Bowls of comfort

When there’s a chill in the air, few things comfort like a warm bowl of homemade soup. Cozy up with these perfect-for-fall soup recipes – all courtesy of local chefs.

Italian Wedding Soup

Recipe courtesy of LaDonna Rose, from the My Tiny Alaskan Oven cookbook (ladonnarose.com)

Serves 4

For the meatballs:
1/2 lb ground chicken, turkey, pork or Italian sausage
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 Tbs onion, finely diced
2 Tbs Panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbs dried parsley
1 egg, beaten
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

For the soup:
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled, diced
¾ cup orzo pasta or other small pasta
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 cups kale, chopped
8 cups reduced-sodium organic chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Directions

To make the meatballs:
Make the meatballs by mixing their ingredients together except the olive oil. Shape mixture into 1-inch meatballs. Heat the teaspoon of olive oil in a heavy soup pot. Brown the meatballs, remove and set aside. Pour off any extra fat in the pan.

To make the soup:
In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add the onion and carrot and cook until softened, scraping up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan when stirring. Stir in the pasta and cook for 1 minute. Stir in zucchini and kale. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir in the meatballs and basil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Adjust the consistency of the soup to your preference by adding water or more broth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Divide the warm soup among bowls and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Tomato Gorgonzola Soup

Recipe courtesy of Sacks Cafe (sackscafe.com)

Serves 4 to 6

3 Tbs unsalted butter
2 large yellow onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 oz (1/4 cup) cognac
1 1/2 lbs red-skinned potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 35-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed, juice reserved
2 3/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese, plus more for garnish
2/3 cup fresh basil, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tsp cider vinegar

Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the cognac and scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits.

Add the potatoes and broth to the stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Add the can of tomatoes including juice, cream, gorgonzola and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Using an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender, puree until smooth. Add the vinegar and serve in warm bowls with more basil and gorgonzola.

Chef’s note: When blending hot liquid, first let it cool for five minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters, and pulse until smooth.

Alaskan Lingonberry Soup

Recipe courtesy of Chef Laura Cole of 229 Parks Restaurant & Tavern (229parks.com)

Serves 6

4 cups lingonberries
1 cup sugar or honey
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1/2 Tbs cardamom
1 Tbs spruce tips
3 cups cranberry or raspberry juice
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of agar-agar or pectin

Puree everything but agar-agar or pectin in a high-speed blender until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Heat over medium heat, adding a pinch of agar-agar or pectin to help thicken. Serve either hot or cold.

Chef’s note: “We serve it with crème fraîche and fresh upland cress.”

Smoked Alaskan Salmon Chowder

Recipe courtesy of Gwin’s Lodge (gwinslodge.com)

Serves 8

1.5 lbs smoked salmon (sockeye preferred), flaked
10 strips raw bacon
2 large onions
4 stalks celery
3 carrots, finely chopped
5 green onions, finely diced
6 cups fish broth (water mixed with fish base)
8 red potatoes, chopped
3/4 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup butter
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 ½ Tbs dry dill
1 ½ cups corn kernels
1 cup flour
1/3 Tbs black pepper
5 cups milk
3/4 cup white wine

Chop bacon and sauté in a large pot with onions, celery, carrots, green onions and parsley for about 4-5 minutes over medium heat. Slowly add in 1/2 cup water and cover for 1 minute. Add spices and fish broth and simmer until carrots are tender. Add the chopped red potatoes and simmer until tender. In a separate saucepan, mix the butter and flour over medium heat and stir to make a roux, or paste. Before adding this mixture to the pot, add a few large spoonfuls of the hot broth to the roux for thinning and bring it to the proper temperature. Add this thinned roux to the pot with vegetables and broth. Stir thoroughly and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add milk, stir and bring to a simmer, allowing it to thicken slightly. Add white wine, lemon juice, corn, and flaked salmon. Continue simmering, stirring frequently, until the desired thickness is obtained. A little water may be added if chowder becomes too thick.

Butternut Orange Soup with Tarragon Sambuca Cream

Recipe courtesy of Bear Tooth Grill (beartoothgrill.net)

Serves 9

For the Butternut Soup:
3 lbs peeled, cubed butternut squash (1 large or 2 small butternut squash)
3 navel oranges, juiced and zested
10 1/2 oz vegetable stock
10 1/2 oz heavy cream
1/2 Tbs salt
1/2 Tbs pepper

For the Sambuca Tarragon Cream:
10 oz heavy cream
1 tsp finely minced fresh tarragon
2 Tbs Romana Sambuca liqueur

For the Pistachio Granola:
2 cups pistachio nuts
2 cups Grape-nuts cereal
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
2 Tbs honey

For the Chive Oil:
1/4 cup of roughly chopped chives
2 cups of olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

To make the Pistachio Granola:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Using a food processor or blender, pulse pistachios until they are roughly the size of small pebbles, taking care not to over blend. Add pistachios and grape-nuts in a bowl and toss to combine. Continue tossing while adding the oil, honey, and lastly the chopped basil. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet in a single layer and place in oven. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through baking. Remove from oven and let cool.

To make the Chive Oil:
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To make Sambuca Tarragon Cream:
For best results, chill the bowl of a standard mixer and whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes. Add all ingredients in the bowl and whisk on high until medium peaks begin forming. Set aside.

To make the Butternut Soup:
Peel butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes and place in the bottom of a large pot with the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until the squash is soft enough to be easily pierced with a fork, approximately 15 minutes. Allow squash and stock to cool slightly before adding all other ingredients and blending with an immersion blender. If you do not have an immersion blender, a food processor or standard blender will also work, however, you may blend in batches depending on the size of your blender. Blend until smooth.

Ladle butternut soup into bowls. Using a spoon, drizzle chive oil around the outer edges of the soup. Sprinkle pistachio in across the bowl and spoon a dollop of the Tarragon Sambuca Cream in the center of the bowl.