It’s not just the clothing that needs to change when Summer turns to Fall — but meals also tend to transition as well. Light bites and aperitifs on the patio turn into warm, hearty Crock-Pot meals. And, one of the best meals to warm the hearth — and heart — is a delicious, filling soup. Whether it’s made quickly on the stovetop or left to fill the home with smells in a slow-cooker; whether traditional or a bit out of the box; and whether served solo or with a side; this dish is quite possibly the best thing about the season.
We’ve rounded up several soup recipes to help inspire mealtime this season, and hope the inspiration will also extend to your tablescapes. Add some Fall colors and interesting patterns; and grab mini pumpkins or unique-looking gourds to create a stunning centerpiece that will make even a weeknight meal feel special.
Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Crème Fraîche
- 1 large (3-pound) butternut squash, halved and seeded
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup salted butter (4 ounces)
- 2 medium-size yellow onions, chopped
- 11 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 8 cups lower-sodium chicken broth, or as needed, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
- 6 thick-cut bacon slices, cooked and cut into 1/2-inch strips
- 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a paring knife, score cut sides of squash in a crosshatch pattern. Arrange squash halves, cut sides up, on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush cut sides of squash with honey; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast in preheated oven until tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes. Using a spoon, scrape squash flesh into a medium bowl. Discard peels.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium Dutch oven over medium until sizzling. Add onions and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and light golden brown, about 25 minutes. Add carrots and sage; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
- Stir in cooked squash and 6 cups broth. Bring to a boil over high. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes
- Ladle soup, in 3 batches, into a blender. Secure lid on blender; remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a kitchen towel over opening. Process until velvety smooth, about 30 seconds per batch. (Alternatively, puree soup in Dutch oven using an immersion blender until smooth.) Return pureed soup to Dutch oven over medium, and stir in paprika, pepper, nutmeg, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in remaining 2 cups chicken broth, 1/2 cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt to taste. Cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 4 minutes.
- Divide soup evenly among bowls. Top each with a spoonful of crème fraîche, and sprinkle each serving with bacon, parsley, and paprika.
Serves 6 to 8
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp. salt, plus additional to taste
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 6 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
- 2 15-oz. cans white beans (cannellini or great Northern), drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 c. ditalini pasta
- 3 c. chopped fresh kale
- 1 lemon
- Parmesan cheese, for topping
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, 1/2 teaspoon salt, oregano, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have just softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic; cook, stirring often, about 2 minutes more.
- Add the broth and undrained tomatoes; stir to release any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Add half of the beans to a bowl; mash with a fork and stir into the soup. Add the remaining beans and the pasta to the pot; reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for 10 minutes. Stir in the kale and cook until the pasta is tender, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
- Zest the lemon, then cut it in half. Squeeze one lemon half into the soup. Add 1 teaspoon of the zest and stir to combine. Taste and add more lemon juice or salt as desired. Top servings with parmesan.
Whole Baked Pumpkin Soup
- 2 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) whole orange pumpkins (such as Hokkaido)
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 cup raw pepitas
- 2 1/4 teaspoona fine sea salt, divided
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (7 ounces), divided
- 3 1/2 cups water
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place whole pumpkins on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until very tender, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pour wine into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Boil, without stirring, until wine has reduced by about half, about 10 minutes. Keep warm; set aside.
- Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high. Add pepitas, and cook, stirring often, until seeds are puffed, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside. In the same skillet, melt 7 tablespoons butter over medium. Cook, stirring often, until butter browns, about 6 minutes. Set aside.
- Remove skin and stems from pumpkins, and cut pumpkins in half. Scoop out and discard seeds. Working in 3 batches, combine hot pumpkin, 3 1/2 cups water, and remaining 7 tablespoons butter in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until smooth, about 1 minute per batch. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in reduced wine and remaining 2 teaspoons salt.
- Sprinkle servings with sautéed pepitas, and drizzle with brown butter.
Slow-Cooker Vegetable & Chicken Meatball Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions (from 1 onion)
- 5 garlic cloves, minced (about 5 teaspoons)
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 1 cup chopped carrots (from 1 carrot)
- 1 cup chopped zucchini (from 1 zucchini)
- 4 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
- ½ cup thinly sliced celery (from 1 celery stalk)
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- 1 pound ground chicken
- ⅓ cup whole-wheat panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
- 2 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the onions, garlic, salt, and pepper to the skillet; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 minutes. Remove 1/2 cup of the cooked onion mixture, and place in a medium bowl; set aside. Transfer the remaining onion mixture to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Stir the stock, carrots, zucchini, green beans, celery, and tomatoes into the slow cooker.
- Add the chicken, panko, 1/2 tablespoon of the parsley, and 1 teaspoon of the oregano to the reserved 1/2 cup onion mixture in the bowl; stir gently with a fork to combine. Shape the chicken mixture into 18 (1 1/4-inch) meatballs. Carefully submerge the meatballs into the chicken stock mixture in the slow cooker without stirring. Cover and cook on HIGH until the meatballs are done and the vegetables are tender, about 2 hours and 30 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and 1 teaspoon oregano. Ladle the soup into bowls, and serve hot.