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Hardy Soups for a Crisp Fall Day

Cooking in the kitchen is the perfect activity to do on a fall afternoon. And what better dish to make than a tasty soup! Add some fresh ingredients from your vegetable and herb gardens, and cozy up with these yummy recipes – that’ll taste even better the next day.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Savory Fall Stew by Martha Stewart
Serves four

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces hot Italian sausage, cut into small chunks
12 Cipollini onions (pearl onions can be substituted), peeled
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
3 cups low­ sodium chicken stock
One 1/2­ounce bundle of fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, or oregano
One 2 1/2­pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1­inch chunks
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2­inch pieces
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 ­inch long sticks
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 1/4­inch­ thick slices
12 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add sausage, and cook, stirring until it breaks into small pieces and is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Remove sausage with slotted spoon, and set aside.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons rendered fat, and discard. Raise heat to medium high, add onions, and cook, stirring, until golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock, and herbs. Simmer over medium heat until liquid starts to thicken, 20 to 25 minutes. Add sausage, squash, carrots, parsnips, and fennel. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts, and cook, covered, about 5 minutes more. Remove cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid thickens, 10 to 15 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Roasted Potato Leek Soup by Ina Garten
Serves six to eight 

Ingredients:
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned of all sand (4 leeks)
1/4 cup good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups baby arugula, lightly packed
1/2 cup dry white wine, plus extra for serving
6 to 7 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces crème fraiche
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

Combine the potatoes and leeks on a sheet pan in a single layer. Add the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss to coat the vegetables evenly. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, turning them with a spatula a few times during cooking, until very tender. Add the arugula and toss to combine. Roast for 4 to 5 more minutes, until the arugula is wilted.

Remove the pan from the oven and place over 2 burners. Stir in the wine and 1 cup of the chicken stock and cook over low heat, scraping up any crispy roasted bits sticking to the pan.

In batches, transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor fitted with the steel blade, adding the pan liquid and about 5 cups of the chicken stock to make a puree. Pour the puree into a large pot or Dutch oven. Continue to puree the vegetables in batches until they’re all done and combined in the large pot.

Add enough of the remaining 1 to 2 cups of stock to make a thick soup. Add the cream, crème fraiche, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and check the seasonings.

When ready to serve, reheat the soup gently and whisk in 2 tablespoons white wine and 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Serve hot with an extra grating of Parmesan and crispy shallots, if using.

Wild Mushroom and Farro Soup from The Kitchn by Emma Christensen
Serves Six

Ingredients:
1 1/2 ounces dried wild mushrooms, such as morels or porcini
3 tablespoons good olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, 1/2-inch-diced
3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
2 cups (1/2-inch-diced) peeled carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
2 cups (1/2-inch-diced) celery (3 to 4 stalks)
4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
3/4 cup pearled farro (5 ounces) (See Recipe Note)
12 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems discarded, 1/4-inch-sliced
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry Marsala wine, divided
4 cups canned beef broth, such as College Inn
3 large sprigs fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces crème fraiche
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preparation:
Place the dried mushrooms and 6 cups of water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside for at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the pancetta, onions, carrots, and celery and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Add the garlic and farro and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cremini mushrooms and the 1/2 cup Marsala and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the mushrooms have released some of their liquid.

Meanwhile, strain the dried mushrooms through cheesecloth, reserving the liquid. Coarsely chop the mushrooms and add them to the pot, along with the strained soaking liquid, beef broth, thyme, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer partially covered for 45 minutes, until the farro is tender. Discard the thyme bundle.

In a small bowl, mash together the flour and butter and stir into the hot soup. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the crème fraiche and remaining 2 tablespoons of Marsala, and taste for seasonings. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve hot.

Winter Squash Soup by Clara Persis
Serves four 

Ingredients:
2 T butter
1 T good olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onions (1 large 2 small onions)
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 1/2 lbs butternut squash peeled and cut into chunks
3 cups chicken broth
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup half and half or 1/2 cup heavy cream

Preparation:
Heat the butter and oil in a heavy bottom stockpot, add the onions and cook over medium low heat for 12-15 minutes, or until translucent.

Add the pumpkin puree, butternut squash, chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer over medium low heat for about 20 minutes, until the squash is very tender (pierced easily with a fork).

Using an immersion blender, blender or food processor, blend the soup until it’s very smooth. Once blended, add the half and half or heavy cream and heat slowly. Serve with a toasted baguette or croutons.

Ribollita from the New York Times
Serves four

Ingredients:
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic 
Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups cooked or canned cannellini beans
1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 pound chopped kale or escarole
4 large, thick slices whole-grain bread, toasted
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preparation:
Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When it’s hot, add onion, carrot, celery and garlic; sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 5 to 10 minutes.

Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Drain the beans; if they’re canned, rinse them as well. Add them to the pot along with tomatoes and their juices and stock, rosemary and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat so the soup bubbles steadily; cover and cook, stirring once or twice to break up the tomatoes, until the flavors meld, 15 to 20 minutes.

Fish out and discard rosemary and thyme stems, if you like, and stir in kale. Taste and adjust seasoning. Lay bread slices on top of the stew so they cover the top and overlap as little as possible. Scatter red onion slices over the top, drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Put the pot in the oven and bake until the bread, onions and cheese are browned and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. (If your pot fits under the broiler, you can also brown the top there.) Divide the soup and bread among 4 bowls and serve.

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