As soon as there’s a chill in the air, there is a pot of gumbo on the stove in Louisiana.

And most families have their favorite recipe or special ingredients that make theirs “the best.”

But after you’ve made several pots of chicken and sausage gumbo, duck gumbo or seafood gumbo, it’s time to change things up. Here’s three easy-to-make soups: Louisiana-Style Oyster Stew, French Onion Soup and Lentil Soup. Any of these can be served as a first course or entrée.

Oyster Stew is a simple and buttery soup that can be made in minutes. But be careful, you don’t want to overcook the oysters or boil the soup.

When it comes to onion soup, what makes it special is that piece of toasted French bread on top covered with melted Swiss or Parmesan cheese.

Lentils are an excellent source of protein and fiber. This soup recipe is a great vegetarian option, but you can add sausage if you like.

Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at