Vegetable soups are the perfect canvas for seasonal produce. In early spring, a lingering chill in the air calls for warm asparagus or pea soup laced with tarragon, and summer begs for chilled cucumber puree and gazpachos. But soup really comes into its own once we turn back the clocks and temperatures fall: What we then crave most is a big bowl of warmth to slurp down.

This one-pot wonder makes the most of autumn’s multicolored bounty. Although it doesn’t have many ingredients, the vegetables and seasoning in it make for a surprisingly bold and deeply satisfying flavor. There is a sweet, earthy undertone from the carrots and butternut squash that is balanced by savory garlic, tomatoes and ribbons of kale.

Allspice, thyme and a touch of cayenne pepper perfume the broth and give the soup a bit of a Caribbean flair. Sometimes I toss in cooked chickpeas or black-eyed peas for extra heartiness and healthful protein. Either way, it is a dish I make year after year, and one that makes me welcome the season’s longer evenings.

Autumn Vegetable Soup

6 servings (makes 8 to 9 cups)

MAKE AHEAD: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups peeled, cubed (1/2-inch) butternut squash
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne pepper, plus more as needed
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cups no-salt-added chicken broth or vegetable broth
14 or 15 ounces canned, no-salt-added diced tomatoes, with their juices
2 cups lightly packed shredded kale leaves

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot, stirring to coat; cook until they begin to soften, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in the butternut squash, allspice, salt and cayenne pepper, then add the thyme, broth and the tomatoes with their juices. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Uncover and stir in the kale; cook for 10 minutes or until the squash is tender and the kale has wilted.

Discard the thyme sprigs before serving. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve hot.

Nutrition per serving: 130 calories, 4 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 440 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber, 6 g sugar