Seasonal Flavors with MVP Health Care: Fall Harvest Soups

Break out your comfiest pajamas, light up your favorite pumpkin spice candle, and get ready to get in the fall spirit with these harvest soup recipes— perfect for a cozy night in. For those that missed our most recent installment of Seasonal Flavors with MVP Health Care, Chef Mike Schnupp of St. John’s Meadows was able to walk through a group of in person participants through every step in the soup making process. Having many years of cooking experience with a wealth of knowledge at his disposal, Mike was able to answer any questions that arose during the event such as various substitution options and alternative cooking methods.

Give the Best Lentil Soup, Chicken Meatball Italian Wedding Soup, and Hungarian Mushroom Soup a try at home following the same recipes Mike used below. Stay tuned for more upcoming Seasonal Flavor programs such as our famous Squashtober Fest session on Thursday, October 21. To register, call Stephanie Krebbeks at 585-242-7005.

Best Lentil Soup

Serves: 4


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, no salt added, lightly drained
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
  • 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice (½ to 1 medium lemon), to taste


Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. One-fourth cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.

Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.

Pour in the lentils, broth and the water. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender, but still hold their shape.

Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Securely fasten the lid, protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid, and purée the soup until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot. (You can also use an immersion blender to blend a portion of the soup.)

Add the chopped greens and cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste and season with more pepper or lemon juice, if needed. For spicier soup, add another pinch or two of red pepper flakes.

Serve while hot. Leftovers will keep well for abut 4 days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for several months (defrost before warming soup).

Nutrition Information: Calories 366 per serving, Total Fat 15.5 g (Saturated 2.2 g, Polyunsaturated 2.1 g, Monounsaturated 10.4 g), Total Carbohydrates 47.8 g (Dietary Fiber 10.8 g, Sugars 10.8), Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 264.4 mg, Protein 14.5 g



Chicken Meatball Italian Wedding Soup

Serves: 8

Meatball Ingredients 

  • 2 lbs. ground chicken
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

Soup Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into ¾” cubes
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans
  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Parmesan cheese to garnish
  • Fresh herbs


In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken and all spices. Mix gently, just until combined. Portion out into 1½-2” meatballs onto wax paper.

In a large pot, coat the bottom with a thin layer of olive oil, and heat over medium-high. When oil is hot, add the meatballs and brown each side; about 4-5 minutes each side. When meatballs are cooked and browned, turn off heat and remove from pan. If the pan is black and crusty on the bottom, deglaze with water, and rinse before cooking onions and garlic.

Over medium-low heat and using the same pan, add 4 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat until shimmery. Add onions, sweet potato, red pepper flakes, garlic, and pepper (to taste). Cook until ingredients are tender and aromatics are translucent; about 10-12 minutes.

When aromatics are cooked down, add the white wine, and scrape the brown bits at the bottom of the skillet. Add in the chicken stock and water, Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes, making sure sweet potatoes are tender.

Add the beans and meatballs to the broth and simmer for another 15minutes. Add the spinach until the leaves are wilted.

Garnish with freshly shaven Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.

Nutrition Information: Calories 368 per serving, Total Fat 23.3 g (Saturated 5.5 g, Polyunsaturated 1.4 g, Monounsaturated 7.9 g), Total Carbohydrates 15.5 g (Dietary Fiber 3.5 g, Sugars 1.7), Cholesterol 109.7 mg, Sodium 214.8 mg, Protein 25 g



Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Serves: 4 (Yields: 5 cups)


  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh Italian parsley


In a heavy pot or Dutch oven, sauté onions and mushrooms in butter over medium heat until onions are soft and translucent; about 15 minutes. Add dill, thyme, paprika, broth, and white wine. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by half.

In a small bowl, whisk flour into milk until smooth. Add the milk mixture to the soup and cook until the soup begins to thicken, about 10 more minutes.

Over low heat, slowly stir in the sour cream, and lemon juice until both are completely combined.

Garnish the soup with parsley and serve hot.

Nutrition Information: Calories 217 per serving, Total Fat 15.2 g (Saturated 9.8 g, Polyunsaturated 0.8 g, Monounsaturated 3.9 g), Total Carbohydrates 10.5 g (Dietary Fiber 2.3 g, Sugars 6.8 g), Cholesterol 39.3 mg, Sodium 348.3 mg, Protein 7.2 g


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