What Better Way to Welcome Fall than with 3 Easy to Make Soups?
Now that Halloween is officially behind us and Thanksgiving looms in front of us a mere few weeks away, my family is on a soup kick. There is something so wonderfully comforting and redemptive in soup, and diving into a hot bowl just relaxes the soul.
Plus, many soups are quick and easy to throw together. Since we’ll all be cooking up a storm here soon enough, why not go for quick and easy with these 3 soups to make this weekend? And don’t try to tell me that 3 soups is too many for I will have to answer
No soup for you!
Soup 1: The Comfort Soup – it eats like a meal
When I first read about this soup in Bon Appetit it said something like this soup will save you and went on to discuss how this soup is so easy to serve to a crowd too. While I agree with that completely, I find there’s never quite as much as you would hope since it’s so delicious. Be sure to add some fantastic bread with this, as Bon Appetit recommends too!
Squash and Bean Minestrone
2 smoked ham hocks (about 1½ lb.)
1 pound dried navy or cannellini (white kidney) beans
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, finely chopped
2 small celery stalks with leaves (from celery heart), chopped
2 cloves garlic cloves, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 butternut squash (about 2½ lb.), peeled, cut into ½” pieces
1 pound green beans, trimmed, cut into 1” pieces
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound small pasta (such as tiny shells or pipette)
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
2 bunches flat-leaf spinach, thick stems removed
- Remove meat from ham hocks and cut into large pieces; set meat aside. Place navy beans and ham bones in a large pot; add cold water to cover by 2”. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour.
- Heat ¼ cup oil in another large heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add ham hock meat, onion, leeks, celery, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 20 minutesThe just-right standby soup.
Add squash, green beans, navy beans and soaking liquid, broth, and bones to pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; reduce heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until navy beans are tender, 1½–2 hours.
- When soup is almost finished cooking, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil and add ¼ cup parsley and toss to coat.
Discard ham bones. Add spinach and remaining ¾ cup parsley to soup.
Divide soup among bowls. Add pasta, top with Arugula Salsa Verde, and drizzle with oil.
Soup 2: Chicken Noodle Soup – the original crowd-pleaser
It’s pretty tough to go wrong with a homemade chicken soup. This one from Country Living is even tastier though, as it has some slightly different ingredients than the standard version. Plus, as the recipe indicates you can use a ready-made stock and whip this one up within 30 minutes. For a frugal, fast family meal this can’t be beat!
2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
3 leeks, white and light-green parts only, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch pieces with rings intact
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
7 cup(s) chicken broth, preferably homemade
1 clove(s) garlic, smashed
1 1/4 cup(s) (about 6 ounces) wide noodles
3 cup(s) sliced roast chicken, skin on, breast meat
2 cup(s) frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoon(s) finely chopped fresh dill, plus more leaves for garnish
- In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Carefully add leeks in a single layer, so rings don’t unravel. Reduce heat to medium-low, season with salt and pepper, and cook 9 minutes; turn leeks, set heat to low, and cook until golden, about 9 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a 5-quart pot, bring broth and garlic to a boil. Stir in noodles; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Discard garlic.
- Set aside a few leeks per serving for garnish. Add remaining leeks to soup, along with chicken, peas, and dill, and cook for 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with reserved leeks.
Soup 3: The Hearty Stew – aka, the “yes it’s still soup” soup
I suggest making this soup at the end of the weekend. After all, if you’ve made the other two options then you are now on your third soup for the weekend and goodness knows you don’t want to be sick of soup after this! This soup from Fitness Magazine is an outrageously yummy dish that doesn’t even feel like soup. Toast some pita bread and this is almost spreadable, it’s so thick. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list either – it’s super simple!
Curried Vegetable Stew with Couscous
Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 zucchini, diced
1 cup green beans, cut into 1/2-inch diagonal pieces
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1. Stir spices, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the water together in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, cilantro, and spice mixture. Cook, stirring, 1 minute, or until onion begins to soften.
3. Add cauliflower, zucchini, and green beans; cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water; bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are just tender.
4. Stir in chickpeas and tomatoes; simmer 5 minutes more. Serve with couscous, if desired.
So, there they are – 3 soups to try this weekend! Even if you can’t fathom doing all 3 in one weekend, pick at least one and try it out. This is the perfect time to recover from the Halloween sweets before hitting the Thanksgiving feasts, and soup is a lovely addition to any fall family menu.