Monday, September 27, 2010

Scarves, socks and Sunday night soup

I'm not a fall person. I love the barefoot, carefreeness of summertime. I love the sticky, sleepless nights, the hot, humid afternoons. I love sitting by the lake, going to the beach, swimming in cool water and heating up afterwards with the hot, summer sunshine. But, inevitably, fall makes it's appearance. It's not that I can't appreciate the beauty of fall, it's the imminence of winter that I can't get past.

Something I can embrace about fall though, is the food. I love warm bowls of soup after many months of crisp salads, bread baking in the oven, spicy cakes made with apples and pumpkin (there is one in my oven as I type this).

I will also admit that I love wrapping a cozy scarf around my neck and wooly socks on my feet and going for long walks, watching the leaves changing colours and crunching beneath my feet. The sun seems to cast a more golden light and every day when I get up I'm happy for any plant in my garden that has survived a night a little cooler than the last. It's always exciting to see which ones hold out the longest until they get covered up with their white blanket of snow to have a long nap until spring.

So I guess I'm coming around to fall. And a warm bowl of soup sure makes it easier to embrace.

Sunday Night Soupe Maison

This recipe is so easy I struggle to give you an exact recipe, so I will just give suggestions. It is pretty much impossible to screw up, and it will always taste good. My Mother-in-law is the master of this soup, and when I make it, JS is in heaven. He could eat just this soup all the time and be happy. His Mom used to make it for him every Sunday night. When I made it the other day, the only veggies I had to hand were potatoes, onions, carrots and some swiss chard in my garden. It was delicious! You can also add celery, garlic, turnip or any vegetables you like.

3 medium red potatoes
2 small or one large onion
5 medium carrots
1 zucchini
A few Tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp dried herbs (I use herbes de provence, but any mixture of thyme, oregano, sage and/or rosemary will do)
Salt and pepper to taste
A few large leaves of swiss chard, spinach, kale or other leafy greens

Roughly chop the vegetables into fairly large chunks. Tumble them into a large soup pot with the olive oil and herbs and turn the heat to medium. Toss them around for a few minutes to heat and release some of their aroma.

When they are beginning to soften, but not brown, pour water in to cover them. Add a little bit of salt and pepper, stir and bring to the boil. Once it's boiling, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.

At this point, the vegetables should be cooked. If you stick a fork into a carrot and it's soft, that's perfect.

Add your chard leaves and let them wilt for a few minutes.

Puree right in the pot with an immersion blender, or you can use a blender or food mill (if you want to be really traditional). Add more water if it is too thick. Taste and correct seasonings. Serve in a big bowl with some chopped fresh herbs, a grating of parmesan cheese and some good, crusty, whole grain bread. Eat and feel happy about the changing seasons.


Tracey said...

Probably not impossible for me to screw up, but I'm going to try it anyway because it sounds absolutely delish! Question...can I leave on the potato peel if they're baby ones?

I'll let you know if it turns out!

Kristin said...

I think baby potatoes would be fine unpeeled, as long as you don't mind a little bit of peel here and there. Good luck! You won't screw it up!