From minestrone to gazpacho, slurp your way through the seasons with these excellent variations on vegetable soup
The variety of the vegetables, two kinds of legumes, and the Italian trick of cooking a bit of parmesan rind in the soup for added flavor create a palate-pleasing minestrone miles beyond the bland bean-and-pasta version so often served. The soup is flexible too; add your favorite vegetables or use whatever is bountiful in your garden this harvest.
Recipe: Vegetable Minestrone
Any creamy white bean will work in this rustic Italian soup, from cannellini to the more exotic zolfini or alubia (have fun experimenting!).
Make this simple soup when tomatoes are at their peak. Chilling melds the flavors.
Recipe: Easiest Garden Gazpacho
We left the soup chunky with a clear broth, but you could easily purée it to create a smooth soup. Just don't skip the avocado mixture, as it makes a refreshing contrast to the beans and spice.
This hearty yet elegant soup contrasts the sweetness of coconut milk and hazelnuts with earthy vegetables.
Thomas J. Story
A favorite at Cowgirl Creamery’s Sidekick Cafe in San Francisco, this soup is a grilled cheese sandwich’s best friend. Its success depends on really good canned tomatoes and long, slow simmering, so that all the flavors meld.
Recipe: Sidekick Tomato Soup
Thomas J. Story
This lovely soup is practically spring in a bowl. To make it heartier, scatter quartered cherry tomatoes and croutons on top. Snap peas often have a fibrous string that runs down the pod's straight side; to remove it, snap off the stem end and pull down sharply.
This soup has two layers of kumquats—cooked in the soup to become mellow and tender, and finely chopped with parsley for a bright topping.
Recipe: Lentil and Kumquat Soup
Romesco is a classic Spanish sauce made of ground tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, olive oil, and almonds. We turned it into a twist on cream of tomato soup, with lentils added for a nice protein boost. Choose the vegetable broth option.
Recipe: Romesco Soup
Minty oil and toasted almonds highlight the sweet taste of peas in this soup. It’s especially good with fresh peas from your garden, but still delicious with pre-shelled ones from the store.
Recipe: Fresh Pea Soup with Mint
Tamarind, cilantro, mint, and cucumber flavor this bowl.
Nigella seeds (also called kalonji) add an oniony flavor. Look for them and for tamarind concentrate at Indian markets and some specialty food stores.
Recipe: Indian-Spiced Tomato Soup