I've recently posted a couple of recipes for some asian soups (miso and asian noodle), but a great way to add thickness and heartiness to your soup stocks is to simply infuse them with lots of veggies!
I have been experimenting behind the scenes with a couple of different ideas, and although I haven't put together a post just yet, I'll start with these photos and suggestions to offer some inspiration!
If you're looking for a recipe to follow, I would recommend this carrot bisque from Vegan with a Vengeance:
This was one of the first straight vegetable soups I'd ever tried making. I have to admit that many years ago I was a bit doubtful about the idea of a bisque without dairy, but the coconut milk that this recipe calls for adds just the right amount of richness, while the rest of the soup's complex flavors mask any trace of actual coconut flavor.
If you're looking for something even heartier, look no further than Veganomicon's Baked Potato Soup.
With lots of kale, and potatoes prepared three different ways, this soup is truly a whole meal unto itself.
As for my own experiments, I've been dabbling with all kinds of variations.
Earlier in the winter I made a broccoli soup with a bit of jalapeño cashew cheese infused into it! It may sound like a bizarre combination, but a spicy broccoli-cheese soup (with a little daiya cheddar) was actually quite delicious. I'll try to post the recipe for this soon (unfortunately my notes were lost, and I haven't had the chance to re-make it).
I also made some orange carrot ginger soup (following a recipe that came with my Vitamix). It was an intriguing combination, but I tried substituting clementines for the orange and this wasn't such a success...the flavor wasn't quite as strong as the orange. Also, after about a day or so the soup developed a very acrid flavor, not so great. Here's a picture anyhow; I have to say it did have a really great thick and almost frothy texture, and I'd like to experiment with it some more:
Adding a little bit of fruit to your soup (like citrus or apples) can provide a nice subtle contrast to the rest of your flavors.
More on soups to come...and soon enough I'll delve into some lighter, "summer" ideas...