As we turned into the yard after a 26-day cross-country trip, I saw drooping half-frozen flowering tobacco plants and pots of dessicated annuals. October temperatures reached near-record highs in many areas of the country, but the raw drizzle of the last few days has confirmed that Indian summer has indeed ended. There’s still time for yard and garden cleanup and late bulb planting, but after a few hours outside, it feels good to come inside to a warm fire, and a bowl of hot soup goes down well.

We’ve said goodby for the season to end-of-the-day snacks and tall, cool drinks, but some ingredients from easy summer fare — hummus with garden vegetables for dipping, potato salads and coleslaws, cheese boards with crackers and sliced baguettes — translate well to hearty soups. The Moroccan spices used in hummus are equally tasty in this version of chickpea soup.

Spicy Chickpea Soup

14 cup olive oil
2 large onions, diced
6 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. each ground cinnamon, cumin and sweet paprika
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes
3 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups pre-washed baby spinach
Heat olive oil in a large pot, add onion and garlic and saute until onions begin to turn translucent; add spices and saute a minute more. Add potato, carrots, tomatoes, chickpeas, broth, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well. Chickpeas should be just covered with liquid; add water if needed. Simmer for an hour, remove soup from heat and use a potato masher to mash up some of the chickpeas right in the pot. Stir in spinach and heat until wilted.

Potato salad and coleslaw may be off the menu for a while, but their key ingredients combine in a rustic soup that makes a meal when pared with a crusty peasant bread.

Rustic Potato and Cabbage Soup

3 Tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. thick-cut bacon
1 large onion
1 leek
12 cup white wine
6 sprigs each parsley and thyme
1 lb. small red potatoes, halved
6 cups chicken stock
1 lb. green cabbage, shredded
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. chives
3 slices country bread
In a soup pot, heat one tablespoon olive oil. Add bacon and cook over moderately high heat until crisp. Add onion and leek and cook over low heat until softened, 10 minutes. Add wine and simmer until nearly evaporated, 5 minutes. Tie the parsley and thyme sprigs with string; add to the pot along with the potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are tender, 10 minutes. Add the cabbage, season with salt and pepper and simmer until the cabbage is tender, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Discard the herb bundle. Stir in the chives.

Apples and cheese say autumn and combine to make a thick creamy soup.

Apple and Cheese Soup

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup apple cider
2 apples, chopped
2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 12-ounce beer
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
14 tsp. cayenne pepper
14 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz. Brie, rind removed and cubed
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and salt and pepper. Cook about five minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Add apple cider, a little at a time, and cook until onions are caramelized. Add apples and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring, until softened. Add beer, chicken broth and cayenne, bring to a simmer and cook until the apples are tender. Meanwhile, whisk flour into milk until smooth. Once the apples are soft, puree the soup until chunky-smooth in a blender or with a stick blender. Return soup to the stove and bring to a low boil. Whisk in milk mixture and boil until the soup thickens slightly, about five minutes. Stir in cheddar cheese and Brie until melted and smooth. Simmer five more minutes or until ready to serve.