Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hot, comforting soup.

I'm back! And so is cooler weather. Granted, that means snow in Minnesota & Colorado and 50 degrees and rain here in LA, but regardless of how thin or thick skinned you are, it's autumn. Which means it's time to hunker down and cook!

I have a bunch of "fall recipes" that I love, but the first thing I want to start cooking is soup. Hot, comforting soup. These are two of my favorites.

1. 15-Minute White Bean Soup.
Yes, you really can whip this up in 15 minutes if you have everything ready to go, and be eating hot, hearty comfort food in no time. I love this recipe because it's made up of staples I like to keep around the kitchen all the time anyway, including scallions, lemon, broth (veg or chicken), and canned white beans. Yes, I keep cans of white beans in my pantry at all times. Do you know how much you can make with them? Lots! Including this soup.

NOTES: Martha's recipe makes enough for 2 people to eat just this as a meal, or 4 people to have small bowls on the side of something else. I always double it so Mac & I have lunch the next day, regardless of whether I serve it with something else or not. Also, you can shred some cooked chicken into this soup pretty easily to create a "protein style" soup that's a little more filling, if you want a heartier meal.

Click the link above for the full recipe. Thank me later.

2. Spicy Pumpkin Soup
This is a recipe my friend Eyad got from a friend of his that used to write for JANE magazine. And as a former Sassy aficionado, that makes both Eyad and this recipe a little cooler in my book. It's also super fun because it's SPICY. You can control how spicy it gets, of course, but the point is that the balance of the sweet pumpkin with the spicy chipotle pepper is super yummy. Add a dollop of creamy sour cream to finish it off and you're in comfort food heaven!
  • 1 Medium pumpkin or 2 cans of cooked unsweetened pumpkin--I just use the cans.
  • One yellow onion
  • 2-3 tsp Olive oil (or preferred cooking oil)
  • 1 chipotle pepper from can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced--trust me, one is enough! If you're a wuss, try the recipe with half a pepper.
  • 1 dollop of adobo sauce, about a tsp or so (again, depends how spicy you want it)
  • 4 cans of chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream (optional)
  • Salt to taste

NOTE: If you choose to use fresh pumpkin, slice in half remove seeds and surface stringy membrane insides, place both halves face down in baking dish about a 1/4 full of water, and cook at 350 for probably 20-30 minutes, or until soft--remove outer peel and place flesh aside until needed. I did this recipe once with fresh pumpkin. It was good, but kind of a pain, and canned pumpkin works just as well.


1) Dice yellow onion, heat up your olive oil in a soup pot on medium heat, then cook your onions until soft and slightly browned, about 8-10 min. I sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt on them to help them soften and a turn or two of fresh ground pepper to season them up--optional.

2) Add ONE chipotle pepper, diced, w/ a dollop of the adobo sauce the pepper comes in.

3) Add broth, keep at medium heat, do not boil.

4) Add Pumpkin, stirring all together.

5) Add additional salt to taste, if desired.

6) Stir and heat until hot, avoid boiling.

7) Blend with a hand-held immersion blender, or place entire mixture in a food processor and blend until smooth (place a kitchen towel over opening at top of processor, letting a small slit of air out. Be careful, mixture is HOT).

8) Return mixture to soup pot and place on simmer. Taste soup and if too spicy, add a bit of sour cream. If too salty, add more broth--etc--whatever your taste preference.

9) Serve hot, with a dollop of sour cream floating in soup, maybe a piece of toasted bread and a drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy! I like to serve this spicy pumpkin soup with grilled cheddar cheese sandwiches on pumpernickel bread for a delicious, Halloween-style meal.

And there you have it! Two of my favorite soups for fall! Let me know what you think!


  1. I will be trying BOTH of these recipes in the next week. THANK YOU!


  2. OK, I'm going to try the pumpkin soup, it sounds yum. I made a similar white bean soup last night,except I added about 2 tsp of fresh rosemary and used balsamic vinegar instead of lemon juice. I also threw in some jarred roasted peppers right at the end.

  3. That pumpkin soup is a winner-- it has very quickly become a favorite at my place. I made it and served it with cornbread (and beer) and my husband now requests it regularly. Thanks again for sharing!