Three hearty soups for a cool fall night

Hearty stews are a great way to get extra veggies in your diet during the cool fall months.

Fall is the favorite time of year for hearty stews. But that doesn’t mean they have to be unhealthy.

Autumn is upon us once again. The cool air has slowly taken over, the foliage has begun its descent into hibernation. As for us? We’re ready to eat!

Fall is a great time to make hot, hearty stews with seasonal vegetables that can be healthy, comforting and decadent all at the same time. We’ve found three that are satisfying and simple so you can spend more time cuddled up and eating!

Lentil Soup

Giada De Laurentiis of Food Network fame gives us this simple soup that’s loaded with veggies. It also calls for lentils, which are great for your digestive tract.

There are a few steps in the process, each one easier than the next. You saute carrots, celery and onions, then add tomatoes and broth, boil the lentils and at the very end, add some pasta.

With a recipe like this, you can add any veggies you have. Zucchini and squash would make it a fall favorite. And if there’s something you don’t have, just leave it out.

Here are the ingredients.

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 pound lentils (approximately 1 1/4 cups)
11 cups low-salt chicken broth
4 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs
2/3 cup dried elbow pasta
1 cup shredded Parmesan

Get the directions here.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Another Food Network star, Ina Garten, brings us this filling and healthy autumn soup. Just a handful of ingredients come together quickly, and a variety of toppings makes it easy to fit any tastes.

You roast squash, apples and onions until they’re sweet and tender. Then you mix them with chicken stock and curry and blend to get a smooth and chunky, super healthy soup.

Ina says to use a food mill, but a food processor or blender works just the same. This recipe calls for homemade chicken stock, but the canned or boxed stuff works just as well.

For the toppings, Ina suggests scallions, cashews, flaked coconut and even diced banana. All of these bump up the nutritional value and the flavor.

Here are the ingredients.

For the Soup:
3 to 4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and seeded
2 yellow onions
2 McIntosh apples, peeled and cored
3 tablespoons good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 4 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon curry powder

For the Condiments:
Scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and sliced diagonally
Flaked sweetened coconut, lightly toasted
Roasted salted cashews, toasted and chopped
Diced banana

Get the directions here.

Creamy Black-Eyed Pea Soup

This simple and tummy-friendly soup comes together in a snap. You make the whole thing in one dish, which is always a plus, and you can adjust the spices based on your mood.

The recipe calls for sour cream, but if you’re avoiding dairy, full-fat coconut milk or even Greek yogurt would be a good substitute.

One warning, this recipe serves two people. If you have a family to feed, you can easily double or triple the recipe. The black eyed peas come in a can, so there would be little extra work or cost.

Here are the ingredients.

Olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
Red pepper flakes (optional)
4 cloves garlic, minced or mashed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 cup water
1/4 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper, to taste

Get the directions here.

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