Fall soups to warm you from the inside out this season.  A delicious black bean perfect served with a crusty roll and lime juice, Roasted Pumpkin with candied bacon and pumpkin seeds, Potato Leek and more …

I know you’re thinking this is going to be a super-boring post about soup, because how interesting can soup be? But you’d be wrong in thinking that.  Very, very wrong.  Soup, as it turns out, has a very interesting history, none of which I know about.

I think there’s something in there about nomads and broth and the invention of stain remover but you don’t need to know about the interesting history of soup to enjoy it so why even bog yourself down with that kind of information?  It just takes up brain space that could be better used for remembering phone numbers, birthdays, and the release day of new tv series.  That’s for the 1% of you.  The other 99% of us have cell phones for remembering all of that stuff which is why our brains are now the consistency of soup.

I eat soup all season long but I definitely eat more of it during the fall and winter because  a big bowl of soup just seems to warm you from the inside out.  Like heartburn with flavour. I generally think of simple vegetable soups as summer soups (think asparagus or broccoli) and heavier, more complex soups as my winter soups.  Plus winter soups are usually made out of wintery ingredients like squash, potatoes, carrots and other rooty stuff.

I have 6 soups that are in constant rotation in my kitchen from around October to March.  All of them are hearty enough to be an entire meal and all of them are easily adapted to be either vegetarian or vegan.

I always start with a chicken broth base for my soups.  So that’s the major change you’ll have to make if you’re going the whole no meat or animal products route.  Just change up the chicken broth to vegetable and you’re done.  Also you might want to omit the sausage from the Fire Broth soup, but that’s totally up to you and how dedicated you are as a vegan.  You might be one of those sausage eating vegans for all I know.


Pumpkin Soup Recipe The Art of Doing Stuff

This pumpkin soup recipe is one I stole from an episode of Masterchef Australia, where coincidentally they’re just moving away from soup season.  I guess that’s not a coincidence so much as a never changing event based in the astronomical science of the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

TIP:   Don’t even think of making this soup without making the bacon and pumpkin seed topping.  Just don’t.  Also when you’re at the grocery store pumpkin seeds might be labelled Pepitas.


Smoked Tomato Soup Recipe The Art of Doing Stuff

This Smoked Tomato Soup recipe I stole from a cooking class I went to many years ago. I like to steal soup recipes whenever possible.  It’s a very inexpensive hobby.  This tomato soup has KICK.  It’s smoked tomatoes and roasted red peppers with a huge hit of hot peppers.  It is not meek.  It is not for the meek.  This is the kind of soup that a) takes a bit of time and b) is worth it.

TIP: You can smoke tomatoes in a regular BBQ just by adding some woodchips that have been soaked in water and wrapped in tin foil.  Punch a few holes in the tin foil so smoke can escape and then lay the packet below the grill but above the actual burners.  


Potato Leek Soup Recipe The Art of Doing Stuff

If you know me you know I like my potatoes.  Actually people who don’t even know me know I like potatoes.  I’ve never been told but I’m sure I smell like them.  In a good way.  This is a NO MEASURE potato leek soup recipe.  You cut up some potatoes, a couple of leeks then add enough broth to cover everything.  The recipe has the full details.

TIP:  Only blend potato soups gently, for a very small amount of time and on low speed otherwise you’ll end up with a gluey mess.



Carrot Soup Recipe The Art of Doing Stuff

Carrot soup can be bland and boring.  Szechwan carrot soup is not.  This soup has carrots of course, but it also has hot pepper flakes, a lot of ginger and peanut butter to give it more flavour than any other carrot soup you’ve had.

TIP: If you rarely use ginger but sometimes do, grab a hunk of it next time you’re at the grocery store and freeze it.  It freezes perfectly and you’ll never be in that whole “CRAP … all I need is a piece of ginger to finish this recipe” spot again.



Sausage Vegetable Soup Recipe

This sausage and vegetable soup is one I stole from a moment in time when I was doing a Paleo challenge with a Crossfit group.  I’ve since denounced both insanties but continue to enjoy the soup.  While sitting quietly.   Eating hunks of bread chased with a mashed potato milkshake.

TIP: If you don’t want to eat Fire Broth soup for the rest of your life half this recipe.



