Welcome Back Fall!

Today the cooler temperatures came back to Minnesota.  The gentle breeze wafted through the window the leaves crunch underfoot and I feel happy.  Happy that things feel like they are returning to normal.  There is something about how the weather was that made it difficult to remember to switch my brain into fall mode.  The sun is rising and setting on its own time frame.

I wait all year for cooler temperatures.  In the past the cooler temperatures meant ramen for dinner.  I love soups and stews and chili, served with crackers or crusty rolls, or even garlic bread.  So this year I am working on a plan to make and freeze off some big batches of these early on in the year so that I have something to go to when I want them.  Picking up soup from the store can be wallet friendly, I always shop the sales.  I love the Progresso Light line… the clam chowder in particular has become a recent fave, but the sodium content in them is so high it can’t be good for me.  You can’t control the ingredients in food you buy from the store.  Picking up soups from places like Panera, which taste so good and so fresh hit the wallet hard.

So I am seeking out anyones favorite ingredients for soup!  I am going to be making the typical chicken noodle type with lots of veggies.  I also plan on making a veggie barley.  I don’t quite know how to go about making a veggie barley without the beef to develop good rich flavor properly, so that will be something to learn, I’m not opposed to beef, but it’s so expensive.  I am not a big fan of green pea with ham soup so I will be passing on that, but I think perhaps a pumpkin soup might be good too.  I am thinking I might try to write a recipe for a mushroom stew, but I don’t know how to go about it. Chili is pretty standard, I can whip out traditional reddish chili with beans with the best of them.  I think I want to learn to make a white chicken chili this year. I want options, lots of them.

Do you have any favorite soups or stews that you make at home?  They don’t have to be quick, although that is always a plus.  Do you serve anything with your soups to dip with them?  I saw PIllsbury has mini biscuits that are about 70 calories a piece that might just do the trick for me.  Same thing with a local bakery (New French Bakery) they have frozen take and bake ciabatta rolls the frozen ones where you can cook just one at a time means you don’t have to worry about them going stale.  You cook just one at a time, no muss no fuss.

Whats on your menu?

4 thoughts on “Welcome Back Fall!

  1. Here are fall soup recipes that I love! [In fact I thought I had some pumpkin in the freezer, but it was carrot 😦 good but not what I was expecting! ]

    I love split pea and ham soup, but I don’t have a recipe. Just dried peas, ham stock from concentrate and ham bits – and maybe carrots if I’m feeling it.
    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/pumpkin-and-black-bean-soup-recipe/index.html (but i use fat free half and half or another replacement for the heavy cream)

    Tomato Bisque Serves 4-6

    1 Tbsp Olive oil, ½ cup Onion, diced, ½ tsp Garlic, 2 (15 oz) cans Tomatoes, crushed – I use one can of fire roasted, the other plain, 1 Tbsp Basil, 1 tsp Thyme, 1 cup Half & half (fat free – or you can use an extra cup of milk), 1 cup Milk, Salt and pepper to taste

    Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the tomatoes, basil and thyme. Slowly bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 35 minutes. Stir in the half & half and milk. Simmer for 20 minutes longer. Check the seasonings and serve

    Zuppa Toscana

    1 lb hot Italian sausage, 2 medium potatoes, 3/4 cup onion, diced, 6 slices bacon, 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 2 cup kale leaves, 2 Tbsp chicken soup base, 1 qt water, 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

    Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, and then cut into ¼” slices. Cut kale leaves in half and then slice. Brown sausage. Place onions and bacon in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until onions are almost clear. Remove bacon and crumble. Add garlic to the onions and cook an additional minute. Add chicken base, water and potatoes. Simmer 15 minutes. Add crumbled bacon, sausage, kale and cream. Simmer 4 minutes and serve.

    I use more small red potatoes, less bacon, half a red onion, chicken broth for the water and soup base and sometimes whole milk instead of cream

    I love soups. Can you tell?!?!?

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