken)

1 tbs brown sugar

½ cup yoghurt

 Fry the onion, add garlic, cumin and chilli, fry till aromatic about 2 mins.  Stir in lentils, tomatoes, stock and sugar. Simmer for 20 mins or until tender. Stir through yoghurt and serve.

melinda-dawn's picture

1st is a spicey lentil from this website

if there are any problems with the link here is an alternate for the same recipe, , note I substitued butter for olive oil. It's a great soup both ways.

My 2nd favorite, which I also use as a base for almost any other kind of soup/stews, is a vegan 'French' onion soup. Using the traditional recipe and cooking method I substitute olive oil for the butter and a good vegetable stock/broth for the beef broth, I also usually leave out the wine and add an extra 'equal' amount of more broth. This is done more on the basis of I couldn't pick a good wine if it bit me than any other reason.

I have used the onion soup as a base for leftover lentil's stew; 1 or 2 day old leftover lentils, soup/broth stock of choice (like I said above I like to use onion soup), carrots, left over baked potatoes, celery, and any other leftovers/veg you feel like throwing in the pot, cook until carrots are tender (unless they were also leftovers) and rest of stew is warm/hot.

Another soup I like is my Dad's black bean soup, takes about 3 days to make.

"Actually, a big stew pot for the stove top is better for my purposes. Also, for spices I need basil, sage, oregano, thyme, marjoram, cumin, coriander, epazote (get from local Mexican grocery store), cilantro, garlic, and some powdered chile pepper. Pick up about 4lbs of nice dried black beans (frijoles negros - La Preferida brand are good) at the same time you get the epazote (fresh, if you can please). Just a small bunch of the epazote** will be sufficient. I think I can get the rest of the engredients when I get out there, but if you want... about 4 normal size roma tomatoes, a medium white onion, 3 or 4 medium size tomatillos (green tomatoes), 4 or 5 medium size chile serranos, a couple of medium carrots. Salt of course. If I am making this for Sunday, then we will need to get the beans soaking on Friday night. The beans will start cooking after I re-wash the beans on Saturday morning, and then cook at very low heat all day Saturday, overnight Saturday, and through Sunday until we eat! Best after about 36 hours cooking... :-)  Then we have Oaxacan Black Bean Soup, estilo Tio Lala (Uncle Lala's style)."*

*He had left out juice of 1 lime. **the epazote can be found at some Mexican grocery stores, it is a green leafy herb


I look forward to trying some of the soups others have posted.