Is It Soup Season Already?

I suppose it’s a bit of a cliché to comment on the fact that we’re now well into November. Around here, the winds outside are howling, which means the snow isn’t far behind. In my kitchen, this is good news, because it all signals the start of SOUP SEASON!

At MorningStar Kitchen we usually celebrate Soup Season during January, when we’ve all had our fill of rich holiday menus and are hankering for foods that are simpler and less filling. But this year we decided to start the celebration earlier, when the nights grow longer, there’s a fire in the fireplace, and the chaos of the holidays is not quite upon us. I mean, why should January have all the fun?

We’re well prepared for an early Soup Season, as we’ve just finished harvesting the bounty from our gardens. We have on hand everything we need for those hearty and delicious soups we crave at this time of year: carrots, turnips, and rutabaga. Celery, peppers, leeks, and onions; kale, beans, tomatoes, and parsley; squash, pumpkin, and potatoes. So when it comes to soups, we’re good-to-go! We’ll add meat, pasta, and beans to some of them. To others we’ll add cheese. And some, we’ll let the vegetables themselves do all the talking. Oh my goodness – it all sounds so delicious and inviting!

And that’s kind of my point in writing about soups today, because for me right now, the question isn’t just why should January have all the fun. It’s also, why shouldn’t the holidays be able to get in on the celebration, too. Why not make soup part of your holiday menus? Why not let bisques and chowders take on starring roles this holiday season? After all, fine dining often starts with a cup or bowl of soup. And during the holidays, there’s no finer dining than right at your own dining table!

So how about starting off an elegant meal of Cranberry Braised Pork Loin with a cup of Roasted Cannellini Bean and Caramelized Onion Bisque. Sound complicated? Not at all! It’s easy, and sensationally delicious! (And by the way, it’s inexpensive.)

How about Curried Squash (or Pumpkin) Bisque before that Rack of Lamb? Or Great Lakes Mushroom Bisque before your Beef Tenderloin? And when you’re slowing things down a little during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, maybe serve a Smoked Salmon and Sweet Potato Chowder with crusty rolls and a glass of wine for a lite supper.

I promise you that these simple soups will go a long way toward making each holiday meal shine; setting it apart, and making it memorable. And the good news is that every one of these soups is easy to make ahead, and they all freeze well. So go ahead. Get started, be prepared, and enjoy the accolades!

And while you’re in “soup mode,” why not make a pot of Sausage, Kale, and Bean Soup to have on hand when you come in from sledding or skating? Oh yes, you’re going to be a real hero this holiday season!

Finally, you can find all of these soup recipes - and the seasonings that make them spectacular - on our website today. Check them out at

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