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Fall Soups

One thing that recharges my energy after an afternoon of raking and bagging leaves is a bowl of soup. Fall’s the perfect time to make soup, not only for eating now, but enjoying in the dead of winter. And best of all, soup’s an economical meal. And if you pair it with a side salad and bread, you’ve got yourself a complete lunch or supper.

Here are my tips for making the most out of fall soups.

Buy In Season
One way to make your food dollar stretch even further is to use ingredients that are in abundance now. Things like squash, parsnips, potatoes, and yes, even apples. They make a satisfying soup, one that’s packed with fiber and fills you up fast.

Vegetables in Order
One of the tricks of making a great soup is to let the vegetables ‘sweat’ and cook them in the right order. For example, if I’m using onions, I’ll add them to the pan first and let them sweat in oil for at least five minutes before I add vegetables like celery and carrots. The secret of a great tasting soup is layering flavors. Start with your strongest smelling vegetables first, yes, the onions and garlic, then add your spices and herbs, followed by the root vegetables, and finally the vegetables that just need five minutes or more to cook, for example, zucchini.

Don’t Be in a Rush
I know it’s tempting to eat soup as soon as it’s made, but if you wait until the next day, or even the day after that, it gets even better.

Creamy Doesn’t Have to Mean High in Fat
And one simple way to get a rib sticking creamy bowl of soup is to remove half of the soup, puree it and then add it back to the pan and reheat. Another trick I’ve found is to add half and half instead of cream. Or say for example the recipe calls for one cup of cream. I’ll use two tablespoons of cream and top the rest with low fat milk. No one ever knows the difference.

Here’s one of my favorite fall soups.
Curried Cream of Vegetable Soup

I made this soup in a cooking class I taught and everyone loved it.

Serves 4-6

1 ½ tablespoon of butter or margarine
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced
1 ½ teaspoon of curry powder, you decide on how hot you want the soup to be!
1 large white potato, scrubbed (don’t peel it) and chopped into bite size pieces
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
2 carrots chopped into bite size pieces
2 stalks of celery, chopped into bite size pieces
½ an apple, chopped into small cubes
3 ½ cups of water
2 tablespoon of mango chutney
½ teaspoon of salt
½ cup of milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch until it’s a smooth paste
2 cups of milk

In a large saucepan and over medium heat, melt the butter/margarine.

Add the onions and garlic and let them sweat for about five minutes.

Stir in the curry powder and make sure all the onion and garlic mixture is coated and cook for about a minute.

Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, water, chutney and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Add the milk/ cornstarch mixture and stir until thickened.

Slowly add the rest of the milk, don’t let the mixture boil, but just heat it through and then serve.

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