Soup is an underrated addition to a Thanksgiving dinner spread—especially if it’s premade soup, i.e. something you don’t actually have to cook while you’re cooking 800 other things. Just simmer these store bought soups on the stove or nuke them in the microwave and, voila, you have a fancy first course for your Thanksgiving meal. Seriously, if you’re not adding Thanksgiving soup to the rotation, what are you doing? This might be your first introduction to the concept of Thanksgiving soups, and if that’s the case, then welcome. We rounded up some soups from our tastes tests that feel both fancy and fall-like, the perfect soups to tide people over while the turkey completes its grueling fourth hour in the oven.
- Panera Bread Autumn Squash Soup
I’m a big proponent of filling your Thanksgiving table with food you picked up from a restaurant when you’re too intimidated or too busy to make a huge holiday feast yourself. And Panera Bread made that even easier by stocking their Autumn Squash Soup in the grocery store. Flavor profile-wise, this is the perfect Thanksgiving soup. According to Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling, it’s incredibly savory, though “it still leans sweet thanks to the mellow flavor of the squash.” This appetizer soup is a cheat code to a Thanksgiving meal that’s cozy as hell.
Read the full ranking of the best butternut squash soup
- Marketside Creamy Mushroom & Herb Soup
If you were planning on simply repurposing that condensed cream of mushroom soup you bought for the green bean casserole as an appetizer to go with your Thanksgiving dinner, please allow us to offer a tastier suggestion. Marketside Creamy Mushroom & Herb Soup—which comes refrigerated in the deli section at Walmart—is the better Thanksgiving soup. It’s super savory, packed with herbs and spices, and spiked with madeira wine, which really amplifies the savory flavor of the mushrooms. As Sporked managing editor Gwynedd Stuart put it, “This is the best cream of mushroom soup if you’ve ever wanted to eat mushroom gravy with a spoon.” Hell, this Thanksgiving soup could even double as gravy if your turkey takes a turn for the dry.
Read the full ranking of the best cream of mushroom soup
- Rao’s Homemade Sausage & Potato with Cannellini Beans
If you’re having one of those Thanksgiving meals where you either make stuffing or mashed potatoes and you decided to go with stuffing this year, this Thanksgiving soup is a good way to satisfy everyone’s desire for a little starch. For store bought soup, Rao’s Homemade Sausage & Potato soup is fancy, definitely worthy of a holiday meal. You get cubes of potato, bits of spinach, lots of cannellini beans, and little morsels of sausage that are so flavorful (and would make a hell of a flavor match if you make your stuffing with sausage). This stuff is filling, so it’s one of those Thanksgiving soups you’ll want to serve sparingly.
Read the full ranking of the best potato soup
- Amy’s Kitchen Thai Coconut Soup
This is a wonderful appetizer soup. I’d even argue this is THE appetizers soup. Think about it: It’s absolutely packed to the brim with flavor to get you excited for the main event but it won’t fill up your guests before they get to dig into the turkey. Amy’s Thai Coconut soup is a creamy, warm pre-Thanksgiving soup that’s bright and fresh and full of flavor without being super heavy or filling. It’s a perfect first-course soup that will diversify your Thanksgiving feast.
Read the full ranking of the best vegetarian soups
- Trader Joe’s Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
If you landed on this roundup of the best Thanksgiving soup because you’re planning on making your own Thanksgiving soup with leftover turkey, don’t worry—you’re still in the right place, because here we have the broth you should be using for your homemade Thanksgiving soups. It’s flavorful and fresh tasting, and really leans into the flavor of poultry rather than being a veggie bomb like other broths. According to Gwynedd, “It tastes like the drippings from a rotisserie chicken.” Even if your turkey didn’t turn out to be the most flavorful main, this broth will give it an amazing second life.
Read the full ranking of the best chicken broth