Tuesday, October 11, 2011

There's nothing like homemade soup!

With infinite ways of making soup, there's only one way to start:  select good, fresh ingredients. When selecting your produce, whether it be onions, garlic, green beans, potatoes or any other vegetables using ripe but firm produce assures that clean fresh taste.  (Although I will admit to chopping up a tomato that's over the hill for a salad but not completely gone. Tomatoes are supposed to break down when simmered in a soup anyway.)
I begin with a medium to large saucepan if I'm making soup for just 4 servings.  However, if you find a soup you love, go ahead, double the recipe, get out a larger pot, and make lots!  Here is a hearty Fall soup that's pretty much a meal in itself.  (make extra and freeze some - good for 2 months in freezer)

Autumn Vegetable Soup

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 3 medium carrots, diced to ¾” cubes
  • 1 large onion, diced medium
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of butternut squash that has been cut in ¼” cubes
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • Pinch of cayenne, more to taste
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 quart homemade or lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1 – 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme or generous ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup canned (or freshly cooked) garbanzo beans

Heat oil in large pot.  Add carrots and onions and stir a occasionally until they begin to soften, about 6 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another minute.  Add squash, allspice, cayenne and 1 tsp. salt and stir to combine. Add the broth, tomatoes (with juices) and thyme.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the kale and the chickpeas and cook uncovered until the squash is tender and the kale has wilted, about another 10 minutes.  Discard the thyme sprigs before serving.  Season to taste with salt and cayenne.

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