Fall is in the air, and a pot of soup simmering on the stove makes any kitchen cozy. Serve with bread or rolls and a salad for lunch or dinner or enjoy as an appetizer to the main meal. These and many more autumn soup recipes can be found at allrecipes.com.

My Chili

2 pounds ground beef

2 medium onions, chopped

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4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. chili powder

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. dried oregano

4 (14.5-oz.) cans stewed tomatoes

1 (15-oz.) can tomato sauce

1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans with liquid

Combine ground beef, onion, and garlic in large stockpot. Cook and stir over medium heat until beef is brown. Drain.

Stir in chili powder, salt, oregano, tomatoes, and tomato sauce; break up tomatoes while stirring. Heat to boiling, reduce heat to simmer, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

Stir in beans. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

French Onion Soup

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 Tbsp. olive oil

4 cups sliced onions

4 (10.5-oz.) cans beef broth

2 Tbsp. dry sherry

1 tsp. dried thyme

salt and pepper to taste

4 slices French bread

4 slices provolone cheese

2 slices Swiss cheese, diced

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter with olive oil in an 8 quart stock pot on medium heat. Add onions and continually stir until tender and translucent. Do not brown the onions.

Add beef broth, sherry and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven broiler. Ladle soup into oven safe serving bowls and place one slice of bread on top of each (bread may be broken into pieces if you prefer). Layer each slice of bread with a slice of provolone, 1/2 slice diced Swiss and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Place bowls on a cookie sheet and broil in the preheated oven until cheese bubbles and browns slightly.

Lentil Soup

1 onion, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 medium carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried basil

14.5-oz. can crushed tomatoes

2 cups dry lentils

8 cups water

1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced

2 Tbsp. vinegar

salt to taste

ground black pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil and cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in lentils, then add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve, stir in spinach and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired.

Butternut Squash Soup

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

2 medium potatoes, cubed

1 medium butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed

1 (32-fluid oz.) container chicken stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large pot, and cook the onion, celery, carrot, potatoes, and squash for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Pour in enough of the chicken stock to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 40 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.

Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to pot, and mix in any remaining stock to attain desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Minestrone Soup

4 Tbsp. butter or margarine

3/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped carrots

19-ounce can cannellini beans

1/2 cup shredded cabbage

14.5-oz. can stewed tomatoes

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

1-1/2 cups cubed potatoes

1 quart chicken broth

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. dried parsley

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup elbow macaroni

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter or margarine in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots; saute for a few minutes.

Add beans, cabbage, tomatoes, tomato paste, potato, stock, garlic, parsley and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for approximately 1 hour until vegetables are barely tender.

Add pasta, and simmer for 30 minutes more. Correct seasoning, and serve hot with grated cheese.

Readers are invited to submit four to five of their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to lskarpness@parkrapidsenterprise.com or by mail to the Park Rapids Enterprise, 203 Henrietta Ave. North, Park Rapids, MN 56470 and they may appear in a future issue.