If you were to ask me to picture my perfect fall weeknight, it would be this: wrapped up in an unreasonably soft blanket, watching the latest episode of the reality show du jour (right now, Below Deck on Bravo), sipping spoonfuls of piping-hot soup.
Why soup, specifically? There's something especially soothing about a warm, spice and herb–flavored broth that's been simmered over the stovetop (or even easier, in an Instant Pot) during autumn's crisp-weathered months. It also tends to be the season when colds spread like wildfire — and everyone knows that soup is a go-to remedy.
So with that in mind, here are 16 of our best soup recipes to make with the changing leaves — from the simplest chicken noodle soup ever to a hearty lentil and sausage number you'll want to slurp and slurp (until it's all gone).
16 cozy fall soup recipes
This French onion soup has been described as "magic," and given the fact that it calls for duck fat, white wine, and so much bubbly-browned Gruyere cheese, we'd have to agree.
Make a big batch of this life-affirming Greek lemon soup the second the temperatures start to nosedive — it's a bowlful of velvety, citrus-spiked, orzo-filled goodness.
Freshly ground coriander seeds bring a warm nuttiness to this sweet potato soup's base, while oven-roasted chickpeas tossed in a fiery blend of chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon makes just the right crunchy topping.
A riff on the egg drop soup you might find in most American-Chinese restaurants, this 10-minute (seriously!) version calls for heartier ingredients like cream of chicken (instead of cornstarch) and canned corn (including the juice) for a velvety, creamy, extra-cozy result.
This brothy, vegetable-packed lentil and sausage soup may technically be for a cold winter's night, but we love it just as much on a brisk fall evening.
This "simplest" chicken noodle soup delivers on its promise by focusing on what really makes this comfort food such a classic: juicy roast chicken, shredded into bite-size bits, and extra-wide egg noodles added just at the end (so they don't get mushy).
Oven-charred carrots, celery, and yellow onions get just the right funky sweetness from lots and lots of mellow white miso in this vegetarian-friendly soup.
If you weren't sure whether or not you should add this green lentil soup (made extra warm and toasty with curried brown butter) to your list, just read this reviewers comment: "I made this tonight during a terrible rain storm and it was absolute perfection."
"Tom Kha Gai is a creamy, aromatic, and zesty soup that is distinctly Thai," writes recipe author and longtime community member thaifoodie. We love this soup all year round, but its red chile and galangal–fueled flavor makes it especially delicious during the chillier months.
This chunky minestrone soup with bright pesto drizzle brings those sitting-next-to-the-fireplace vibes front and center by adding some smoky all-natural bacon into the fold.
Just because you're vegan, doesn't mean you can't enjoy a silky-smooth cream of mushroom soup studded with wild rice and vegetables — this one gets its dreamy texture from coconut milk.
"This recipe asks you to trust in the power of some very humble ingredients," our test kitchen director Josh Cohen writes. Putting that faith in a few seasonal vegetables, spices, and herbs pays off big time with a soup that is complex and guaranteed delicious.
There's something especially restorative about a hot bowl of this matzo ball soup with shreds of roast chicken, veggies, and dill in a super salty broth. It's exactly what you want to make yourself (or better yet, have someone make you) when you're feeling a little down.
You don't need to have a hangover to revel in the glories of this fortifying Polish soup from Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski, though it'll certainly help revive you if you stayed out a little too late the night before.
Remember the hamburger soup they used to serve at the elementary school cafeteria when you were a kid? This is like that, only with an Instant Pot — so you'll only need to spend 30 minutes or so whipping it up.
Lots of stale country-style bread make an ultra-comforting base in this Jamie Oliver soup, which also calls on big handfuls of kale, roughly chopped cabbage, bacon, cheese, and even anchovies for substantial flavor.
This story was originally published on Food52.com: Our 16 best fall soups to simmer and slurp this season