Creamy soups are perfect for rainy days. Warm and comforting, they can be as simple as a cup of soup for snack or a dinner served with bread and a salad. Best of all cream soups are so easy to make that it is a great dish to get kids cooking.

Here are two basic cream soup recipes that can be switched up for all sorts of different types of soup. The first is a traditional potato and cream soup. The second version is a hearty bean and almond soup that is a complete meal all on its own. There are also a few different recipes for flavouring the basic soups into everything from a cozy baked potato soup to a tangy lemon and asparagus soup. Why not let your little chefs pick their favourite vegetables for their own delicious soup recipe?

Classic Creamy Potato Soup
This soup is so simple that even young children can help. If you have an immersion blender, then the vegetables only need to be roughly chopped. If you don’t have an immersion blender, then you can either purée the soup in a regular blender, or dice everything finely and leave the soup chunky.

1 onion
2 cloves garlic
4 large potatoes
2 Tbsps butter
6 cups of broth (chicken is best)
salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ cup of heavy cream

1. Peel the potato for a very creamy soup, otherwise, you can leave the skin on.
2. Roughly chop the onion and the potato. Peel the garlic.
3. Put the butter and all of the vegetables in a soup pot and saute for 5 minutes.
4. Pour in the broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes.
5. Purée until smooth.
6. Stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
This soup will work well with all sorts of different vegetables. Just replace half of the potatoes with 2 cups of your favourite vegetables or try one of the suggested recipes at the end of the article.
Here are two simple variations of a creamy potato soup.
Baked Potato Soup: Top each bowl of soup with a spoonful of sour cream, crumbled bacon, finely chopped chives and grated cheddar cheese.
Vichyssoise: Replace the onion and garlic with 6 medium leeks. Wash the leeks carefully, then chopping and saute with the potatoes.

Hearty Bean and Almond Soup
This soup is a delicious vegan version of a cream soup. The added white beans and ground almond provides creaminess as well as protein for a filling meal. If dairy isn’t a problem for you, then feel free to finish the soup with a ½ cup of cream for added richness.

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can of white beans or 1 ½ cups of cooked butter beans
6 cups of broth
salt, to taste (about 1 tsp)
ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup of ground almond

1. Roughly chop the onion and peel the garlic.
2. Put the olive oil and the onion and garlic in a soup pot and sauté for 5 minutes.
3. Drain and rinse the beans. Using a bit of broth, purée the beans until smooth.
4. Pour the puréed beans and the remaining broth over the onions and bring to a simmer. Simmer about 20 minutes.
5. After 20 minutes, remove from heat and purée until smooth.
6. Stir in the ground almond. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Favourite Cream Soup Recipes
Here are a few recipes that build on these creamy soups bases. They will work with either soup base.
Irish Vegetable Soup: Finely dice the onion, garlic, 2 carrots and 2 potatoes. Shred 4 cups of cabbage. Follow the recipe, sauteing all the vegetables before adding the broth. Leave the vegetables chunky and serve with buttered brown bread.
Cream of Broccoli Soup: Add 2 cups of chopped broccoli in with the vegetables. Remove a few whole florets before puréeing the vegetables, then stir the florets back in. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Cream of Mushroom Soup: Slice 3 cups of mushrooms. Saute until they release their juices, then add in the onion and garlic and fry for 5 more minutes. Sprinkle 2 Tbsps of flour over the vegetables and stir to combine, then whisk in the broth and finish the soup according to the recipe.
Cream of Asparagus Soup: Trim and chop 1 bunch of asparagus. Add it to the soup when you add the broth. Finish the soup with the zest and juice from 1 lemon. Then top each bowl with grated Parmesan cheese.

Emillie Parrish loves having adventures with her two busy children. She lives in Victoria and is the author of the fermentation-based blog fermentingforfoodies.com.