Along with the ubiquitous pumpkin, fall brings butternut and acorn squash, sweet potatoes and yams, onions, carrots and other root vegetables. You can certainly enjoy them as side vegetables but as the temperatures drop I start thinking about bringing out my crock pots and making soup.In keeping with the colors of autumn leaves I think of soups in green, gold, orange and red.
Bright orange pumpkin soup and roasted butternut squash soup are the epitome of fall but roasted sweet potatoes or yams also make hearty autumn soups. Looking for recipes, I found more than one version of Morrocan Carrot Soup made so with Morrocan style seasonings. My favorite was topped with yogurt and pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds). There was also Ginger Carrot Soup.
For red soups, there are tomatoes. There are so many ways to use tomatoes in soup. You can make creamy tomato soups and add basil or tarragon. You see tomato basil soup on lots of menus but tarragon also goes wonderfully with tomatoes. You can make chunky tomato soups with red peppers or red pepper pesto.
Lentils can be either red or green so you can have a lentil soup in two colors. And many cultures enjoy lentils. I’ve had Italian lentil soup, Indian lentil soup, French lentil soup and Middle Eastern style lentil soups. Or perhaps a yellow or green split pea soup. I make the pea soup with ham and ham stock Quebec style, the way I learned from my grandmother, but there are great vegetarian and vegan versions, too.
Corn chowder is a good way to use some of that corn you shaved off the cob and froze. There are so many ways to make it, adding bacon or peppers or cheese. While the soup base may not be autumn colored there is the yellow gold of the corn. The way I make it, with bits of red, green, yellow and purple peppers it’s much brighter and more colorful. I also enjoy Cheesy Corn Soup, which I first had in Iowa. I’ve also seen it called corn and cheese chowder but however you call it it is delicious and perfect served in bread bowl.
They don’t make a fall foliage color soup but there are many versions of soup with black beans. A black bean soup garnished with avocado, jalapenos and sour cream side by side with one of those bright orange squash, sweet potato, or pumpkin soups would look perfect on a Halloween buffet table.
I have to add potatoes to the list of ingredients that make great fall soups. One of my favorites has always been Leek and Potato. I make mine with cream but the wonderful thing about potatoes is that their texture lets you use almond or soy milk if you have dairy issues or are vegan. I also have a recipe I got from an old army cook for Canadian bacon soup that is potato based. You can make potato soup chunky or smooth and creamy like liquid mashed potatoes.
The best thing about soup is that you can really customize soups to meet any taste or diet restriction. The slow blending of flavors allows for a taste no matter what you may have to do without or substitute for medical reasons or personal taste. Soup is also emotionally satisfying and good for your health. It fills you and helps prevent overeating and it’s not a food you can gulp down and eat on the run. Sitting a few minutes to enjoy a bowl of soup calms stress and gives you a chance to recharge. So enjoy the autumn coolness and consume your autumn harvest with a bowl of soup.