“Fall” in love with these soup recipes

By Chef Terri Milligan / Photography By Chef Terri Milligan | Last Updated August 27, 2017
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Potato Leek Bisque
Potato Leek Bisque

If you hear something rattling in your kitchen cupboard, don’t be frightened. That clinking sound just might be your favorite Dutch oven waking up from a long, deep summer sleep.

Yes, it’s fall. And that means one thing to us cooks. It’s time to make some soup.

If you think making soups mean long, laborious hours in the kitchen filled with stirring and simmering, think again. Here are three quick autumn soups that require minimal cooking and can be prepared in about an hour.

COMBINE TWO FALL FAVORITES – BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND POMEGRANATES

Butternut squash is the heart of many autumn recipes. Its deeply-colored orange flesh is not only delicious, but also chocked-full of vitamins A and C. There are many winter squash to pick from, but it’s the butternut that I gravitate to year after year.

This autumn vegetable staple makes a hearty soup. Its sweet flavor lends itself to the addition of spices like cinnamon, cloves and even more exotic flavors like turmeric and smoked paprika. Look for butternut squash that have a long neck where most of the orange flesh is located. Although there is useable squash in the bulbous base, it’s the long neck that is prized. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the squash skin or cut the squash into 1-inch rings and use a sharp knife to carefully cut the hard skin from the squash flesh.

Give your butternut squash soup an international flavor by adding coconut milk. In addition to giving the soup a terrific flavor, it also makes the recipe dairy-free. Fragrant ground spices give the soup a Moroccan feel. A touch of cayenne pepper gives the dish a bit of heat. And the garnish? Pick up a pomegranate at your local grocery store. This fall produce favorite is fi lled with over 400 ruby red seeds known as arils. These edible red gems create the perfect contrast to the velvety orange soup.

HOLD THE CREAM

Can a rich and creamy soup also be healthy? The answer is a resounding “yes!” Use potatoes to thicken your soup and give it that rich consistency you yearn for without a drop of cream. An added benefit? The recipe is also gluten-free.

This fast and easy recipe uses sautéed leeks and Yukon Gold potatoes. Nonfat milk and low-sodium vegetable stock create the liquid ingredients. Snip a few fresh chives from the herb garden that still has a few stems yearning to be picked. For a fancier presentation, sauté a few shiitake mushrooms and float them on top of the fi nished pureed soup along with a toasted crouton.

CHICKEN SOUP MEETS POT PIE

Soup is the ultimate comfort food. Not far behind is steaming butterycrusted pot pie. Why not combine these two comfort food favorites into the ultimate comforting dish: chicken pot pie soup?

Put this easy-to-make soup together in just under one hour. If you’re in a real time pinch, pick up a store-bought rotisserie chicken, pull off the meat, and use directly in the soup. Frozen mixed vegetables even eliminate the need for any time-consuming vegetable prep and precision dicing.

For the pot pie topping, make a quick drop biscuit using a premade biscuit mix. No pastry blender needed for this one-bowl quick bread. Just add melted garlic-flavored butter, some grated Cheddar cheese and a few herbs. Drop the batter on a parchment-lined baking pan and pop into a 400-degree oven. In just 12 minutes, the soup’s “pot pie” crust is ready. You’ll have more biscuits than needed to top the soup, so pass the extra. They won’t go unloved or uneaten.

POTATO LEEK BISQUE

Potato Leek Soup
This creamy soup is made without a drop of cream. The pureed potatoes create a velvety finish for the bisque. Garnish the soup with a French bread crouton, chopped chives and sautéed mushrooms.

MOROCCAN WINTER SQUASH SOUP WITH POMEGRANATES

butternut squash
Butternut squash is flavored with Moroccan spices to create this gluten-free soup. Pomegranate arils create a colorful contrast to the bright orange soup.

CHICKEN POT PIE SOUP WITH CHEDDAR AND HERB DROP BISCUITS

chicken
In a pinch for time? Use rotisserie chicken in place of the chicken breast.
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