Hearty Vegetable Soups and Stews

Hearty Vegetable Soups

There's no better way to beat cold season than stocking up on filling, healthy soups and stews that give you protein and nutrients to build up your immune system. These delicious, hearty recipes contain ripe fall vegetables and lean meats that help you beat the fall blues as well as any bugs that are going around. Protect yourself and your family with these fantastic soups and stews that are easy to make and can refrigerate well for the next day. They're also a great idea for lunchboxes; kids love opening a thermos of delicious soup or stew.

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

This is a great way to use the creamy taste of butternut squash, which ripens in the fall. Begin with one small squash, peeled and diced (it should yield about three cups). Stir in a saucepan with sliced carrots and a tablespoon of butter for about ten minutes. Add a cup of low-fat chicken broth, bring to a boil, and let simmer for half an hour until the vegetables are nice and tender.

Once the vegetables have been cooked thoroughly, put them through a food processor until they have a creamy texture. Return the mix to the saucepan and add a quarter cup of half-and-half; bring to a boil, then let sit for a few minutes. Add a touch of nutmeg and ground pepper, then serve.

Barley, Beef, and Vegetable Stew

Barley is a wholesome, hearty grain that contains great amounts of fiber. Mixed in with a low-fat cut of beef and some vegetables, you're getting a great balanced meal. Begin by browning beef in a Dutch oven with hot oil. Add beef or vegetable broth, chopped celery and carrots, and your choice of spices: garlic, pepper, and oregano work well for this recipe. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for an hour and a half. Stir in barley and a cup of mixed frozen vegetables, then bring to a boil and let simmer for twenty minutes. If you don't have a Dutch oven, this can work in a crock-pot as well.

White Chicken Chili

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then cook in a Dutch oven with hot oil. When the chicken is done, set the oven to medium and cook sliced onions and peppers until browned. Add salt and chili pepper over the vegetables. Add a few cups of chicken stock and white kidney beans, then return the chicken to the mix and simmer for close to an hour.

Chicken Soup with Rice

If you're looking to make a quick and easy weekday soup, you can use rotisserie chicken. Slice celery and carrots, then add in a few cups of chicken broth for a base. Add in rice and let simmer for half an hour, then stir in a few cups of rotisserie chicken.

Bean, Chicken, and Sweet Potato Stew

You can make this pretty easily in a crock-pot and cook for 10-12 hours on low heat while you're at work. Combine red beans, chopped sweet potatoes, chopped chicken breast, a few cups of broth, garlic cloves, and a cup of canned tomatoes in the crock-pot, then leave for work. When you get home, it's an instant dinner that's healthy and filling.

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