When I was a kid, my father would go to Canada with my grandfather and uncle each year to close up a camp they had in a small village in the Quebec province.

My father would return with treats for my brother and me, as well as stories of how he made his beloved autumn soup only to have my uncle add too much black pepper behind his back and ruin the whole thing.

He continued to make the soup every autumn, even after my grandfather passed away. I always knew he was getting ready to make his soup because he would load up on V8 juice, carrots, celery, potatoes and ground beef.

My father passed away several years ago but I still continue his fall tradition of making autumn soup.

This year I swapped out the V8 juice for beef stock and added whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes, leeks and parsnips. The soup was just as hearty and delicious. My boys love the soup too, and filled their bowls several times.

Since fall weather (usually) brings chilly temperatures and earlier sunsets, soup is a welcome addition to the dinner table.

I made two other soups this season including a sweet potato and chicken stew. I thickened it with coconut milk and added nutmeg. Curry powder would be an excellent way to add flavor, too. Don’t hesitate to get creative with seasonings.

We had kielbasa that needed to be used up, but it was a night when it was too chilly to fire up the grill. I chopped it up and added it to cabbage, carrots, chickpeas, leeks and other vegetables. The kielbasa cooks down nicely and the fat adds a smooth richness to the soup.

This combination is also a winner, especially on a cold New Hampshire night.

Hearty Kielbasa & Bean Soup

2 (13-ounce) packages kielbasa, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large sweet onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 sliced leek

1 small head cabbage, chopped

4 large carrots, peeled and chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

32-ounce container chicken broth

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sherry

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground pepper

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon paprika

2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

Add the olive oil to a stockpot and set over medium-high heat. When the olive oil is warmed, add kielbasa and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the kielbasa is browned.

Transfer kielbasa to a bowl. Leave the rendered fat in the stockpot to cook the vegetables.

Add garlic, onion, leek, carrots, cabbage and celery to the stockpot. Saute vegetables for 5 to 7 minutes or until they have softened and start to brown. Add the chicken stock, kielbasa, and remaining ingredients and stir. If necessary, add enough water to cover the ingredients.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes. Adjust seasonings to suit your taste.

Coconut Sweet Potato Chicken Stew

4 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

3 tablespoons butter

15-ounce can coconut milk

32-ounce container chicken broth

1 1/2 cups water

2 cups cooked chicken meat, chopped

1 sweet onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium shallot, diced

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground pepper

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Add the sweet potatoes to a stockpot and cover with water, then set over medium-high heat. Simmer potatoes for about 20 minutes or until they are softened and cooked throughout. Drain and set aside.

Add butter to the stockpot and set over medium- high heat. When butter is melted, add garlic, shallot and onion. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.

Add chicken stock and sweet potatoes and bring to a boil. Transfer the ingredients in batches to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Return to stockpot.

Set over medium heat and stir in the coconut milk, water, chicken, parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings to suit your taste.

Autumn Soup

2 pounds ground beef

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 stalks celery

1 sweet onion

4 cloves garlic minced

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

4 parsnips, peeled and chopped

3 white potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 leek, sliced

10-ounce container mushrooms, sliced

28-ounce can peeled whole tomatoes

32-ounce container beef stock

2 cups water

3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Add oil to a stockpot and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is warmed, add the garlic, onion, leeks, mushrooms, celery and ground beef.

Cook, stirring frequently, until the ground beef is browned and the vegetables are softened. Add the tomatoes, beef stock, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, water, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, salt, pepper, garlic powder and rosemary. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then lower the heat to medium low and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir in fresh parsley before serving. Adjust seasoning to suit your taste.