Along with the classic essentials – changing leaves, comfy boots and cozy sweaters – one of my favorite things about fall’s increasingly chilly days is the chance to enjoy more savory foods. Hearty and often healthy, flavorful soups – from black bean to pumpkin to roasted red pepper and more – definitely top my list of seasonal favorites, whether they're homemade, store-bought or served in a restaurant. Here, a few recent picks I especially love.
To kick off the weekend, Stephen and I headed out Friday evening to Columbia Firehouse in Old Town Alexandria, which is known for its rustic chophouse feel, charming bay windows and incredible glass ceiling. To my delight, their fall menu also featured an amazingly thick and creamy pumpkin soup topped with walnuts, cranberries and sweet butter. It was absolutely delicious and definitely the perfect fall appetizer.
If you like pumpkin soup, be sure to check out High Heels City Streets, where blogger Kim recently posted a vegan recipe that sounds incredibly healthy and tasty. In fact, it was that very post that got me craving pumpkin soup in the first place!
Spicy Black Bean
On Sunday night, we kept things low-key at home with a batch of spicy black bean soup served in sourdough bread bowls from Panera. The recipe we found at Epicurious.com calls for generous amounts of cumin and jalapeno, giving the mixture an especially hot and flavor-filled kick.
Lemongrass Chili & Bangkok Curry
Only $1.25 each, these Thai-styled soups are healthier and much tastier than the similar-looking Cup of Noodles standbys that so often sustained me throughout my college years. Each Thai Kitchen kit contains rice noodles and seasoning, which can be heated and eaten as is or combined with your favorite meats and veggies for a heartier mix. And since these soups cook up in the microwave in less than three minutes, they make the perfect lunch fix on a busy day.
Roasted Red Pepper, Butternut Squash, Cashew Ginger Carrot & Thai Sweet Potato
A soup-lover's delight, Pacific Natural Foods offers tons of tasty choices, all extremely flavorful and easy to microwave or heat on the stove in hardly any time at all. The Thai Sweet Potato blend is new, and we’re looking forward to trying it out at dinner one night this week.
Do you have any favorite soup recipes, and which foods do you most look forward to eating during the fall season?