Colder weather leaves us aching for warmer comfort foods. There's nothing more enticing than coming home after a cold day and warming up with a hot meal. One of the best comfort foods for fall is soup. Pair it with breadsticks, cornbread, or a salad and you have an easy, yet delicious meal. It's not difficult to cook up a hearty fall soup any day of the week. Whether you recreate your favorite soups from childhood, or try something of your own, soup is a great fall meal idea.
Use your crock pot
When you know that you'll need dinner in a hurry, skip the drive through and plan ahead with a crock pot meal. Soups are perfect for the crock pot. Put it on low and let it cook all day long, or swing home during your lunch break to get it started so you can eat a hot meal in-between work and your kids football game. Simply throw all of your soup's ingredients into the crock pot and let it cook while you're busy doing other things. The results will be the same as cooking it on your stovetop, but you won't have to worry about it as it cooks.
Lighten it up
The awesome thing about soup is that you can make it lower in calories without losing the rich flavor. Simply swap out high calorie ingredients like heavy cream for lower calorie ingredients like milk or half-and half. You can also add additional vegetables to almost any soup. Vegetables shine in soup, so don't be afraid to add in as much as you want. It'll lighten up your soup, plus add fiber and nutrients. Not to mention your kids probably won't even notice the extra veggies, so you'll hear less complaining.
Transform favorite meals into soups
Does your family love tacos? Try a taco soup. Cook up some taco meat and add a can of diced tomatoes, onion, black beans and beef broth. Top with tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream. Craving lasagna? Fry up Italian sausage, add chicken broth, tomato paste, onions, basil, oregano, and garlic. Add in your favorite pasta noodle and top with cheese. The great thing about soup is that it can be made out of almost anything, and you can recreate your favorites comfort foods in soup form.
Need a recipe?
Not sure which recipe to start with your meal planning? This chili recipe may just become a family favorite:
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 Tb chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- ½ tsp red pepper
- 1 can (16 ounces) whole tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (15 ½ ounces) red kidney beans, undrained
Fry ground beef with onion, and garlic in a 3-quart saucepan until browned. Drain. Stir in remaining ingredients, except the beans. Break up tomatoes as you stir. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 hour. Stir occasionally. After 1 hour of cook time, stir in beans, heat to boiling and then simmer uncovered until chili reaches your desired consistency (about 20 minutes).
More savory fall favorites
- Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
- Homemade Clam Chowder Recipe
- White Chicken Chili
- Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup
No matter how busy your fall, you can find time to add a healthy and hearty soup to your weekly menu. Plan it around busy days when you can throw all the ingredients in to your crock pot, or take extra time to enjoy the experience of cooking it with your family over the stove. It'll make your transition to cooler weather so much better.