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Autumn Vegetable Soup

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Serves 6 to 8 as a starter; 4 as a main course

Yields about 8 cups.

  • by Ellie Krieger from Fine Cooking
    Issue 101

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.

  • 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
  • Kosher salt
  • 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.

Variations

Feel free to substitute other fall vegetables or beans.

Serving Suggestions

If you're serving as a main course, a slice of Classic Buttermilk Cornbread makes a nice side. 

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 120; Fat (g): 4.5; Fat Calories (kcal): 40; Saturated Fat (g): 0.5; Protein (g): 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3; Carbohydrates (g): 16; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 250; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

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! UPDATE 2: Because the squash and tomatoes produce a soup that is on the sweet side, I tried adding a spoonful or two of jarred Calabrian chiles for balance. Outstanding! (Chiles, which are quite hot, are available in the Italian imports section of some supermarkets, or sometimes with condiments.)

Unbelievably easy and delicious. I followed early suggestions and roasted the veggies (carrots, squash, onion, and garlic + added fennel) at 450 for 20 mins, and added a parmesan rind while it simmered. Really really good and so good for you!

Wow! I took one look at the picture/recipe and said that is too healthy to be getting 5 star ratings but I wanted a recipe that is appropriate for a harvest pot luck I am attending. I made a small test batch today and it is really good. I think one secret is the fresh thyme. I use thyme in most of my soup recipes and always get compliments. I will follow recipe exactly for my pot luck batch. In future I may add barley. True test will be if my teenagers eat it. I am not sure how the squash will hold up though. A lot of reviewers substituted cannellinis but I like the chick peas here. (addendum- I have made this 3 times now - still a 5 star, I prefer chickpeas,the squash did not hold up well in the freezer, and firm cooked barley was a great addition)

One of the many things that I love about this recipe is the way that it uses all the things that are in the garden in the fall. I usually swap out the kale for swiss chard and that works well. If my allspice is not the freshest, I add more than is called for. It's really a great dish.

Excellent soup! It freezes well.

This soup was hearty and delicious-- perfect for a cool fall day. The allspice really complements the sweetness of the squash and carrots and made the whole house smell delicious. I added two red potatoes, two stalks of celery, and substituted canellinis for garbanzos. I served it with fresh, crusty wheat French bread. Yum! Thanks for this great recipe.

This soup is incredible. It's easy and taste great. Just picked a fresh butternut from our garden and used it. My husband just raved about it.

This soup is incredible. It's easy and taste great. Just picked a fresh butternut from our garden and used it. My husband just raved about it.

This soup is absolutely delicious!!! So quick & easy I would recommend this to anyone

One of my favorite soups of all time and the reason why I finally subscribed to Fine Cooking. I've made this a few times and now know to always make a double batch so I can freeze it and have some on hand for when I don't feel like cooking or going to the store. Seriously this is so good and so healthy! Also -- try adding jalapeno cheddar chicken sausage like some reviewers mentioned -- soo good!

EXCELLENT! So easy and so good! and so versatile!

EXCELLENT! So easy and so good! and so versatile!

This was in the Parade magazine in our Sunday paper and we made it. It was hands down one of the best soups I have ever made. Everyone should try it.

I created an account just so I could comment on how awesome this soup is--it is so delicious and pretty much the healthiest thing you could ever eat, makes you feel/look great. I'd never made soup before, and not only did it turn out amazing but it basically taught me all the basics of making soup--great for people just learning to cook (see: boyfriends everywhere) because it is so simple. I like a lot of spice so I probably added about 2 tbs cayenne and like a quarter cup of Sriracha, I lost count. Some of the previous comments suggested roasting the vegetables beforehand--I tried that once and by the time they've cooked in the pot they've lost all flavor. So I wouldn't recommened it. I love this soup because it's just a foundation that you can add pretty much whatever to, especially if you are trying to cleanse your body or perhaps slim down in a hurry for something. You can throw in cannellini beans, lentils, courgette, whatever your fiber of choice is. Only make sure not to go too overboard on the fiber if you know what I mean.

This soup was delish! And very easy. I roasted the veggies as other suggested, used garbonzo and black beans and added some italian sausage. It was a huge hit. This is moving into the favorite file! Oh and it's so pretty and the house smells so good. It's a winner. You can't go wrong.

