Fall Soup Guide

Fall is officially here! Even in Los Angeles, you can start to feel the chill in the air. And how much do you love the comfort of a hot bowl of soup on a chilly night? Here are a few yummy soup recipes to keep you warm and toasty!

Spicy Beef Stew



  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 24 oz beef tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes (check out the Vegan V-ednesday post for meat alternatives!)
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 large shallots, sliced
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 5 cups broth (veggies, chicken or beef)
  • 1⁄3 cup chopped mint 


Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper, add to skillet, and sauté until cooked to desired doneness, about 2 minutes for medium-rare.

Transfer beef to a bowl. Add remaining oil to skillet. Add shallots and carrots and sauté until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add all spices; stir for 30 seconds.

Add flour; stir for 30 seconds. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until carrots are just tender.

Return beef to skillet; cook until sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with mint.

Hearty Veggie Soup



  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, cut into 1-inch pieces (wash these guys well, sometimes they trap dirt inside the leaves!)
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into cubes
  • 3 carrots, cut into cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 pinches of red-pepper flakes
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 cups stock, veggie or chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 red potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch greens (spinach or kale)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh dill 


Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook leeks, celery, carrots, garlic, red-pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally, until leeks are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add stock and water, and bring to a boil.

Add potatoes. Return to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and greens, and return to a boil. Stir in lemon juice and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.

This one is also great for using up whatever is in your fridge or pantry; broccoli, squash, beans… get creative and go nuts!

The Great Pumpkin… soup, that is!



  • 2 whole pumpkins (little ones)
  • 1 quart stock (veggie or chicken)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  •  Dash of nutmeg
  •  Salt to taste
  •  Extra cream (to make each serving look especially yummy)
  • A handful of roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place pumpkins on a cookie sheet and roast them until slightly shriveled and soft. Allow to cool slightly, then slice in half and carefully scoop out seeds and pulp. Scoop pumpkin flesh into a bowl. Set aside.

In a pot, heat up the pumpkin flesh with the stock and maple syrup until simmering. Mash out the big chunks, the transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) and puree until velvety smooth. Add cream and nutmeg, then blend again.

Pour into soup bowls and garnish with an extra swirl of cream and a few pumpkin seeds.

Try serving in mini pumpkins – it looks great and is fun for the kiddos! Just hollow out small pumpkins, like you would for pumpkin carving, pour in the soup and enjoy!

What’s your family’s favorite soup or stew recipe?



Photo credit: A Sweet Pea Chef, Wandering Spice, Sheknows. 
Gourmet Dad
  • Kathleen O

    We love soups at our house! I most often use chicken, and while I rarely eat meat even I will have a cup of the broth and veggies and a bit of meat. One trick I use when making any soup is to use a teeny pinch of cinnamon, it seems to really bring out the flavours in the soup in a most wonderful way. This year I intend to find a great recipe for Vietnamese Pho so I can make it myself (it’s my absolute favourite soup).

  • Jun Alapag

    Thank you Dean, I feel MORE hungry.

  • Torrie Sessions

    it has become a tradition of ours to enjoy beef stew after we decorate for halloween. we’re decorating sunday, so this is the recipe i’ll be using! love the pumpkin pie spice addition… a spice that is sitting in my cupboard waiting to be used!

  • Lemon Meringue

    In our house we love stews, especially when the temperature drops, we like to heat it up on our plates. The kids are more into traditional stews (boeuf bourguignonne, coq au vin and some beef stews that are more locally orientated), I personally like things rather spicy so autumn for me is curry-time (Indian, Thai or Indonesian). We are not a soup-minded family but, pumpkin, tomato and onionsoup are occasional meals. One exception which we all love: mulligatawny soup!

  • Xtina Parker

    wonderful family recipes thanks for posting. best wishes, xtina

  • Dean McDermott

    Thank you, Xtina, I hope you enjoy them!

  • Dean McDermott

    You can’t beat Tomato soup and grilled cheese on a cold day, huh? :)

  • Dean McDermott

    That sounds like an awesome tradition!

  • Dean McDermott

    Haha, I always feel more hungry after writing these, too!

  • Dean McDermott

    Great tip, Kathleen, I’ll give that a try :)

  • Ann

    Everything looks so yummy! I must try making the Stew Tomorrow! Thanks for Sharing! :)

  • Dean McDermott

    I have to say, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! haha Let me know how you like it :)

  • Mette

    Oh looks good.. I’m getting hungry now! :D