The Season of Soup

Fall is upon us. Fall will turn into winter and winter will turn into spring. All of these seasons have the cold weather that most people find necessary to eat soup on a regular basis. And fall is the start of it all. In honor of this most hallowed of seasons, and because soup might be one of the best things on the planet, here is a collection of soup recipes to keep you warm and happy over the next few months. (Love to try new soups to inspire your recipes? Check out the 6th Annual Smith Street Soup Festival, tomorrow October 24 from 1 to 4!)

You can find so many of our other favorite soup recipes here!!

Things to remember about soup making!




- Soup makes excellent leftovers. Sometimes it is even better the next day. So make the full recipe. Don't half it. You will be sorry later! In fact, go ahead and double it if you want to!


- The versatility of soup is one of it's most exciting characteristics. The recipe calls for white beans but all you have are kidneys...go for it. The recipe calls for spinach but you prefer kale...throw it in. It is suppose to have meat in it but you are a vegetarian...add more veggies, beans or something else to keep it hearty and animal free.




- Soup needs time to simmer. All those flavors melding together are what make soup awesome. So give the ingredients some time to get to know one another. Even if it is just 30 min because the smell is too amazing and you can't wait a second longer.


- The broth matters. There is nothing wrong with good ole' store bought broth or stock. It saves time and makes throwing together a soup easier than ever. But if you have the time and the inclination, try making your own broth. It is so good for you and so delicious. Here are some great recipes and tips for making stocks and broths!


Potato Leek Soup in the crock pot

This soup is perfect to prep the night before and throw in the crock pot on your way to work. You can also make this in a regular soup pot. Just cook everything until the potatoes and leeks are tender and then continue with the blending step.


4 to 6 baking potatoes, peeled and diced
4 to 6 leeks
1 carton vegetable or chicken broth
a mix of cheeses to taste, I love to use a sharp white cheddar and some shaved parm (cheese is optional)
salt and pepper
You can add other spices such as rosemary, thyme, marjoram and fresh parsley. In this simple soup, the spices will add a distinct flavor so only use ones that you love!

Chop the leeks and rinse thoroughly.

Place the leeks, peeled and diced potatoes, a pinch of salt and some pepper and enough broth to cover into the crock pot and set on the low setting for 8 hours.

When you come home, check on everything and make sure the potatoes are very tender. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup to your desired consistency. You can leave it chunky or make it very smooth and creamy. You might need to add more broth if it looks a bit dry or two thick. Add cream to taste (I usually add less than 1/2 a cup) and cheese if using. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. This soup is so delicious to serve with a piece of crusty bread and a light salad for something fresh and bright to balance!



These are my three go to soup recipes as soon as the weather starts to cool. There are so so many more that we love and love to make. Stay tuned for more #soup recipes on the Swan Blog and let us know how these turn out for you. Add what you like, take out what you don't, and create your own favorite soup recipe today!

Easy Black Bean Soup

This soup is quick, easy and filling. I make it without meat because of the vegetarian in the house, but adding shredded chicken would be a great idea. Just make sure to cook and shred the chicken separately and add it just after you mix in the pureed beans!


3 cans black beans
1 can diced tomatos
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 red or yellow onion (medium), chopped
1 can of corn
jalapenos or green chilis to taste (I use one can of the green chilis and a few slices of jalapeno, diced)
vegetable or chicken broth
sour cream, cheese and fresh cilantro for garnish

You can add so much more to this soup if you would like. How about red and green peppers? That shredded chicken I mentioned. Kale or another hearty green. Serve it over brown rice. The options are endless!

Start by sauteing the onion in a little bit of olive oil until it becomes translucent and soft. Add in the garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add the peppers if using (jalapeno, green chili, red or green) and saute for another few minutes. Add the corn (drained) and the tomato (not drained) and cook on medium heat for a few minutes. While that is cooking, drain and rinse the beans. Add about half to the pot and continue to cook. At this point you can add a bit of broth to keep a little bit of liquid in the pot. Add a pinch of salt and some pepper and turn heat to low. The more broth you add, the thinner your soup will be. I do not add more than a cup to this soup.

While the soup is simmering, mash up or blend the rest of the black beans. I use an immersion blender, but you can do this by hand or in a food processor. You just want to create a bean paste to thicken your soup. Add this in after the soup has been simmering about 10 min. You will need to stir for awhile and mash up the paste so it dissolves into the soup liquids. At this point you can add chicken, greens, or anything other ingredients that are already cooked or do not take long to cook. Once all your ingredients are in, add more broth to bring the soup to the consistency you prefer. I do not add a lot of spices to this soup because the flavors are already great, but you can add things like garlic powder, chili powder and cumin if you like. Let simmer for at least another 20 to 30 minutes with the lid on and add seasoning to taste. Serve with whatever garnish you prefer!

Spicy Vegetable Beef Soup

This is an old classic of my mom's. The original recipe calls for mostly canned veggies and ground beef. You can also make this with mostly fresh veggies and/or boca crumbles. It is one of those "whatever you have on hand" kind of soups!


1 pound ground beef (or one package of veggie crumbles)
1 container V8 juice
2 cans each of: french style green beans, corn, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce
1 large yellow onion
2 backing potatoes, peeled and diced
2 to 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
5 beef bullion cubes (or vegetable bullion), you can skip this and use stock instead!

Brown the beef along with the chopped onions. Drain any grease and add the potatoes and the bullion. Add water to cover and simmer for 30 min or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Add all of the canned items (drain the green beans and the corn). Add the container of V8 Juice and the spices. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer with lid on for 30min to an hour. Taste and add seasoning if needed.