What is more welcoming than a big pot of soup, with steam gently rising from the surface, as you enter someone’s home for Thanksgiving dinner? Nothing.

What better way to distract your guests from any last-minute chaos happening in the kitchen than the aforementioned soup generously ladled into bowls at the table? Nothing.

Soup may be the perfect starter. You can throw many soups in a multicooker and save yourself from using up a burner on your stovetop. Others can be made ahead and frozen, relieving some of the pressure on the big cooking day.

Here are some excellent soups to start off your Thanksgiving meal.

Any Vegetable Instant Pot Soup, pictured above. Joe Yonan devised a formula to make soup simple. With a few aromatics and a vegetable of your choice, this hands-off soup will let you focus on other things.


Leek and Potato Soup. Silky, creamy leek and potato soup is classic and comforting. All you need are six ingredients and about an hour.


Roasted Carrot and Cashew Soup. This soup needs no dairy to be creamy, thanks to the cashews that get blended in. Tangy sumac and slightly smoky cumin pack delicious warm flavors. For something a little more autumnal, try Carrot Soup With Toasted Spices and Pecans.


Creamy Cauliflower Soup With Mushroom and Hazelnut Topping. This silky, dairy-free soup gets its texture from potatoes. If you make it ahead, heat up the topping separately to keep the crispy texture. Want a spicier cauliflower soup? Try Harissa-Spiced Cauliflower Almond Soup.


Holiday Kuri Squash and Apple Soup. This light, nearly fat-free dish is an ideal first course before a big meal. Keep it simple, or zhoosh it up with chestnuts, apple slices and/or a sprig of thyme. This is a great one to make ahead, as it freezes well.


Creamy Celery Root Soup With Tahini. This wintry soup is velvety-rich without a speck of cream involved. Thank you, tahini!


Creamy Tomato Pumpkin Soup. Pumpkin for dessert? Sure, but why not go ahead and start your meal with pumpkin, too?