Fall in San Antonio is more of a mindset than an actual changing of seasons. Bakeries and coffee shops roll out their pumpkin spice eeeeverything; stores start filling up with pumpkins and Halloween decor; my house starts to smell like cinnamon came in and took charge of all the cleaning and baking. I’m not one to go to a Starbucks every day or once a week or even once a month anymore. I prefer to make anything food and beverage-related at home. So while the seasonal drinks used to be one of the things that got me in the fall and holiday mindset, now it’s the recipes that make their way into my kitchen that help me make that shift into a new season.
One of my year-round obsessions is soup. I love soup. My husband doesn’t quite share that love, but he will partake if it’s the right kind of soup at the right time (unless there’s a way out of it). Sometimes I’m tempted to crank down the AC to be able to indulge in fall-appropriate soups in the middle of summer. I’m here to proudly announce the beginning of fall and to recognize the slightest drop in temperatures so that the great soup season can commence!
I’m going to share some of my go-to soups to help you get into the soup season spirit. Some are easier to make than others and some will stick around all year because they take no time at all and pair well with so many things.
Let’s start with one of my kids’ favorites: carrot soup! It pairs well with almost anything, so you can serve it along with any savory main dish or just make it a simple soup and salad dinner. Best part? It is so easy.
- 2 lbs. carrots, steamed
- 1/4 onion, sliced
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 2 stalks celery
- 4+ c. chicken/vegetable stock
- 1–2 c. almond milk
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- Salt to taste
Start with steamed carrots. Blend with a bit of water, onion, and chicken or vegetable stock. In a large pot, make a roux with a bit of butter and flour. Add your puréed carrots and about 4 more cups of stock, along with 1–2 cups of almond milk (depending on how thick your purée is). Add salt to taste along with onion powder and celery; then let it boil. We serve carrot soup with just about anything, but my kids’ favorite accompaniment is breaded chicken and lemony green beans. This is one my kids ask for on a regular basis!
I have always loved broccoli soup, but any time I order it at a restaurant I find that it is either loaded with cheese or somehow incredibly greasy. I don’t even know how greasy and heavy happens to broccoli, but I like broccoli soup on the lighter side. This is a good one any time of year. Because I usually have broccoli in my fridge and this one is quick to make, I have added it to the menu for a dinner party at the last minute on more than one occasion.
- 2 large broccoli crowns, steamed
- 1 1/2 c. chicken stock
- 1/2 diced onion, divided
- Salt to taste
- Garlic powder, pinch
- 2–3 c. almond milk
Start by steaming some broccoli. You will need two large broccoli crowns broken up into pieces. Blend the steamed broccoli with chicken stock, 1/4 onion, salt, and garlic powder. Make a roux and add another 1/4 finely diced onion. Once translucent, add puréed broccoli and almond milk and let it boil. If it is too thick, add more milk or more chicken stock, depending on how creamy you like it. Salt to taste and serve with some warm ciabatta!
Dill Pickle Soup
Once the temperatures start dropping I like to add heartier soups to the rotation. I usually serve lighter soups as a first course and still serve a main dish with them, but when it’s cold I like to serve a big bowl of something filling and delicious. Potato soups are where it’s at! But have you ever heard of dill pickle soup?
It’s a recent discovery of mine, and it is surprisingly good. Think about the creaminess of potato soup with the slight tang and flavor that dill brings. If you have ever made potato soup, the process is similar, except you will add a cup of dill pickle juice and about 1/2 cup of diced dill pickles.
- Small onion
- Two large garlic cloves, minced
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 c. chicken broth
- 1 c. dill pickle juice
- 1/2 c. dill pickles, diced
- 1 1/2 lbs. potatoes, cubed
- 1 c. heavy cream
- Cheddar or Swiss cheese
Start by sautéing onion and garlic cloves in some olive oil. Add salt and pepper and let the beautiful fragrance of onion and garlic take over your kitchen. Add in chicken broth, pickle juice, diced dill pickles, and cubed potatoes (peeled or not, it all depends on how you prefer it). And as if potatoes weren’t enough, add heavy cream to all of this goodness. Let it all boil together in perfect, weird harmony, and once the potatoes are tender, take about two cups of your soup, purée it, and then add it back in. I like to stir pretty vigorously to break up some of the remaining potato pieces while leaving some bigger pieces to keep things interesting. Stir in a nice strong cheddar or Swiss cheese and top with some fresh dill before serving. If you find that the flavor of dill is too intense, boil some more potatoes, purée them with some cream or milk, and add them into your soup to find your perfect balance. The beauty of potatoes is how they absorb flavors so you can easily correct potato-based recipes when they don’t quite go as planned! Serve it up and get ready to become obsessed. I have only ever eaten this with warm bread or a fresh panini, but served alone it is satisfying and delicious.
There are so many different kinds of stews and soups that you can make depending on your mood or what’s available in your fridge that day. Here is a list of our favorites in case you are in need of some soup inspiration this season:
Fideo with shredded chicken—this is my go-to on a sick day, and any abuela would be more than willing to share her own recipe or even make it for you.
Keto chili—We loved this recipe, but we added zucchini to the mix and topped with diced, crispy bacon.
Vegetable soup—perfect for using up all veggies in your fridge!
Tomato basil soup—I like this recipe because it is sooo simple and easy to make your own! A good intro into tomato soup making if it’s something you have never tried before.
Creamy tortellini soup—I made this recipe for tortellini soup and have referenced it several times.
Pho (this counts as soup, right?)—to make Pho, I read a few recipes and figured out how to make the base and then altered it, depending on what I had available. Once you get the hang of it, it will become so easy you can just throw it together without thinking about it.
Lobster bisque—if I had to eat one kind of soup for the rest of my life, this would be it. I have made several recipes, and so far, this one is my favorite.
Butternut squash and fennel soup—a fabulous addition to Thanksgiving!
Happy soup season!