The Best Soups and Stews of Fall

by Gourmet

Warm up as the temperature drops with half a dozen of the season's best soups starring kale, lentils, seafood, and more.

KALE AND CHICKPEA SOUP
by Gourmet
yield: Makes 6 main-course or 8 first-course servings
active time: 20 min
total time: 45 min

Ingredients
* 1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
* 2 garlic cloves, chopped
* 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 large boiling potato(3/4 lb), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 3/4 lb kale, stems and center ribs cut out and discarded, then leaves very finely chopped in a food processor (4 cups)
* 3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (28 fl oz)
* 2 cups water
* 1 (14-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
* 1/4 lb Spanish chorizo (cured spiced pork sausage), casing discarded and sausage cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)

Preparation
Cook onion, garlic, bay leaf, salt, and pepper in oil in a wide 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until onion and garlic are softened and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add potato, kale, broth, and water and cook, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce heat to low, then add chickpeas and chorizo and gently simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes. Discard bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.

QUICK AND EASY COPPINO
by Paul Grimes
The legacy of San Francisco's Italian and Portuguese immigrants-many of them fishermen-lives on in this fuss-free take on the North Beach favorite, with fresh fennel adding a subtle touch of anise to the tomato-based seafood stew.

yield: Makes 4 servings
active time: 10 min
total time: 40 min

Ingredients
*
1 fennel bulb, stalks discarded and bulb cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
* 1 medium onion, quartered
* 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
* 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
* 1/8 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
* 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in juice
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 1 cup full-bodied red wine such as Zinfandel or Syrah
* 1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
* 1 pound skinless fillets of thick white-fleshed fish such as halibut, hake, or pollack, cut into 2-inch chunks
* 1 pound cultivated mussels

Preparation
*
Pulse fennel, onion, and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
* Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then stir in chopped vegetables, bay leaves, thyme, red-pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
* Cook, covered, over medium heat, stirring once or twice, until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
* Add tomatoes with their juice, water, wine, and clam juice and boil, covered, 20 minutes. Stir in seafood and cook, uncovered, until fish is just cooked through and mussels open wide, 4 to 6 minutes (discard any that remain unopened after 6 minutes). Discard bay leaves.

FRENCH RED ONION SOUP
by Melissa Roberts
In this redesigned French bistro classic, softened red onions join salty Manchego, and star anise gives the peppery broth a subtle undercurrent of sweetness.

yield: Makes 4 servings (first course or light main course)
active time: 20 min
total time: 45 min

Ingredients
* 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
* 2 cups water
* 2 whole star anise
* 6 black peppercorns
* 2 pounds red onions, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/2 cup dry red wine
* 4 (1-inch-thick) slices of baguette
* 2 cups coarsely grated Manchego or Gruyère (6 to 7 ounces)

Preparation
* Bring broth, water, spices, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep 15 minutes.
* Meanwhile, cook onions in oil with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a heavy medium pot over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until deep golden, about 15 minutes. Add wine and boil, uncovered, until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 1 minute.
* Strain broth through a sieve into onion mixture and briskly simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Season with salt.
* Preheat broiler.
*Ladle soup into 4 ovenproof bowls set in a 4-sided sheet pan. Place baguette slices on top and sprinkle each with 1/2 cup cheese. Broil about 6 inches from heat until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 2 minutes.

See more: 15 Perfect Pasta Dishes

SPINACH STRACCIATELLA SOUP
by Gourmet
We've added spinach to this classic Italian soup to create a dish that's both filling and delicious.

yield: Makes 6 servings
active time: 10 min
total time: 20 min

Ingredients
* 1 (12-inch) length of crusty baguette, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into thirds
* Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing bread
* 2 cups water
* 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (24 fl oz)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus additional for serving
* 1 (10-oz) package frozen chopped spinach (not thawed)
* 1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1/2 cup) plus additional for serving
* 2 large eggs, beaten

Preparation
* Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 400°F.
* Brush cut sides of baguette with oil. Arrange, cut sides up, on a baking sheet and bake until golden, about 10 minutes.
* Meanwhile, heat water with broth, salt, and pepper in a 2- to 2 1/2-quart saucepan over moderate heat until hot. Stir in frozen spinach and cheese and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until spinach is just tender, about 8 minutes.
* Add beaten eggs in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly.
* Serve with freshly ground pepper and a slice of toasted baguette in the soup.

RED LENTIL SOUP
by Gourmet
yield: Makes about 7 cups
active time: 20 min
total time: 40 min

Ingredients
* 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 3 garlic cloves, chopped
* 2 carrots, chopped (1 cup)
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh or canned tomato
* 1 celery rib, chopped
* 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup dried red lentils
* 4 cups water
* 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preparation
* Heat oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, tomato, celery, cumin, and salt and sauté, stirring, 2 minutes. Add lentils, water, and broth and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.
* Stir in parsley, then season with salt and pepper.

See more: 19 Sweet and Savory Ways to Eat Ice Cream

CREAM OF COPE'S CORN SOUP WITH SHRIMP AND WILD MUSHROOMS
by John T. Edge
What gives this thick, voluptuous soup its deep-golden flavor and aroma is toasted dried summer-sweet Cope's corn. Chef Linton Hopkins embellishes the soup with tender, briny shrimp and foresty mushrooms, but it would also be delicious with crabmeat or bacon & or with nothing at all to distract you from its mysterious, soul-satisfying essence.

yield: Makes 8 (first course) servings
active time: 1 1/4 hr
total time: 1 3/4 hr

Ingredients
For corn soup
* 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 (7 1/2-ounce) box Cope's toasted dried sweet corn
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 6 to 7 cups chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
* 3 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
* 1 thyme sprig
* 2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
* 4 black peppercorns

For mushrooms and shrimp:
* 3/4 pound mixed fresh wild mushrooms
* 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
* 3/4 pound medium shrimp in shell, peeled, leaving tail fan attached, and deveined
* 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
* About 3/4 cup crème fraîche

Equipment
* cheesecloth
* kitchen string

Preparation
Cook corn and make soup:
* Cook onion in butter in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium-low heat, stirring, until softened. Add corn, heavy cream, and 6 cups stock and bring to a boil.
* Wrap parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns in cheesecloth and tie with string to make a bouquet garni. Add to pot with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and simmer, covered, 45 minutes.
* Discard bouquet garni, then purée corn mixture in batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), about 2 minutes per batch. Strain soup as puréed through a fine-mesh sieve into a large heavy saucepan, pressing on and then discarding solids.
* Return soup to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and keep warm over low heat. Thin with additional stock if necessary.

Cook mushrooms and shrimp:
* Trim mushrooms, discarding any dark gills and tough stems, then slice or tear into bite-size pieces.
* Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook mushrooms, stirring, until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
* Transfer mushrooms to a bowl and melt remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in skillet. Meanwhile, toss shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook shrimp in butter, turning occasionally, until barely cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Return mushrooms to skillet and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in chives and salt and pepper to taste.
* Mound shrimp and mushrooms in shallow bowls, then add soup and top each serving with a dollop of crème fraîche.

Cooks' note: Corn mixture can be cooked, puréed, and strained 1 day ahead. Chill, uncovered, until cool, then cover. Reheat before proceeding.

More from Gourmet:
17 Delicious Cheese Recipes
Top 10 Timeless Recipes
12 Favorite Pumpkin Dishes
Gourmet's Classic Comfort Foods