Some butternut squash soups can be too sweet; here, almond butter, lime juice, and slightly spicy salad mix-ins keep the flavors lively. For a heartier dish, add a few cooked medium shrimp (warmed first in a little hot water) to each bowl.
Reader Sheila Piccini, of Port Townsend, WA, uses a mix of wild mushrooms when they’re in season and less expensive. We also tried the recipe with a mix of cremini and common mushrooms, and it was equally delicious.
Recipe: Mushroom Soup with Hazelnuts
For this soup—adapted from her 2013 book Vegetable Literacy—author Deborah Madison makes a quick stock from the trimmings of the main ingredients: She sets a pot with 5 cups of water on the stove, and as she chops, she tosses in the squash peels, pulp, and seeds; the ends of the onion; some basil and mint sprigs; and 1 tsp. each of coriander seeds and peppercorns. She lets it simmer, partly covered, and it’s ready by the time she needs to strain it for the soup.
Earthy sweet potatoes add depth to this vegetarian chili. New Mexico chile powder is fruity and mild, so don’t be scared off by the generous amount called for here. Feel free to swap in any other kind of chile powder you have on hand—just use less of it.
A far cry from the store-bought packages, real ramen starts with amazing broth. Chef Kolin Vazzoler, of the late, lamented Shimo Modern Steak in Healdsburg, California, simmered his for 12 hours. Our simplified version of his dish doesn’t take nearly that long, but it’s still over the top, taste-wise.
The last of late-summer’s corn, cooked so it still has a light crunch, accents this silky squash soup. Clare Carver of Big Table Farm winery uses rich homemade chicken broth, but store-bought works too.
Recipe: Butternut Squash and Corn Soup
Warm spices and caramelized onions underscore the natural sweetness of pumpkin and butternut squash in this comforting dish. The easy swirl of ginger butter at the end adds a bit of flavor and a lot of style.