Brazilian Black Bean Soup Recipe

I can’t even begin to tell you how many black bean soup recipes I tried before finding one that was really, really great.  THIS Black Bean Soup one is really, very great.  It’s easily one of my favourite fall soup recipes. t’s base is an Epicurious recipe that I fiddled with a few times before deciding I didn’t need to fiddle with it anymore.  It has a deep, dark, black bean flavour with hits of cumin, lime and a base of orange juice.

TIP:  This is not a first date soup.  It’s made entirely of beans.  It may not even be a first anniversary soup.

I need not worry about that.  Tonight … it is Black Bean Soup.  Idris is away.



  1. Julie says:

    Can’t wait to try the black bean soup because I grew a s#%t ton of black beans in the garden this year!

    • Karen says:

      I have a purse full of dried bean seeds for planting that I never got planted. Every time I pay for anything I have to pull the out of my purse to get to my wallet and yet I still didn’t remember to plant them. Plus I look like a bit of a loon with a fist full of seeds every time I’m at a cash register. ~ karen!

  2. Peggy says:

    For storing/preserving fresh ginger root I have used a trick from a Chinese cook’s tip – just drop the root into a recycled mayonnaise jar half full of white wine and store in the fridge. Thereafter, you always have fresh ginger and the wine flavor disperses with cooking. They also taught us to just smash nickel-sized slices of ginger with the side of a knife and just pull off the peel before mincing. Doesn’t get much easier – no fancy equipment needed.

  3. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I don’t eat not hot stuff so that eliminates 3 of these soups…I think I would like the pumpkin soup best…my favorite soup is chicken corn soup…Fall & Winter are always the best time to make soups!

  4. Sabina Missana says:

    Here’s one of my recent discoveries over the past year and new favorite soups:
    Slow-Cooker Pork Ditalini Stew (but I call it a soup)…(including my tweaks)


    1½ pounds boneless pork shoulder roast 
(Boston butt), cut into 1-in. pieces (I use 2 pounds)
    4 cups chicken broth
    1 (28-oz.) can whole tomatoes, chopped, liquid reserved (use diced tomatoes for heaven’s sake!)
    6 garlic cloves, sliced (just smash ’em and dump ’em in)
    ½ tablespoon crushed red pepper (more or less depending on how zippy you want it)
    1¼ teaspoons kosher salt (I cut to 1/2 teaspoon, the canned tomatoes bring enough salty flavor and so will the grated cheese you will add later)
    6 ounces uncooked ditalini pasta
    4 ounces baby spinach (of course the bagged spinach comes in 6oz packages, go ahead, use the whole bag)
    2 ounces parmesan cheese, grated (about ½ cup) (I use Pecorino Romano) (…and who measures grated cheese? The more the merrier…or heartier…)

    **my additions:
    1-2 bay leaves
    1/2 teaspoon savory (another favorite secret ingredient of mine)

    How to Make It

    Step 1
    Combine the pork, broth, tomatoes and their liquid, garlic, red pepper, bay leaves, savory and salt in a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high 6 hours….go out and play!

    Step 2
    Add the pasta; cover and cook 10 minutes. Add the spinach; cover and cook until the pasta is al dente, 2 minutes. Serve topped with the Parmesan.

    Trust me, you’ll love it!

  5. Sandra Lea says:

    Thank you for making me think about my favorite black bean soup that is served at my favorite local Mexican restaurant. By the way it is a tomato based black bean soup and it is to die for. I swear it has healing powers. Anyway, I cooked up some black bean soup and yes it is tomato based. I like it both ways.

  6. Kristin says:

    Anything, and I mean anything I can do with tomatoes (I thought 14 plants was a good idea) is great. And that smokey tomato with the crisps, I’m on it!

  7. Kelli says:

    Meanwhile, it’s still 95F here in Dallas for the next few days. Sigh. COME ON AUTUMN. Mama needs a new pair o boots! (and some yummy soup!) :-)

  8. ElenG says:

    So many soups, so little time! I’m definitely going to be trying the Firebroth Soup and the Brazilian Black Bean. I’m a soup girl. For sure.

