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Test Kitchen Autumn Soups and Stews

I LOVE soups… and stews… and chilli! I could eat them every single day.

The recent chill in the air has got me ready to stock up for some delicious autumn soups and stews. Just throw all the ingredients in the pot and voilà! Here are some quick ideas for hearty autumn dishes.

Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup

Last autumn I steamed five pumpkins in our pressure cooker. Then I put them in the freezer so that I could have pumpkin all year round. This soup is super simple and bursting with flavour.

Instructions

Sauté diced onion and minced garlic in a couple tablespoons of butter.
Add approximately six cups of steamed pumpkin (boiled would work too).
Then add two cans of coconut milk, a can of diced green chillies and one tablespoon of curry powder.
Let simmer as long as you’d like.
Puree with a stick blender.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sausage, Potato and Leek Soup

This spicy twist on a classic is sure to warm up any day.

Instructions

First, remove 450g sausage meat from its casing and cook in a little olive oil into crumbles.
Set it aside (try not to eat it all!).
Next, rinse four leeks thoroughly, slice and sauté with a few sliced garlic cloves and olive oil until clear.
Add four medium potatoes (peeled and cubed) and six cups of chicken stock.
Also add two bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon of thyme, salt and pepper.
Let simmer until potatoes are cooked to your liking.
Remove bay leaves and remove from heat.
Puree with a stick blender.
Stir through one cup of cream and add the sausage crumbles.

Beef Stew

There is nothing quite as hearty as a big bowl of beef stew. It’s a great way to up your protein and get your veggies in.

Instructions

Sauté garlic and onions in one tablespoon of butter.
Stir in one tablespoon of flour. Gather 450g stew meat, three to four carrots, and three to four potatoes.
Add these along with salt, pepper and a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to six cups of beef stock.
Simmer until beef and potatoes are cooked through.
Stir through some peas to finish.

Root Vegetable Stew

This vegetarian soup will fill you up and keep you full.

Instructions

Sauté garlic and onions in olive oil.
Get three carrots, three sweet potatoes, two parsnips, two beetroots and two turnips.
Cut them all to a similar size and add them to six to eight cups of vegetable stock.
Then add two bay leaves, one teaspoon of thyme, one tablespoon of parsley and a can of tomato paste.
Simmer until the vegetables are al dente.
Remove bay leaves.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Cheesy Bacon and Cauliflower Ale Soup

This soup is certainly an indulgence, but I’m a firm believer in everything in moderation.

Instructions

Sauté garlic and onions with several strips of chopped bacon and one tablespoon of chicken bouillon paste.
Add 1/4 cup of flour to make a roux (until the flour absorbs all the fat).
Slowly add one can of ale and four cups of whole milk, bring to a gentle boil.
Add three cups of finely shredded cheddar cheese, and whisk until melted.
Add one head of chopped cauliflower, then cook until tender.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a leafy green salad for a nice, well-rounded meal.

Ham and Split Pea Soup

This soup is ideal made after a holiday with the leftover ham bone, but most butchers are happy to oblige if you just ask. If not, a small boneless ham will do too (just don’t chop it up until after your soup is pureed).

Instructions

Sauté diced onions in butter and add six to eight cups of vegetable stock.
Then add three chopped carrots, a bag of dried peas, 1/2 teaspoon of thyme and two bay leaves with the ham bone.
Simmer until carrots and peas are soft (adding stock if needed).
Remove ham bone and bay leaves.
Puree soup with a stick blender.
Remove any ham that you can from the bone, chop and put into soup.

Chilli

You can’t go wrong with chilli! You can simply throw every bean in the house into a pot and come up with something spectacular.

Instructions

I like to start by sautéing garlic and onions (shocker, right!?).
I add 450g minced beef and cook it into crumbles.
Next add a diced green pepper, a large can of chopped tomatoes, one can of tomato sauce, and one can of tomato paste.
Also add one tablespoon of chilli powder, one tablespoon of paprika and one teaspoon of oregano.
Finally, add one can of kidney beans (drained and rinsed), one can of black beans (drained and rinsed) and frozen corn.

This recipe can very easily be doubled for a larger crowd.

Chicken Noodle Soup

There is nothing more comforting than a big pot of good old fashioned chicken noodle soup. It makes the house smell so good and it’s so easy to make!

Instructions

Sauté diced onion and minced garlic in a couple tablespoons of butter.
Add four to six cups of stock, a pound of boneless, and skinless chicken thighs.
Also add three to four sliced carrots, three to four sliced celery stalks, salt, pepper and a few bay leaves.
Let simmer for as long as you’d like (just make sure the chicken is cooked through before serving).
Add extra stock or water as needed.
When ready, remove bay leaves and shred chicken.
Serve over your favourite noodles or rice.

We always make the noodles separately and mix them as we eat, that way the soup doesn’t get too starchy. Add salt and pepper as needed.

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