Although in Russia it definitely feels like winter (the forecast tells me there’s a chance of snow tomorrow and I’m not in the least surprised), I’m hoping for a few more weeks of fall weather when I get home. So far, New England has had one of the most beautiful falls I can remember, with lots of warm, sunny, colorful days in a row. Fall is easily my favorite time of year for a lot of reasons, and being able to cook lots of delicious soups, roasts, and pies is not the least of them. In the spirit of the season, I wanted to put together a list of some of my favorite fall recipes that I’ve published here over the past few years. Enjoy!
Soups and Stews
I really love soup, but this one might be my all time favorite. (Or at least tied with Portuguese Kale Soup and Corn and Potato Chowder). I only get to make this once or twice a year because fresh chestnuts can be hard to come by in Boston, but when I do make it, I savor every smooth, comforting spoonful.
Here’s a light and healthy soup that’s perfect for fall. It’s very quick to put together (think, 30 minutes, total, with only 10 of that involving being in the kitchen), and satisfying without being too rich.
It took me a long time to find a carrot soup that I really loved, but this one is a winner. Roasting the carrots makes them sweeter as well as making it easier to achieve a super smooth puree. A few spoonfuls of tahini gives this soup an intense, nutty depth. Topped off with a handful of crunchy, spicy chickpeas, it’s a slightly exotic-tasting but extremely comforting meal.
This beef stew, adapted from Home Made Winter, is the most popular recipe I’ve ever posted on this blog, by a long-shot. Beef stew is a favorite meal for many, and adding a sophisticated French twist in the form of red wine, oranges, and olives elevates this to a company-worthy dinner. Serve over super-smooth garlicky mashed potatoes with a nice bottle of red wine and everyone will be satisfied.
This is another quick-and-easy favorite for me. If I have any leftover pesto on hand, I’ll almost always make this soup. I love how decadent the pesto and grated pecorino make it taste, when really, I’m mostly eating vegetables. This soup is not too heavy, but is filling enough to make a meal on its own.
Salads and Mains
This is a favorite quick meal for me – I love the contrast of the curry butter, the sweet apples, and the crunchy almonds. It’s great on a busy Saturday when you only have a few minutes for lunch but want a real meal.
This pretty salad is sweet and crunchy, which are my two requirements for salads that don’t contain bacon. Of course you probably could add bacon to this – it would be delicious.
When the basil plants finally give in to the cold, I like to make a nutty pesto from hardier sage leaves instead. Mixed with sliced apples and goat cheese as a flatbread topping, it’s a pleasantly different combination of flavors.
While this autumnal re-interpretation of the Greek classic is admittedly labor intensive, it’s worth the effort at least once a season. Adapted from The Country Cooking of Greece, the sweetness of the potatoes and pumpkin are a great counterpoint to the salty meat and the rich bechamel sauce.
This recipe has three of my favorite fall foods – brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and chestnuts. Topped with a runny fried egg and a sprinkle of goat cheese, it’s super satisfying at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Pumpkin and cheddar may seem like an unusual combination, but these muffins, from the genius guys at Baked, prove that pumpkin can successfully straddle the sweet-savory divide. A twist of black pepper really ties these together, and I think they’re perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
Figs are one of fall’s fleeting treasures (and the few we picked from our new tree this year were so perfect). I made this tart for Trevor since figs are one of his favorites, and he devoured every bite. It’s a little bit fancy, but great for company or a special occasion.
I love this recipe, another one from Home Made Winter, because it really tastes like a cake (you know, sweet, and moist and all that) but I know it’s healthy so I don’t feel bad having a big slice. It’s also quite filling, and I love the fall spices in it.
Cinnamon rolls get a fall makeover with a pumpkin-based dough in this recipe, which is actually fairly simple to put together. Made the night before, everyone will love you (or you’ll seriously love yourself) in the morning when you pop them in the oven and the house starts to smell amazing.
Once October starts, I pretty much lose the ability to turn down any cider doughnut that is offered to me (or that I purposefully walk by at the farmer’s market). I love this cake because it allows me to consume cider doughnuts en masse without breaking out a fryer or a doughnut pan. It’s also a great one to bring to parties or brunches because it’s made to serve a crowd.2