Comfort foods for fall

Get cozy and warm with these comforting classics.

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Soups and stews
Beef and Green Bean Stew
Photography by Matthew Kimura

So bittersweet is the autumn season. While we adore the awe-inspiring canvas of fall colours and reap the rewards of summer's bounty, old Jack Frost creeps over our gardens and cars as we sleep, reminding us that winter is right on time.

As the evenings cool down, give in to your desires for cozy fare. We've compiled a list of harvest favourites, plus some comfort staples to ease you into winter. Enjoy!

Soups
Autumn Leek and Carrot Creamed Soup with Chive Oil
Alternatives to garnish this autumn soup could be crispy bacon sprinkles, chopped herbs or even just a dollop of sour cream.

Roasted Mushroom Soup
Roasting the mushrooms develops their rich, woodsy flavour for this soup, which is wonderful for entertaining. Serve with Sun-Dried Tomato and Herb Focaccia.

Cauliflower Soup
This soup skips the frying step so less fat is used and nutrients are preserved in the stock. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable; members of this family are associated with reducing the risk of cancer.

Corn and Cheddar Chowder
Chock full of veggies, this chowder is great with a spinach salad. End the meal with wedges of watermelon.

French Onion Soup
This classic soup isn't hard to make, and it's a good way to use up stale bread.

Sweet Potato Vichyssoise
A creamy, sweet delight.

Thai Squash and Coconut Soup with Shrimp
Perfect for entertaining, this lightly spiced soup can be prepared a few days in advance. Use the stems and the carefully cleaned roots of the coriander for the fullest flavour.

Stews
Chicken Stew with Dumplings
Thick sauce and juicy chunks of chicken and vegetables, topped off with fluffy dumplings, combine to make this stew the ultimate comfort food.

Pork and Mushroom Stew
Serve this stew with creamy mashed potatoes or crusty Italian bread. The beef stock gives a rich meaty flavour to the oyster mushrooms and the sauce.

Beef and Green Bean Stew
Choose an outside or inside round oven roast or shoulder pot roast. Starting with one piece of meat rather than precut stewing beef means that all the chunks will be similar in size and texture and will require the same cooking time.

Braised Shallots and Squash Stew
Simmering the whole shallots and garlic cloves in the stew enhances their natural sweetness. If you like, you can substitute other seasonal favourites, such as rutabaga and carrots, for the squash and top the stew with crunchy croutons or toasted bread crumbs.

Chicken Vindaloo
Garnish this stew with sprigs of coriander and serve with side dishes of plain yogurt, chutney, rice, cooked spinach and pappadams (spicy Indian wafers).

Lamb Tagine with Artichokes and Mint
In Morocco, tagines, or stews, are cooked in a special pottery dish called a tagine slaoui, which has a conical lid that helps capture the steam to produce moist stews in thick sauces. You can use a large Dutch oven or saucepan for similar results. Serve this stew with couscous or warmed flatbreads.

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