Fall Harvest Soups

Fall is my favorite season for cooking. The plethora of sweet round and root vegetables inspire me to load my stock pot with onions, butternut squash, carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, and rutabagaalong with a good complement of red lentils and herbs to make a savory puree. This can be used as a soup or a sauce to accompany grains and poultry, meat, or fish for a simple, hearty meal. A large batch can be used for days and in a variety of waysa kind of ready source of vegetables when time is short.

Red Velvet Soup (Serves 4-5; Time: 1 Hour)
This is a beautiful, festive soup that has long been a favorite of my whole family. Good hot or cold.

1 C. red lentils
1 T. sesame oil
1 Large Onion, chopped
2 Medium Carrots, chopped
2 Beets, peel ends and chopped
3 Bay leaves
3 T. red miso, or sea salt to taste
Garnish: parsley, or broccoli flowerets

Wash and drain red lentils. Scrub veggies and slice in -inch pieces.
Heat oil in soup pot and saut veggies for 5 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon.
Add lentils, water and bay leaves; bring slowly to boil.
Simmer 1 hour, with flame tamer if needed, until veggies are very soft.
Remove bay leaves and puree with blender or immersion wand.
Dissolve miso in c. water and add to soup. If soup is too thick, add more water.
Variations: Can use kombu; or umeboshi paste as flavoring.
Source: Mary Estrella, Natural Foods Cookbook

Bevs Pumpkin Soup (Serves 6)

1 cup solid packed pumpkin, fresh or canned
3 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
2 leeks or 1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. flour, preferably whole wheat
Fresh nutmeg

In a stock pot:
1. Saute vegetables in butter til soft.
2. Sprinkle flour over veggies and blend
3. Add pumpkin and broth
4. Simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
5. Allow to cool
6. Blend in food processor or with wand
7. Add salt and pepper to taste
Grate nutmeg on top each serving, to taste.
Source: My good friend, Beverly Reich. This has become a family favorite. We enjoy it throughout the fall and winter, for pleasure and health.

Chestnut-Squash Soup (serves 4-6; cooking time 50 minutes)
cup roasted chestnuts10 cups peeled, chopped butternut squash (approximately 2 large squash)
6 cups water or stock
2 t. salt
Sprig of fresh dill or chopped fresh chives

  1. In a large pot, combine the roasted chestnuts, squash, and stock and bring to a boil. Add the salt.
  2. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  3. In a blender or food processor, or with an immersion wand, puree the squash mixture until well blended.
  4. Return the mixture to the pot and re-heat.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with the dill or chives.

Source: Atma JoAnn Levitt, The Kripalu Cookbook.

Carrot Puree Soup (10 one-cup servings)
6 cups water
t. salt
1 cup finely diced onion
2 pounds whole carrots, trimmed, same diameter
1 t. celery seeds, or fresh ginger to taste

  1. In a pan, bring water to a boil.
  2. Add salt and onions and reduce heat to simmer.
  3. Add carrots and simmer 15 minutes, covered.
  4. Add celery seeds. Cook until carrots are al dente.
  5. Puree carrots and return to pan. Adjust seasonings and serve.

Source: Jackson Blackmon