Autumn Soup

This recipe is known as Autumn Soup, and it really is a great soup for autumn (and winter too). It’s made with ground beef and veggies like carrots, potatoes, and onion, so it’s inexpensive, but also warm and delicious. This recipe was originally a microwave recipe, but I usually make it on the stove these days.

1 lb (400g) lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
4 cups (950mL) hot water
3 cubes beef bouillon
2 cups ½-inch diced potatoes
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
½ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
14-oz (400g) can diced tomatoes, undrained

Japan notes: here in Japan, beef can be expensive, so I sometimes make this soup with ground beef/pork mixture, or of course you can lower the amount of meat you use in the soup with no problem.


Put ground beef, onion, and celery in a saucepan; cook and stir until meat is browned.

Add hot water, bouillon cubes, potatoes, carrots, basil, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes).

Remove the bay leaf. Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Cook for a few minutes more until back to a simmer, then turn off the heat and serve.

This soup is great together with bread or biscuits. My family always ate it with baking powder biscuits.


Corn Chowder

When I was in university, one particular place on campus served a great corn chowder every Wednesday, and I made sure to be there at lunchtime once a week to get my soup, because it was so delicious. They used an herb that I couldn’t identify until I went home and smelled everything in my cabinet. It turned out to be thyme, and since then I have always added it to my corn chowder!

3-4 strips bacon (optional – leave out for vegetarian version)
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 can corn, undrained (400g / 14oz)
1 chicken or vegetable bouillon cube
1/3 cup hot water
1/2 tsp thyme
1-1/2 cups milk
2 tbsp flour
salt & pepper to taste


Cut bacon into strips and cook in a saucepan. When the fat starts to render, add the chopped onion and cook together. (If omitting bacon, start with the onion and a little vegetable oil.)

Add potatoes, corn, bouillon, hot water, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Add 1-1/4 cups milk. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup milk with 2 tbsp flour until smooth, then add into soup. Stir over medium heat until thickened.

We sometimes like to top this soup with chopped green onions and shredded cheddar cheese.