Soup can make you healthier, smarter and prettier. We've all heard of soup's ability to fight colds, but can it really make you smarter? While it can't boost your IQ, recipes that include turmeric might actually cut down on brain inflammation. As for the pretty part, some women swear bone broth makes their skin glow.
Need more reasons to have a bowl? Try getting a well-balanced meal that will warm your insides too. Make it in bulk, serve it hot for dinner and freeze it for future meals (and cut down on the stress of weeknight cooking). With a side of crackers, toasted bread or topped with croutons, it's an easy winner every time.
Here are four fall soups hearty enough for a main course:
Cheddar Corn Chowder
1/2 pound bacon, cut into pieces (6-8 per slice)
1/4 cup regular olive oil 6 cups yellow onions, finely chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
12 cups chicken stock
6 cups diced potatoes, skin on
10 cups corn kernels
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 pound white Cheddar cheese, grated.
- In a large stockpot on medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Set aside.
- Take bacon drippings and add olive oil and heat to medium.
- Add onions and butter and cook until onions are translucent.
- Stir in flour, salt, pepper and turmeric and cook for several minutes.
- Add chicken stock and diced potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
- Add corn, half-and-half and cheese; cook until cheese is melted.
- Garnish with bacon.
Potato Leek Soup
8 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 leeks, cleaned, trimmed, chopped
3 large baking potatoes, cleaned, peeled, cut into pieces
coarse ground pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
48 ounces chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
- In a large dutch oven, cook bacon over low-medium heat to render fat, remove from pan before crisp.
- Add leeks, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper into bacon fat, sauté until soft.
- Add potatoes. Pour in chicken broth and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
- Meanwhile, finish crisping bacon in a skillet.
- Using an immersion blender, purée soup until smooth. Add cream and blend well. Serve immediately with bacon on top.
Tuscan Vegetable and Bread Soup
3 (15.5-oz.) cans cannellini beans
4 cups cubed stale sourdough bread
3/4 cups olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes in juice
4 cups chopped kale (1 bunch)
4 cups chopped green cabbage
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 cups diced red skinned potatoes
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oil in heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until tender.
- Add garlic; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, kale, cabbage, and basil. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes.
- Puree 1 can of beans with liquid in food processor until smooth. Add pureed beans, 2 remaining cans of beans with liquid, potatoes, and chicken broth to soup pot.
- Simmer over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Add bread to soup and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
- Serve in large bowls and top evenly with Parmesan cheese.
White Bean, Bacon and Spinach Soup
- 1/4 pound chopped bacon
- 2 (16-oz.) cans white beans
- 1 (12-oz.) package fresh spinach
- 2 heads garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 2 cups chopped red onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup diced tomatoes;
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Break apart garlic into cloves, peel, and toss in olive oil. Place in oven-proof baking dish and cover with foil. Roast in oven for 30-to-40 minutes, or until tender.
- Remove from oven, place garlic in bowl and mash with fork to puree, reserve.
- In large soup pot, cook bacon over medium-low heat until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp.
- Add carrots, onion, garlic, celery, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
- Add roasted garlic puree, white beans, and chicken broth; bring to boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Place 2 cups of soup in blender or food processor and puree until smooth; return to soup pot.
- Stir in spinach and chopped tomatoes.
- Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
This article is part of Mix It Up, an editorial series created in collaboration with AOL's Kitchen Daily and Huffington Post. It is dedicated to making the lives of mothers easier through articles, videos and slideshows focused on simple and creative solutions to everyday challenges. From healthy recipes to exciting ideas for a more balanced lifestyle, this section aims to become a resource for moms everywhere.