  9. Benjamin says:

    I love soup too, Karen. I think my fave is hamburger and vegetable soup anytime. Just use whatever you have in the fridge that you need to use or lose (wink) brown the ground round season with salt/pepper/garlic/Italian seasoning/crushed red pepper flakes/ whatever. Couple bay leaves and broth to cover and simmer. Seriously anything can go in. Leftover gravy, rice, noodles, any kind of veggies, beans, lentils… So good for you to eat the rainbow. :)

  10. Mary W says:

    My chicken butt was just delivered! It is every bit as good as I thought it would be. You picked a great producer as it was fast service, great card, constant contact with order processing, and some fun goodies tucked inside. I love Cuddles butt, too!

  11. Karen in Niagara says:

    ‘Chased with a mashed potato milkshake’ and I believe I will steal that line. Thanks.

  12. E says:

    Looking forward to trying some of these when lingering summer (not complaining!) finally gets bored and moves on.
    From a 1%-er who now has to write down (with a pen in a notebook made of paper) the sentence:
    “Eating hunks of bread chased with a mashed potato milkshake.”

  13. Gretchen Sexton says:

    Can’t wait to make these! But…it’s still 90 degrees in Alabama…it might be awhile.

    DId not know you can FREEZE GINGER!!

    Off to the grocery store now!


  14. Alena says:

    I love soups, so no worries that I would find the post boring. Granted, if I had to choose between the taxidermy and the soup posts, I would click the taxidermy first but I would still read the soup post after. I love soups, and in winter, I often them as a meal (a kind of an Eintopf dinner). My stomach does not like too much spice so I may have to tone some down in order to survive though.
    Thanks for the recipes.

  15. Dave says:

    I loves the soup! Here are my two faves that I’ve been making for years. I normally do a double or triple batch. They both freeze well and are very company-worthy.

    Sherried Tomato Soup (stolen from Pioneer Woman)

    6 Tablespoons Melted Butter
    1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
    1 bottle (46 Oz.) Tomato Juice
    2 cans (14 Oz. Cans) Diced Tomatoes
    1 to 3 Tablespoon Chicken Base
    3 to 6 Tablespoons Sugar
    1 pinch Salt
    Black Pepper to taste
    1 cup Cooking Sherry
    1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream
    Chopped Fresh Parsley
    Chopped Fresh Basil

    Sauté diced onions in butter until translucent. Then add canned tomatoes, tomato juice, chicken base, sugar, pinch of salt, black pepper and stir. Bring to a near boil, then turn off heat. Add in sherry and cream and stir. Add in parsley and basil to taste.

    If you like a smoother soup, give it a whirl with an immersion blender.

    Adjust other seasonings and serve.

    Curried Coconut Sweet Potato Soup (Stolen from LCBO Food & Drink magazine)

    1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
    1 small onion, chopped
    2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped peeled ginger
    2 tsp (10 mL) mild or medium curry powder
    ½ tsp (2 mL) each ground cumin and ground coriander
    2 cups (500 mL) Sweet Potato Purée (recipe follows)
    1 ripe pear, cored, peeled and chopped
    400 mL can coconut milk
    1 cup (250 mL) chicken broth
    1 to 3 tsp (5 to 15 mL) lemon juice
    Salt to taste
    Strips toasted coconut or coriander leaves

    1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly soft, about 3 minutes.
    Stir in curry, cumin and coriander. Cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

    2. Whisk in Sweet Potato Purée, pear, coconut milk and chicken broth. Increase heat to medium-high, then reduce heat, cover and simmer gently to allow flavours to blend, 10 minutes.

    3. Purée in a food processor until smooth. Then turn into a sieve set over a clean saucepan. Using the bottom of a ladle, press mixture through sieve into pan. Stir in lemon juice and add salt to taste after sieving. Reheat and garnish with strips of toasted coconut or coriander leaves if you wish.

    Makes 4 cups (1 L)

    Sweet Potato Purée
    3 sweet potatoes, about 1¾ lb (875 g)
    3 garlic cloves
    ½ cup (125 mL) milk
    2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
    ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground ginger
    Generous pinch ground nutmeg
    ¾ tsp (4 mL) salt
    Pinch cayenne pepper

    1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).

    2. Prick potatoes a few times. Place whole unpeeled potatoes on a baking sheet in centre of preheated oven. Bake 30 minutes. Place whole unpeeled garlic cloves on sheet and continue to bake until potatoes and garlic are tender, 15 to 25 more minutes.

