Autumn Vegetable Soup
Besides their clear health benefits, vegetable soups are the perfect canvas for what's in season. This time of year, there's nothing better than hearty, warming soups loaded up with a variety of gorgeous fall vegetables. The foundation of onion and carrots is enhanced with chunks of butternut squash and ribbons of kale in a broth infused with herbs and spices. In two words: satisfaction guaranteed.
Serves 6 to 8 as a starter; 4 as a main course
Yields about 8 cups.
2 Tbs. olive oil
3 medium carrots, cut into medium dice
1 large yellow onion, cut into medium dice
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 cups 1/2-inch-cubed peeled butternut squash (about half a 2-lb. squash)
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
Pinch cayenne pepper; more to taste
1 quart lower-salt chicken broth
1 14.5-oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups lightly packed, coarsely chopped kale
1 cup lower-salt canned chickpeas
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the squash, allspice, cayenne, and 1 tsp. salt and stir to combine. Add the broth, tomatoes with their juice, and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the kale and the chickpeas and cook uncovered until the squash is tender and the kale has wilted, about 10 minutes more. Discard the thyme springs before serving. Season to taste with more salt and cayenne.
Make Ahead Tips
You can refrigerate this soup for 3 days or freeze for 2 months.
Feel free to substitute other fall vegetables or beans.
If you're serving as a main course, a slice of Classic Buttermilk Cornbread
makes a nice side.
nutrition information (per serving):
photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 101
, pp. 35
September 3, 2009
This is a soup that's somehow more than a sum of its simple parts -- another winner from Ellie Krieger, perfect for a chilly autumn evening. I took advice from other reviewers and roasted my chopped carrots and squash, and instead of using chicken stock, I made a rich vegetable stock, which I think contributed to the depth of flavor. The stock is also a good way to use up some of the excess squash other reviewers complained about. To make it, I sauteed the squash trimmings, including seeds and pulp, in some olive oil, along with some carrots, celery, onion, tomato, garlic, bay leaves and parsley. Then I deglazed with a little white wine, added about 6 cups of water, and simmered most of the day -- as an added bonus, my kitchen smelled wonderful.
UPDATE: Even better the second day!