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Fall is on the upswing, which, for food, means it’s out with the cold and in with the comforting. Move over, Gazpacho (but not too far, we’ll want you back soon enough) – it’s time for hot soups to shine!

Not only does soup offer an opportunity to warm up in the colder months, but it’s an excellent way to incorporate foundational foods from each of our traditional heritage diets—like leafy greens, vegetables, whole grains, beans, fresh herbs and olive oil—into one cohesive dish. Soups offer an easy and delicious way to incorporate nutrients and flavor into your diet.

Although there are far too many colorful, comforting soups to fit into one post, take a little trip around the world with these heritage-based autumnal offerings.

Mediterranean Diet

Clean the Fridge Chili

The Mediterranean diet shouldn’t be intimidating to try – in fact, this Italian “Clean the Fridge” Vegetarian Chili incorporates whatever vegetables you have on hand. Combined with beans for protein and a deepened flavor thanks to some vermouth or cooking sherry, this chili is versatile and can be served over your whole grain of choice. Plus, it only gets better as it sits in the fridge!

Another savory Mediterranean dish that combines staples from the base of its pyramid is this Split Pea and Melted Eggplant Soup. Don’t let the name fool you: other veggies like celery, carrots and onions also come into play to create a beautiful array of flavor. This dish incorporates plenty of herbs and an optional splash of white wine to seal the deal.

If you just can’t get enough of Mediterranean soup options, this Pasta e Fagioli (Soup with Pasta, Beans and Vegetables) is another great, satisfying soup to enjoy between, say, putting up fall décor and going to a pumpkin patch.

African Heritage Diet

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Greens make up the base of the African Heritage Diet, and Callaloo Soup – a fresh, traditional Caribbean soup – uses an entire pound of spinach (or callaloo, if you’re able to find it) but still comes out creamy and smooth, thanks to a blender and some coconut milk. This soup pairs perfectly with a slice of toasty whole grain bread, for dipping.

Near greens at the base of the pyramid are other whole foods like tubers, fruits and beans. Another classic African heritage soup – Ghanian Red Red (Bean Stew) – provides another way to incorporate heritage into your favorite autumn soups. Black-eyed peas are often paired with smoked fish in Ghanian stews as an excellent source of protein. This plant-based version still packs a protein punch that will leave you feeling satiated.

Other African heritage soups that incorporate healthy, foundational foods from this diet include this Hearty Pumpkin Soup and a quick and easy African Peanut Soup, which are both great to take to school or work for leftovers!

Latin American Heritage Diet

a bowl of tortilla soup topped with tortilla chips and cilantro atop a striped linen

This Chicken Tortilla Soup combines common Latin American Heritage staples like beans, corn and tomatoes, as well as fresh cilantro to liven up the flavor without relying too heavily on salt. Enjoy this American Southwest dish as an entrée, thanks to its fantastic protein content.

If you’re going for something even richer (think red autumn leaves instead of yellow), this Colombian Beef and Potato Stew may be right up your alley.  Cinnamon, sweet potatoes and apricots come together to bring a sweet, earthy flavor to this stew, perfectly complimenting the savory beef. This is the perfect dish to prep in the morning and come back to after a long day.

For those still seeking something cozy but aiming to keep things meatless, give this bright Southwest Potato Corn Chowder a try!

Asian Heritage Diet

vegetable curry in a bowl

Coconut is a key ingredient in plenty of Asian Heritage comfort meals, especially in this West Indian Coconut Lentil Curry, which also boasts an impressive collection of other fruits and vegetables. The coconut tree has been called the “tree of life” by many cultures because of its nutrient-dense fruit and the shelter it provided, and this recipe may cause you to mirror that sentiment. With plenty of spices and filling lentils and chickpeas, this curry will give you energy to carry you through the day.

Alternatively, experience the flavors of Thailand through this Spelt and Shrimp in Spicy Coconut Broth. Shrimp, the most popular seafood in the United States, pairs with coconut and other flavors such as warm ginger and bright basil to create a concoction you can melt into.

Vegetarian and Vegan

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Although vegetarian and vegan recipes can be found in all of the aforementioned heritage diets, it would be unthinkable not to include this Creamy Broccoli Soup on a list of fall soups. It’s so simple to make, but the return is glorious. It is delicious as is, but we also recommend sprinkling in a touch of curry to add a zippy spiced flavor, or if your diet allows, topping with a small amount of grated cheddar cheese.

It’s important to remember that soups are incredibly versatile! All of these recipes can serve as starting points, but don’t be afraid to get creative and tweak them to be in accordance with a specific heritage diet or your favorite flavors (fall or otherwise). There are more soup recipes to be found in this week’s Fresh Friday email and on the Oldways site, so be sure to look through our “Recipes” page for more inspiration!

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Marie D’Amato
Yes, thank you. I’m sure this will help in my Mediterranean diet.

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