Delicious vegetable corn chowder with bacon close-up in a bowl. Horizontal top view

Fall weather means it’s officially time to pull out the slow cooker or stockpot and cook up some delicious, warm and toasty homemade soups.

Growing up as a “Campbell’s Soup Kid,” we loved popping open a can of chicken noodle or clam chowder. But on rare occasions my mom would make some homemade corn chowder. Served up with delicious bread, that soup was the perfect remedy to raking piles of leaves on a frosty Saturday.

Autumn weather always leads me to the kitchen to cook up favorite and new recipes. This week it’s time to ditch the canned soups and try some new concoctions for creamy chowders, traditional favorites and even some restaurant copycats. Here are a few of my favorite recipes. For even more, visit our Money-Saving Recipes board on Pinterest.


One of my most favorite soups is clam chowder and I consider myself quite the connoisseur, always ordering up a cup whenever dining at a new seafood restaurant. Following in my mom’s soup recipe footsteps, I’ve been wanting to expand my cooking skills to include rich and creamy chowders. In addition to clam chowder, I’m also adding corn chowder, ham and potato chowder and even a hearty cowboy chowder.

Try Easy Corn Chowder. In a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon bacon grease. Add 1 medium diced yellow onion. Cook five minutes. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk in 5 cups water over medium-high head. Add kernels from 8 cobs of sweet corn, 1 pound sliced red potatoes, 1/4 teaspoon each dried thyme and smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes. Blend until smooth. Add 1 cup half and half and heat through. Top with bacon.

Traditional favorites

Chicken noodle is one of the very best soups to easily make on a chilly autumn evening. Whether you make your chicken noodle with homemade noodles or even gooey dumplings, this soup is always a crowd pleaser. Other traditional favorites like tomato, chicken and rice, vegetable beef and even a chicken tortilla soup are all great, quick and easy options for the family.

Try Beef Stroganoff Soup. In a large pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add 1 pound sliced, seasoned beef sirloin and brown. Remove. In the pot, saute 8 ounces sliced mushrooms, 1 diced onion, 3 cloves minced garlic. Stir in 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire and 5 cups beef stock. Boil. Add 1 1/2 cups dried egg noodles. Reduce heat and simmer five to sevent minutes. In separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup sour cream and 2 tablespoons flour. Whisk in 1 cup of hot soup and then pour mixture back into pot. Cook until thick. Add cooked meat and heat through.

Restaurant copycats

I love the idea of being able to replicate some of my favorite recipes. I’m so glad there are clever home chefs out there who have done the work to create such amazingly tasty copycat recipes. Some of my favorite soups from restaurants like Cafe Zupas, Olive Garden, Chili’s, Panera and even Carrabba’s can all now be made in my own kitchen.

Try Zupa’s Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large pan. Add 1 chopped onion. Saute 10 minutes. Add 1/4 cup flour and mix thoroughly, adding 1 cup half and half and 1 cup milk. Add 1 1/2 cups water and 1 can chicken broth, stirring constantly. Add 2 1/2 pounds chopped cauliflower. Bring to boil. Reduce and simmer 10-20 minutes. Blend with immersion blender until smooth. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1 1/2 cups chredder sharp and 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.