Recipe Box: Easy and Kid-Approved Meatless Winter Soups

By Brigette Schroeder, publisher of Macaroni KID Yorkville - Geneva - St. Charles, Ill. December 26, 2023

We are a soup family! We all LOVE soup... which is good for this mama because most soups are quick and easy to make. And now that it's cold out, soup is one of my go-to dinners on a busy weeknight or a lazy weekend afternoon. 

I also come from a soup family and have eaten and made many soups for years. Below are three of my family's favorite meatless soups I keep in rotation.

They are also very versatile. Substitute vegetables with whatever you have available in your fridge or pantry! You can also easily make modifications to your family's dietary needs. Now that is a win-win for moms in my book! 

photosimysia | Canva

Ella Mae's Creamy Corn Chowder

  • 3 cans or 2 small bags of frozen corn
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced small
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 cups vegetable stock 
  • 2 cups half and half
  • ⅛ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. each of salt and pepper


  1. Melt butter in a large stockpot and add shallot, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Saute until tender. 
  2. Add flour to the veggie mixture and stir to combine. Continue to stir over low heat until well combined.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool. 
  4. In a medium saucepan, bring stock and corn to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. 
  5. Pour the hot stock/corn into the stock pot a little at a time, whisking to combine with the flour mixture. 
  6. Turn the heat back to medium and bring to a boil. The soup will thicken as it comes to a boil. 
  7. In a small saucepan (or in the microwave), warm half and half on low, then pour into the corn mixture.
  8. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg. 
  9. Stir well, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve.

VeselovaElena | Canva

Pa's Potato Dumpling Soup

  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery and/or carrots, diced small
  • 1 cup of whole kernel corn (or four cobs, if using fresh)
  • 1 quart of 2% milk
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper, divided


  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter, and saute garlic and all vegetables, except potatoes, until tender. 
  2. Add ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. 
  3. Add potatoes and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add milk and bring to a gentle boil.
  5. Make the dumplings: In a small bowl, mix flour, remaining salt and pepper, and egg. Mix to combine.
  6. Once the soup has returned to a gentle boil, start dropping teaspoons of dumpling mixture into the soup until all has been added. 
  7. Simmer for 10 minutes to allow the dumplings to cook, then serve.

Andrey Zhuravlev | Canva

Stuffed Pepper Soup

  • 2 pounds of plant-based crumbles 
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 can (28 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (28 oz.) of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups green, red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, chopped
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 2 cups long grain rice, cooked
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)


  1. In a medium skillet, prepare plant-based crumbles as indicated on the package. Stir in water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, bell peppers, brown sugar, and salt, and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until peppers are tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Add cooked rice and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes longer. 
  4. Serve topped with cheese if you'd like.

Note: This recipe does very well in a slow cooker, too. Add all ingredients and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours.