Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Quintissential Comfort Food: Seasonal Soups

Yummy times ahead! These days the weather is unpredictable, sun one moment, rain and clouds the next. But no matter what, fall is here. Crisp morning air, leaves on the ground, and the feeling like you can't get out of bed. I never craved a soup during our summertime weeks, but the simple nosh of soup is what beckons at our household these days. Now, soup I always thought was a bit of a meal one must follow a recipe for, but once you have the basic patterns down pat, you can create a soup out of any veggie there is!
Being a follower of some celebrity chefs (not to name names ; ) I have learned many techniques for soups, full of seasonal produce, and packed full of flavor and nutrition. Here are some ideas to get you going a bit in the kitchen this fall and winter season, and if you are a new soup maker, try to notice the pattern of building flavor as you go along. Then be adventurous to try more new veggies whenever you want. I have had a blast! Does anyone out there have more new ideas? Please share on our facebook page, or email us with your great recipe!

Creamy Acorn Squash Soup
1 onion, or leek, diced
1 tbsp of dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
4 cups water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 acorn squash, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1/4 c heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Heat olive oil on medium heat, and add onion, garlic and herbs. Pan fry until translucent. Add squash, and water, and cook until squash is soft. Remove bay leaf, and puree in a food procesor until smooth. Put soup back into a pot on the stove and add cream, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Comfy Tomato and Bean Soup
1 c. cooked, or canned beans
olive oil
1 onion, cubed
1 pepper, cubed
1 sprig thyme
1 can diced tomatoes, or 4 large fresh ones, diced
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Sautee onion and olive oil until translucent. Add beans, and squash with a fork until 1/2 the beans are crushed. Add thyme, pepper, tomatoes and 1/2 water and cook on medium for 20 minutes. Add 1/4 c of grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Add additional water if too thick.

Zingy Spinach and Broccoli Soup

1 broccoli head, washed and chopped
2 c. spinach
2 c. stock, veggie, or chicken
1/4 c. white wine
1 onion chopped
2 tbsp. dill, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Sautee onion in olive oil until translucent. Add broccoli and cook for 5 minutes, and add stock, white wine and continue to cook until broccoli is soft. Add dill and spinach. Cool for 10 minutes. Add to food processor and blend until smooth. Return to pot, and season with salt and pepper.