Five Fab Fall Soup Recipes

Fall is the perfect time to simmer some homemade soup and show your family some culinary love. Try these family favorites— some veggie-laden and healthy, a few heartier and rich. Pair them with some crusty whole-grain bread and a salad and dinner is done!

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

My copy-cat version of a soup my daughter loves at Panera Bread. I invented it for her 12th birthday dinner.

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup chopped, peeled carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup flour
6 cups chicken stock (or 6 cups water with bouillon cubes or chicken base paste to taste)
6 ounce package long grain and wild rice
2 cups leftover, chopped cooked chicken
3 tablespoons cooking sherry (optional)

In a large soup kettle, melt butter and sauté onions, carrots, and celery until tender. Stir in flour. Gradually add stock until mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium low. Prepare rice as directed on box, omitting oil and salt. Add rice and chicken to stock and simmer 10 minutes. Add sherry. Serves 10.

Spinach-Tortellini Soup

Think the kiddos won’t eat spinach? They will when it is disguised here in this delicious vegetarian bowl of wonderful-ness!

2 t. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 t. dried)
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
8 cups stock (veggie, chicken or beef)
10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach
14 ounces tomato puree
2 tablespoons fresh minced basil (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 tablespoon fresh minced oregano ( or 1 teaspoon dried)
One 12-14 ounce package fresh cheese tortellini
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, saute’ onion in the olive oil. Add spices and rest of ingredients but tortellini. Simmer 1 hour. Add tortellini and simmer 20 minutes longer until pasta is tender. Serves 6-8.

Cheesy Ham & Corn Chowder

Hands-down my boys’ favorite soup. I make it at least two or three times a month and when I do, their friends come running!

In a large pot combine:

4 cups chicken stock (or 4 cups water with bouillon cubes or chicken base paste to taste)
4 cups chopped, peeled Yukon Gold potatoes
1 chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery

Cook, covered, over medium heat for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Then add:

3 tablespoons butter
1–2 cups finely chopped leftover ham
1 1/2 cups leftover corn
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese

Just before serving, add: 8 ounces sour cream. Thin with a little milk if needed. Stir well.
Serves 8–10.

Beef & Veggie-Lovers Soup

A yummy way to use up leftover roast from Sunday supper.

In a large kettle combine:

10 cups beef stock water (or 10 cups water with bouillon cubes or beef paste base to taste)
2 cups peeled, chopped potatoes
1 1/4 cups sliced carrots
1 onion, chopped fine (3/4 cup)
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups chopped  cooked beef roast
14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried, minced garlic (or one clove fresh, minced)
2 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons oregano
2 bay leaves (optional)

Combine all and cook over medium heat for 30–45 minutes. Then add:

1/4 cup orzo, alphabet-shaped, or other small pasta or 1/4 cup pearl barley

Cook 30–45 minutes longer, until pasta (or barley) is tender. Remove bay leaves. Serves 8–10.

Autumn Tomato Soup

I’ve been making this since 1989 and it is delish!!! Only better when served with a homemade grilled cheese sandwich and eaten out on the back deck on a sunny, crisp fall day.

In a blender puree the following:

28 ounces fresh tomatoes (Core tomatoes first and watch the lines on side of blender until you reach 28 ounces. May substitute 28 ounces canned tomatoes if desired. Be sure to puree those too!)

Add: one stalk celery and 1/4 cup chopped onion and puree again, blending them into the tomatoes. Set aside.

In a large soup pot, warm to a paste:

1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Slowly pour in tomato mixture, stirring well with a large whisk.

Add: 18 ounces tomato paste  and three whole bay leaves.  Thin with 1/2 to 1/2 cup water and two chicken bouillon cubes or enough chicken soup base paste to equal two cubes. I use this chicken base.

Simmer over low heat for one to two hours until thoroughly cooked. Remove bay leaves and serve. Serves 6-8.


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  1. It’s certainly the right time of year for soups. And if they can cook in the crockpot while off at work it’s an even better thing.

  2. My family loves soup. I enjoy your recipes. It’s nice to have recipes from someone who has tried them and who has a family who also loves them.

  3. Thanks for sharing these! I’ve made the chicken and wild rice; the spinach-tortellini; and the tomato soup – all were really tasty and family approved! :)

  4. Once again, Karen you do it again! Your recipes look to die for in this cold blustery Michigan weather we’ve had. You should really write a cookbook with all your favs!! I would be the first one to buy it!

  5. Karen you missed your calling….as a chef…these are some great variations of tried and true recipes…can’t wait to try them.

  6. These sound amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. Needed some new soup recipes for this cold weather and really wanted a chicken rice soup and wow love how you added to that beef soup.

  7. Karen – these all sound amazing!! I’m not sure which one to make first!! I would love for you to write a cookbook!!

  8. These sound perfect now that the weather has turned cold. I am looking forward to making them all. Have you ever thought about writing a cookbook? You could put your recipes in and weave in stories and scripture… Now I have to decide which one to make first :)

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