Our best fall soup recipes

There’s no better antidote to a chilly, windy day than a hot bowl of soup. And since fall is right around the corner, we’ve put together a list of recipes you can keep in your back pocket, ready to pop out as soon as the first gust of cold wind hits. Some of them are super seasonal, like this Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Crème Fraîche and Whole Baked Pumpkin Soup; others are year-round delights, you can enjoy special comfort in this season. Read on for all 13 recipes.

French Onion Soup with Roasted Poblanos

Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Accessories Styling by Prissy Lee Montiel

At Tzuco in Chicago, French onion soup hits the table piping hot, topped with a bubbling layer of Gruyere cheese. Hidden under the blanket of cheese, a thick slice of baguette soaks up a soup infused with the flavor of a mountain of jammy onions, balsamic vinegar and bay leaves. French onion soups can be quite beefy, but chef Carlos Gaytán uses a mild chicken broth base that allows the allium flavors to really shine. Poblano peppers add a mild vegetable heat and a slight charred flavor. To ensure even caramelization, keep the onions in an even layer while cooking.

Green cabbage ramen

Greg Du Pree

Chef Todd Richards is known for his personal, globally-inspired take on Southern cuisine, and his Collard Greens Ramen is no exception. Riffling over a memorable bowl of yaka mein he had as a child, Richards’ soup starts with a pot of cabbage and a generous drizzle of bourbon, which builds into an intense potlikker. Shichimi togarashi, a Japanese spice blend of dried orange peel, ginger, sesame seeds, nori and a mixture of dried chili peppers, completes each bowl. As Richards says, each bowl of noodles spiked with ham hock is a warm thank you to its past — with a strong Southern accent.

Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Crème Fraîche

Erin Kunkel

Roasting the butternut squash with honey and a touch of salt intensifies the natural sweetness of the squash and caramelizes the honey. Take the time to brown the onions; cooking them gently and slowly deepens the fundamental flavor of this hearty soup.

Caldo de Pollo

Victor Protasio

Barely covering the chicken thighs with water, along with a few aromatics, quickly produces a flavorful and rich chicken broth, lightly spiced with jalapeños and sweet tomatoes. If you want a spicier broth (this version is quite mild), use a paring knife to make small incisions in each pepper before adding them to the soup. Read John Paul Brammer’s essay, The Healing Magic of Caldo de Pollo.

Goat cheese cauliflower soup with herbs

© Nicole Franzen

This succulent, creamy cauliflower soup from chef Anne Burrell is topped with a delicious garnish of crispy roasted cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, plus a sprinkle of herbed goat cheese. It can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three days.

Baked Whole Pumpkin Soup

Aubrie Pick

Cooking pumpkins whole traps steam inside the vegetable, resulting in a lush, velvety pumpkin puree and making the skins easy to remove. A simple reduction of dry white wine is mixed with butter to balance the sweetness of the pumpkin.

Smoked Ham Shank and Lentil Soup

Photo by Victor Protasio / Food styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Accessories styling by Lydia Pursell

“I love making this lentil soup when the weather starts to cool,” says Nina Compton, 2017 F&W Best New Chef, chef-owner of New Orleans hot spot, Compère Lapin. “The aroma of ham hock floats beautifully in the kitchen; the smell alone warms you up. The addition of a little ginger and lemongrass brightens the soup and reminds me of being back in Saint Lucia. Using local okra reminds me of my home in Louisiana and adds a different texture.” To make your own croutons for this rich ham hock and lentil soup, combine three cups cubed baguette with three tablespoons butter and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt; bake at 375°F, stirring three times, until toasted, about 15 minutes.

Broccoli and Potato Soup

Photo by Adam Friedlander / Food Styling by Pearl Jones

Bright green broccoli florets floating above this hearty soup make it particularly eye-catching, but it’s the broccoli stalks that do the real work. They are cooked with the potatoes and then mashed to form a creamy base. A final sprinkle of grated parmesan gives the soup an extra savory touch.

Chicken pot pie soup with puff pastry croutons

Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Accessories Styling by Heather Chadduck Hillegas

This creamy, comforting soup from Ina Garten’s legendary cookbook, Modern comfort food, captures everything to love about chicken pot pie. Plenty of aromatic vegetables, a rich, silky broth enriched with tarragon and cream of sherry, and tender chicken (or leftover Thanksgiving turkey) deliver pure comfort in every spoonful. Buttery puff pastry croutons (made from store-bought dough!) are an irresistible finishing touch.

Basque Garlic Soup

Greg Du Pree

Sopa de ajo is a balm for a cold day loved throughout Spain. The scorching bowl of smoky garlic broth is filled with egg tendrils, thickened with bread and enhanced with a splash of sherry vinegar. In the Basque region, this soup traditionally uses a bread called zopako ogia which has a wide, dry crust and very little crumb, making it perfect for thickening the soup. This soup, from writer and cookbook author Marti Buckley, calls for a very well-grilled — almost seared — baguette in olive oil to add body and roasted depth. The tangy broth is also infused with a whole head of garlic and thickened with egg. Some recipes call for a poached egg to float in each bowl of soup, but beating the egg and stirring it into the hot soup infuses each bite with flavor and the delicate egg wisps add a nice texture to the broth. With a short ingredient list, this seemingly simple soup is truly enhanced with every addition.

Coconut Sweet Potato Soup with Thai Curry

© John Kernick

A trio of coconuts — coconut oil, coconut milk, and toasted coconut flakes — make their way into this fragrant and delicious soup from cookbook author Melissa Clark. Sprigs of fresh cilantro add a bright green kick.

Vegetarian 15 bean soup

Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Ali Ramee

Can’t decide whether to make bean or lentil soup? Pick up a bag of 15 bean soup mix from the dry goods aisle of the market and whip up this tasty and hearty soup instead. Bean and lentil soups like this are often cooked with a ham bone or smoked ham hock, but there are other ways to add flavor to a pot of soup, especially when you want something vegetarian thing. Here we add some Parmesan crusts, which add depth of flavor and umami when simmered with a casserole of soup, stew, or even pasta sauce. (Feel free to swap out a vegetarian Parmesan, if you avoid eating cheese made from animal rennet.) Serve the soup with a warm loaf of crusty bread.

Creamy mashed potato soup with dashi

Photo by Victor Protasio / Food styling by Torie Cox / Accessories styling by Claire Spollen

Dashi and soy sauce add umami to leftover buttery mashed potatoes in this cozy soup from Chef Shota Nakajima. As a child, whenever he was hungry, he took whatever was left over from the previous meal to make soup or fried rice. “I grew up in a Japanese family and was taught never to waste anything,” says Nakajima. This soup is his riff on a recipe from his mother. Add milk for a creamier texture or more dashi for a thinner consistency. Substitute any pureed vegetable you have on hand, like cauliflower or sweet potato, but be sure to finish the soup with generous pats of melted butter and an extra drizzle of soy.

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