Soup

30-Minute Fall Soups for Busy, Chilly Nights

In this month's installment of Dinner's Ready, columnist EmilyC is dusting off her Dutch oven and coming in hot with quick, tasty soups.

by:
October  2, 2020
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop Stylist: Gerri Williams.

It's the end of the long workday (or the start of an extra-long week) and we're hungry. Like, "can't-think-straight" hungry. Luckily, Food52 contributor EmilyC wants to do all the thinking for us. In Dinner's Ready, her monthly column on weeknight wonders, she shares three simple, flavor-packed recipes that are connected by a single idea or ingredient. Stick with Emily, and you'll have a good dinner on the table in no time. Today, Emily shows us how to dust off our Dutch ovens and make crave-worthy soups fit for fall.


In Northern Virginia where I live, we had a stretch of chilly September weather that immediately put me into winterizing mode. I pulled sweaters from the back of my closet, piled blankets on the bed, and researched heat lamps for our patio in the hopes that we can pull off a few socially-distant visits with friends as the temperature drops. (My husband, who never gets cold even in the dead of winter, isn’t convinced we need one. “Just layer up!” is his motto.)

But the best thing I did? I dusted off my Dutch oven and fully commenced soup and stew season. I’m determined to find as many cozy, comforting dinners as possible for the challenging months ahead. That’s why, in this second week of fall, I already have a lineup of soups and stews in my weeknight rotation.

Beyond their warming vibes, there are so many good reasons to start simmering up big pots of hearty soups and stews right now.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I make a hearty fall soup with Ground beef, Polish sausage ( cut into pieces) Chopped onions, sauteed together then drained, then I add beef or vegetable broth, Stewed tomatoes, carrots, and simmer until carrots are almost soft, then add Italian seasoning, and macaroni and simmer until pasta is cooked. Serve with a sprinkling of grated cheese and served with warm, homemade crusty bread. I often start this soup early in the day and let it simmer all day. I add the pasta about 15-20 minutes before dinner is ready. It's a filling warm meal on a cold day.”
— Reene47
Comment

First, these recipes make excellent use of early fall produce: freshly dug sweet potatoes; plump cabbages; dark, leafy greens. They’re adaptable and forgiving no matter what’s in your pantry and fridge. And with so many flavor combinations and textures to work with—from smooth and creamy to thick and rustic—there’s a version for practically every mood and craving.

But most compelling, to me, is their ease. Most soups and stews come together in one pot, and aside from a little prep and sautéing time upfront, they’re mostly hands-off. Even better, most can be made in advance and refrigerated or frozen until needed. At the end of a long day, these types of simple, satisfying dinners are not only convenient, they’re essential.

Below are three of my favorite go-to soups and stews for busy, chilly nights. While distinct in personality, each is ready in about 30 minutes and will warm you from the inside out, even without a heat lamp nearby.


Smoky Tomato & Red Pepper Soup With White Beans

This is not your ordinary tomato soup. It’s got a Spanish tilt, thanks to the combo of tomatoes, roasted red peppers, smoked paprika, and sherry vinegar. It’s also lusciously creamy without any dairy—all thanks to canned white beans that get simmered and blended into the soup. To gild the lily, crisp-up a few more white beans in olive oil, then scatter them and some snipped chives on top of each bowlful. It’s a full meal in and of itself, but a grilled cheese sandwich for dunking wouldn’t be out of place.


Sweet Potato Stew With Chickpeas & Hardy Greens

It’s impossible to go wrong with the combination of sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and hearty greens. But the real star of this stew is the broth. It's flavored with maple syrup, soy sauce, and lime juice (inspired by Carla Lalli Music’s Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Butter)—which impart beguiling salty-savory-sweet notes to the veg-packed stew. But my favorite part? Swirling hummus (yes, hummus!) into the stew when it’s done simmering to boost the rich chickpea flavor and nicely thicken the broth—a new-to-me trick that I can’t wait to extend to other soups and stews, as well.


Cabbage, Sausage & Orzo Soup With Parmesan

This super cozy, rib-sticking soup is layered with umami from the bottom-up—from aromatics sautéed in sausage fat, to a rich, caramelized tomato-Parmesan broth, to lots of grated Parmesan that's showered over the soup before serving. Better yet, it’s completely adaptable based on what you have on hand. Reach for different vegetables, proteins, and small pastas or rice, and marvel at how these simple ingredients come together to make something so soul satisfying.


More Comforting Soups & Stews

What's your favorite fall soup recipe? Let us know in the comments.
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EmilyC

Written by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

13 Comments

indiangate October 8, 2020
Nice, It is really very useful for me.
Thanks.
Please visit Indian Restaurant in Australia.

https://indiagateonline.com.au/
 
ndboc October 7, 2020
A new family favorite “Calichiktato chowder” invented in this COVID-19 era of “do-your-best-with-Whatchew-got” handy at home 😊
Can of chickpeas, diced tomato and chiles, diced sweet potatoes, a little grated onion, ginger and garlic. Sauté altogether for a few minutes, add in some veggie broth, coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add soy sauce and red pepper flakes to season. Throw in a handful of cilantro, stir and serve up! Delicioso😋
 
Linda October 5, 2020
Love homemade soups! I did my first one of the fall season last week and it was sooo delicious. Butternut squash made with coconut milk, fresh ginger, coriander...throw in a yam as well...very healthy as well.
 
Château L. October 5, 2020
Here in France the weather has been particularly stormy - perfect for soup making. I made the mistake of planting 6 butternut squash plants this year and am now the proud owner of 30 squash. The sweet potato stew sounds good, but think I'll sub in squash...
 
Suzanne H. October 4, 2020
My 2 favorite soups to make are curried butternut soup and Hungarian mushroom soup!
 
Michaelann October 4, 2020
I’m making pasta fagioli today but my favorite is chicken tortilla soup...oh, so good!
 
Charlea October 4, 2020
I like to make Three Sisters Soup in the fall. Saute onion and garlic in a dutch oven add vegetable broth (not too much) , cooked mashed butternut squash, one can of corn and one can of black beans. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer. At the very end add just a bit of milk (plant based or regular) to make it slightly creamy. The soup should be a thick chowder consistency, not thin. Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top.
 
Barbara G. October 6, 2020
Three Sisters in Oregon? One of our favorite spots!
 
Charlea October 6, 2020
Three Sisters as in the traditional threesome (Corn, Beans and Squash) in Native American agriculture and cooking.
 
Ethel H. October 4, 2020
This week I made split pea and ham soup. Delicious and nutritious.
 
Reene47 October 4, 2020
I make a hearty fall soup with Ground beef, Polish sausage ( cut into pieces) Chopped onions, sauteed together then drained, then I add beef or vegetable broth, Stewed tomatoes, carrots, and simmer until carrots are almost soft, then add Italian seasoning, and macaroni and simmer until pasta is cooked. Serve with a sprinkling of grated cheese and served with warm, homemade crusty bread. I often start this soup early in the day and let it simmer all day. I add the pasta about 15-20 minutes before dinner is ready. It's a filling warm meal on a cold day.
 
Author Comment
EmilyC October 4, 2020
Yum, sounds great!
 
Beth October 4, 2020
Sounds great. The only thing I do different is I add chopped cabbage, skip the pasta and add some sugar, makes it kind of sweet which we like. But this kind of soup lends itself to lots of tweaks.