Excellent flavors and easy to make. Have made it several times now and it has never disappointed. Some of the changes I have made along the way and recommend: 1) I always roast the veggies @ 450 degrees for 20 minutes then just toss in the broth with the herbs/spices/kale/tomatoes/beans. 2) I sub white kidney beans 3) I sub fire roasted tomatoes 4) I add fennel to the roasted veggie mix 5) And I add either rotisserie chicken or organic jalepeno chicken sausage. Since I love lots of veggies I always end up increasing the broth and spices quite a bit until it tastes perfect. This is one of my favorite soups now and always turns out amazing!!!

Very good blend of flavors. Used fresh produce from the garden. It's a winner!

I was very surprised by how good this was. It's super simple, but the flavor is really wonderful. Will definitely add this to the rotation!

I wanted to love this soup but the tomatoes were too dominant and the rest of the flavors never melded. I was hoping the squash and kale would be more noticeable. It's definitely very healthy, though!

have made this soup many times - consistantly a winner!

Add diced parsnips and/or turnips. They hold their shape better and are not starchy like potatoes. I also added marash pepper flakes which give a little heat.

Love this soup! This soup screams fall weather. I have made it many times and it is always the first soup of the soup-weather season that I will make. The soup is excellent as written but can be used as a base soup as well. As suggested by other reviewers I roasted the squash and carrots before assembling the rest of the ingredients in the soup pot. I am a non-meat eater so don't add any sausage, etc., and it is wonderful just as is! A definite keeper.

A crowd pleaser, and talk of the inaugural Spring 2012 First Garden Juneau AK potluck. I adjust the recipe to make enough for 20 people. An addition of sweet potato, Japanese yam, to the vegetable list plus a quality Worcestershire sauce helped improved the appreciation of the cayenne and allspice seasoning. I trust more First Gardeners will discover Fine Cooking after tasting and then trying this recipe on their own.

Beautiful soup, but when you're done, you end up with half a bunch of kale, half a butternut squash, and 3/4 cup of canned chickpeas.

This is a favorite at our house. I made it for a great group of Master Gardeners for today's lunch and they all wanted the recipe. The changes I make are adding extra kale and squash and changing the beans to canellini, red kidneys, or most often black beans. I also add andouille sausage sometimes when I want a hardier soup. It's beautiful and delicious !!

Like most of Ellie Krieger's recipes, this one is a winner! We truly adore this soup. It is simple to make, tastes fantastic, is so healthy, and allows me to use fresh, local produce. I roast the squash not because I think it tastes any better (I've made it both ways) but because I do not enjoy peeling raw squash.

This soup is fantastic! I did use cannellini beans, instead of chick peas. Also added some fresh jalepeno chicken sausage. This was the best soup I've ever made!!!

By far the best Autumn Veggie Soup Ever!!! I made home-made chicken stock to ensure a dynamic flavor for the soup base! I love that you can adjust for the different local vegetables that are available this time of year! Highly recommended and a Crowd Pleaser!!!

Great recipe! I followed the roasting veggies suggestions and found a winner and so healthy too! I agree, this is a keeper.

I have made this soup many times and it's always so delicious. To add some protein and flavor, I add a 12 oz. package of chicken sausage, which I cut into chunks and brown in the skillet before adding to the soup. The two brands that I use are al Fresco and Aidells. The meat is fully cooked and just needs heating, although I brown the pieces a bit for extra flavor. There are so many flavors available but for this recipe I use the al Fresco Sun-Dried Tomato with Basil and Tomato or Aidells' Sun-Dried Tomato with Mozzarella Cheese. Find these in the refrigerated meats section near kielbasa and Italian sausage in better supermarkets.

Simply wonderful! The allspice is a nice touch. I added a parmesan rind and roasted the butternut squash prior to adding it to the soup. I found that this gave the flavor some further depth. I've made it a couple of times and I have substituted green beans for the kale and cannellini beans for the garbanzos. It does take time for the flavors to develop. Make sure to let it rest before serving.

I love this soup and couldn't wait to make it this year. I used a little Chipotle pepper to spice it up a little and loved it.

Very tasty and easy. Roasted the vegetables as suggested in an earlier review which pumped up the flavor.

