Fall is my favorite season for so many reasons. I love the colors, the coziness of my house, and the change in the weather. I love the clothes and layers and boots. Yay boots! But I really, really love being able to change up my meals to something a bit more cozy. Food defines the seasons for me. Spring brings rhubarb pie, greens, and vegetable soup. Summer means taco salads, peaches with balsamic vinegar, loads of veggies and fruit, and anything quick that doesn’t heat up the kitchen too much. Fall and winter are my favorite because they bring roasts, apple pie, apple crisp, pumpkins and pumpkin spice (I have a limit, people! I can’t put pumpkins in everything like some people do, but it’s still fun in some things.) But the BEST fall and winter meals to me center around soup and chili. With cornbread. Or homemade French bread. Or hot rolls…
There’s nothing cozier than making a fragrant soup on a cold day with the fire going, is there? In honor of this cozy food season, I thought I would round up my favorite recipes and share them with you! They make cold days so much cozier. Not only do I love to eat them, but I love the process of making them. The chopping, mincing, sautéing, and simmering. It’s just a cozy thing to do on a chilly day inside. I make a soup or chili at least once or twice a week during the fall and winter. Hopefully these recipes help make your days a bit cozier too! I list a few that I love online and then I’ll end with a couple of my own.
Lemon Chicken Orzo soup from DamnDelicious. My family loves this one. I made it several times last year. Tons of flavor and veggies make this one a winner.
Creamy Chicken and Mushroom soup also from DamnDelicious. Go make it now! My whole entire family gobbled this one up.
Split Pea Soup. This is one of my personal favorites. I know it sounds simple, but it’s got SO much flavor because of the ham hock in it. I crave this one and will eat it any time of the day.
Ham and Bean Soup. Again, tons of flavor from the ham. It’s just amazing and I make it all the time with cornbread. Note: I don’t use onion powder, I chop a whole onion instead.
Okay, this Baked Potato Soup is my ABSOLUTE favorite. I don’t know where I got the original recipe, but I’ve changed it a little over the years.
6 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
5 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 tbsp fresh chives
Sour cream, extra chives, extra shredded cheddar, and bacon, cooked and crumbled to garnish
Combine potatoes, onion, garlic, chicken broth, butter, salt, and pepper in a crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours. Mash mixture until potatoes are coarsely chopped and soup is slightly thickened. Stir in cream, 1 cup shredded cheese, and 3 tbsp of chives. Top with sour cream, bacon, extra cheddar, and extra chives if desired.
Serve it up on a cold winter day and be cozy.
My favorite chili recipe is originally my dad’s. I think he’s changed it over the years, but I’ve kept it pretty similar to what it used to be. It’s one of our favorites every single year!
Charlie’s Texas Chili
3 lbs. ground chuck
1 cup Catalina dressing
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp kosher salt
4 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 10 oz. can puréed tomatoes
6 slices of bacon cooked and chopped
1 can of dark beer
Lime juice to taste
Marinate ground chuck in Catalina dressing for a couple hours in the refrigerator. Then brown the meat, drain it, and set it aside. Sauté the onions in a little oil until soft, then add the garlic and sauté for about 1-2 mins. Lower the heat and add the spices, sugar, and puréed tomatoes. Stir around for a minute. Then add the ground chuck, bacon, beer, and lime juice. Bring it to a boil, then cover and simmer for at least an hour.
Serve on game day with lots of cornbread!
Okay, so these totally made me hungry! Cook soup, eat soup, and be cozy, friends!