FARGO — The leaves are falling and the flannel shirts are being brought out of their summer hibernation locations while the temperatures begin the slow descent towards the thermometer.
While it seems like nobody will be able to guess what will happen next in 2020, there is one thing that is certain: We Midwesterners are still going to get our four seasons. And what always comes after the heat of summer? The cool, crisp feeling of those chilly fall days.
With the crunchy orange and scarlet leaves littering the sidewalks and lawns and the slight bite to the wind as you walk outside, our bodies are ready for a good stick-to-your-ribs meal that will fill our bellies and warm us up for the upcoming, long winter nights.
Fortunately, our Scandinavian — or whatever background your family tree finds its roots in — ancestors knew a thing or two about turning a summer's bounty into an autumn's feast and passing it down from generation to generation.
And for Denise Dorval, you could say the liquid gold she cooks up every day at downtown Fargo's Sons of Norway restaurant runs in her veins.
Dorval and the team at the Sons of Norway serve four soups each day, along with other options like hamburgers, sandwiches, hotdishes and more. She says she tries to cook around 5 gallons of each type of soup at a time, averaging about 20 gallons every couple of days. And chili and homemade tomato soup are always on the menu.
"It's what people around here grew up on," Dorval said. "It's what I grew up on. Soup and a piece of bread. (When the weather changes) that's what they want to eat."
However, Dorval says her recipes are top secret.
"Well, I don't measure anything," she said, laughing. "My son called me and asked me how to make this, and I said, 'Well, you just do. I don't measure anything, I just do it.'"
While you likely can't recreate Dorval's exact Chicken Dumpling Soup — along with all of her other amazing soup — you can definitely taste the real deal Monday through Friday at the Son's of Norway, 722 Second Ave. N. Fargo. Lunch is served from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Kringen Kafe or through takeout. Check their Facebook page for daily specials.
Looking to liven up your fall menu a bit? Check out some of these other delicious soup recipes that are sure to get you in the fall spirit!
Chicken Wild Rice Soup
1 lb dark wild rice
1 small bag baby carrots, chopped
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 to 2 can(s) each: cream of chicken, cream of mushroom soup
1 carton half-and-half
1 container chicken broth or stock (16 oz.)
1/2 brick of Velveeta cheese
2 cooked chicken breasts, diced (leftovers work great)
2 to 3 Tbsp. butter
2 to 3 tsp. minced garlic
Boil wild rice until tender (according to directions on package), with about 10 minutes left on the rice, add carrots and continue cooking. Drain both and set aside.
In the same pot, sauté the onions and garlic in butter and add cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups. Thin out with entire container of half and half and add in diced chicken, rice and carrots. Stir to combine and let warm through.
Roughly 15 minutes before serving, add about half of a brick of Velveeta cheese to the soup and let melt. If the soup is too thick, thin out with some milk or chicken broth.
Chicken Noodle Soup
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 Tbsp. powdered instant chicken bullion powder
1 small bag baby carrots, chopped
1 bag celery, chopped
1 medium rutabaga, diced into medium-sized chunks
Extra-wide egg noodles
Cook chicken breasts in water seasoned with two Tbsp. chicken bullion until cooked through. Once cooked, drain, dice and set aside.
Fill your pot with fresh water and add remaining bullion powder and vegetables and bring to a boil. Simmer until vegetables are fork-tender and add chicken and egg noodles. Serve once noodles are cooked.