A really fabulous soup and so pretty! I used white navy beans (canned)rather than garbanzo beans and fired roasted organic crushed tomatoes. Will make this a permanent part of my recipe collection and make it often!

Outstanding soup. Went together easily (prep it all in advance as it comes together quickly), cooks in less than 30 minutes. We threw in a couple of sausages,( the fennel was a nice touch) and we did cannellini beans instead of the chickpeas just because we like them better. Put a little pecorino romano on top at the table. Had plenty for two at least twice if not three times. The rest is in the freezer.

I found this soup bland and the broth too thin to hold up the great vegetable chunks. I added a can of low sodium low fat condensed cream of chicken soup to the pot and substituted white kidney beans for the garbanzo beans.

I was craving roasted vegetables and so decided to start by roasting all the veggies instead of sauteeing them. I combined the veggies with the o-oil and s/p and roasted at 450 for 25-30 minutes. I also left out the chickpeas because I felt like there was enough going on. Once veggies were roasted, I heated the pot and added garlic and thyme and then everything else (including roasted veggies). I didn't use the full amount of stock because I didn't want it to be too watery. I also added a little fresh-ground nutmeg with the kale. Finally, I topped the soup with some parmesan cheese. This was AMAZING the first day and even better the days following. I highly suggest roasting to add great depth of flavor.

This is one of the best soups I've ever made! I'm not a butternut squash lover, but it is so good in this soup...and wasn't sure about the kale, either....the only thing I left out was the cayenne because I didn't have any, and I also addded about a cup of water near the end of its cooking time and a bit of dry chicken boullion....I cannot stop eating it, it is THAT good! :D

We love this soup! I have made it many time since it appeared in the magazine, and will make it again today. Recipe calls it a starter, but pair it with some nice bread or a small salad, and around here it is DINNER. This recipe doubles easily and freezes very nicely!

This soup is a winner! It has become a family favorite,I have made it at least five times...and every time it turns out delicious, it is the perfect combination, great flavor and healthy...

Delicious and satisfying soup. Everyone loved it including my 13 year old and 9 year old. I made it to use up some CSA vegetables, but it was so good that I will be making it many more times.

This is excellent. I am not a huge fan of vegetable soup but this is an exception. Light yet filing. I threw in a head of roasted garlic. Yum! I will make this again.

I LOVED this soup! So bright and flavorful and healthy. I sprinkled a little parmesan cheese on the top. Next time think I will add even more kale (swiss chard a great suggestion also). Also my husband is a meat lover, so next time I might throw in some browned turkey sausages for him.

We keep making this. Why is it so good? The allspice is key, and I use lemon thyme because that's what we grow, but it really doesn't seem to come together until the beans (I have used chickpeas and cannelini) and the greens go in! So lovely. Thank you, Ellie.

I substituted Swiss chard for the kale because I wanted to make soup without going to the store. I was worried about the allspice being overpowering but it blended perfectly. I added more liquid and the soup was much prettier than the picture and delicious too.

A perfect fall soup. Light, but very flavorful. The allspice doesn't overpower, but gives it a nice zing. I couldn't find any butternut squash, so I used yellow, and the soup still turned out great. My wife said that this was the best soup I've ever made, and asked me to make a big batch to put up in the freezer.

This dish was very easy to make, and we loved it! It was very flavorful, while also feeling very clean and light. Will make again this fall and winter!

This was a wonderful soap for a cool fall night. Very fast and easy but elegant. It will be come one of our standard soups.

This is an excellent soup-- tasty and extremely versatile! It is perfect for using up the one or two veggies in the corners of the farm box. I used green beans, leeks, onion, tomatoes, carrots, and a tiny sad little red bell pepper, plus a bunch of black kale from last week. I also had a few parmesan cheese rinds hanging around so I added them-- kind of like a minestrone. I brought the soup to a simmer and put it in the crockpot for a couple of hours-- it made a great meal after an evening class on this cold Chicago night.

I made this fabulous soup with the bounty from the organic cooperative farm that I belong to. Everyone who has had it flips for it! My daughter just called for the recipe. This one is a keeper!

This soup has a wonderful flavor because of the allspice and squash. I make soups all the time this is quick and delicious.

This is a very earthy well balanced and delicious soup. I am very fond of it and the spices are perfect for fall. I served it with open faced grilled gruyere toast and it was a light but satisfying meal. I will make this again.

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