    3. When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes and garlic. Place both in a large saucepan set on low heat. Add milk, butter and seasonings. Mash until as smooth as you like.

    If you’re in a rush, peel and chop potatoes into chunks and set in a large saucepan along with peeled garlic. Cover with cold water, then add salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes. Proceed as above. The texture isn’t quite as good, but they are still delicious.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings

  16. Stacey says:

    My favourite soup of all time is banana curry soup. It is sooooo good.

  17. NinaMargo says:

    Wow. Can’t decide. Gotta throw cioppino in the mix along with a ham hock and navy bean. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the New England clam chowda. Almost wish I lived somewhere it snows. Almost.

  18. Marie Anne says:

    How did you know I would be planning a soup making bananza to stock the freezer this weekend???

  19. Tarra says:

    Its summers end, been in the high 20s all week with 30C forcast for the weekend; the only conceivable soup is Gazpacho!!!

  20. Jane S says:

    My favourite is turkey soup. I frequently buy a couple of turkey legs for soup and then freeze lovely little bowls of soup. I recently discovered that cooking them overnight in the slow cooker makes incredibly rich broth.

    I grate my ginger before I freeze it. I put little piles of about a teaspoon on sticky Glad Wrap and then seal it. Then all I have to do is cut off a square or two whenever I need it.

  21. Mary W says:

    Karen, the topping on the pumpkin soup is probably going to be my favorite part. I love pumpkin, always use the seeds, and thank you for this recipe. Make sure to listen to Idris reading the whole story – I certainly understand your attraction.

  22. Terry Brittian says:

    Nothing better than Ellie Kreiger’s Minestrone on Food TV site. Quick, easy and so healthy. Intend to give Firebroth recipe a go. Looks good.

  23. Monica says:

    Potato-based soup are my heart’s fondest desire. But instead of blending them I use a contraption that looks like this:


    This one is called a “hamburger chopper” but I’ve seen others called potato mashers that are pretty much the same design. You can just go to town stabbing in your soup pot. It won’t create glue and best of all (in my opinion) thickens the soup while also leaving the odd chunk of bite-sized potatoes. Also, you won’t be blending or mushing your leeks with this so you’ll still get pieces of whole leek, which I dig.

  24. Terri says:

    Idris is reading on https://www.projectliteracy.com
    Enjoy your soup and a bedtime story.

    • Mary W says:

      Pleasant dreams, indeed! Loved listening, loved the idea of re-imagining an old story, loved the watercoloring, loved that you shared this, and I subscribed to such a worthwhile channel. Little dreams can grow up into big changes when shared! Thanks!

  25. Kris Schrader says:

    Did you ever try bay leaves in a bean soup? Don’t eat them. They are there to save your stomach from gas.

    • Monica says:

      I’ve heard this but never had it work. I made a big crockpot of Navy Bean-Carrot-Onion soup the other day and oh, boy… luckily I’ve been married close to three years so no take-backsies… I hope.

    • Karen says:

      Interesting. I wonder if it actually works! Thx! ~ karen

    • Sabina Missana says:

      Bay leaf is one of my “secret” ingredients that is the “I like it but there’s something missing” void-filler. It’s also very good for the belly. When we were sick (think flu and pukey) our mother would make a bay leaf tea and when my baby (she’s 26 now) would have an upset belly I’d maker her “special water”…our Aunt Pat calls that vodka…and put it in her bottle. Turkish bay leaf is the best!

  26. Paula says:

    I love, love, love your pumpkin soup recipe. I haven’t made it yet considering we are in the midst of summer, which arrived very late; like after the summer.

    Black beans were featured in my veggie garden this year so I will be giving that one a try, too.

  27. Kathleen Aberley says:

    We are currently enjoying a gloriously warm Spring here in South Africa, so soup would have to be a starter here, not the main course at the moment. However, my son always arrives home from work ravenously hungry and eats a bowl of… you guessed it, soup before dinner is served. So these are some delicious alternatives to the boring rut of soup that I find myself in. Once again, Karen to the recipe-rut rescue. Thank you!

  28. Bethany Jones says:

    Freeze. Ginger. I had no idea. Cheers on the soup recipes, but that little tip really made my day!

  29. Lynneo says:

    French onion please. If that ain’t winter, I don’t know what is! Is chilli a soup?

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