Nature giveth and she taketh away.

I think she took summer.

It took a long time for sum­mer to finally make its appear­ance in the Pacific North­west, so I couldn’t help but feel a lit­tle slighted last night, as I begrudg­ingly pulled an extra blan­ket onto the bed. But while I long to soak up the sun and wear flip-flops, there’s no deny­ing that fall is my favorite season.

The smell of the air. The color of leaves. Sweaters with big, floppy necks. The smell of what­ever baked good I have tucked into the oven. And the sat­is­fy­ing slurp of soup, mopped up with some rus­tic bread. These are all rea­sons why fall warms my heart, even as it chills my toes.

This soup is per­fect this time of year, let­ting you take advan­tage of summer’s lin­ger­ing pro­duce while pro­vid­ing a hearty and deli­cious soup for those chilly nights that await us.

Mighty Mine­strone

This soup is gluten-free if you choose buck­wheat (you could also use rice) as a grain and use tamari in place of the soy sauce, if not using veg­gie broth. You can always mix up the veg­gies with what you have avail­able. Pota­toes, green beans, peas, parsnips, squash… there are a mil­lion options!

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves gar­lic, minced
2 medium car­rots, chopped
2 stalks cel­ery, chopped
2 teas. oregano
1 teas. thyme
6 cups veg­gie broth or 6 cups water plus 3 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
1/2 cup dried black-eyed peas or small white beans, uncooked and rinsed
1 cup dried barely or buck­wheat, uncooked and rinsed
1 14.5 oz. can of crushed toma­toes with juice (Muir Glen fire roasted are the best!)
2 cups chopped greens (kale, spinach, chard)

In a large stock pot, saute onion in olive oil over medium heat for about 2 min­utes. Add the gar­lic and con­tinue cook­ing until onion is translu­cent, about 3–5 more min­utes. Incor­po­rate the car­rots and cel­ery and saute for about 5 min­utes, stir­ring often. Add the oregano and thyme and cook, stir­ring, for about a minute or until fragrant.

Com­bine the veg­gie broth or water and soy sauce and increase heat to medium high, bring­ing to a boil. Add the dried beans and grain and lower heat to medium. Let soup sim­mer, cov­ered, until beans and grain are ten­der, about 1– 1 1/2 hours. Add canned toma­toes, with juice, and cook through, about 10 min­utes. Remove soup from heat and add the chopped greens. Stir to com­bine and wilt the greens.

Serve soup with a warm, crusty bread. Makes 5–6 hearty servings.

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12 Responses to the smell of soup season

  1. Ben says:

    Just in time for win­ter. It was 34 degrees out today when I biked to work.….

    Look­ing at drop­ping out gluten to see its effects. Is there a cook­ing dif­fer­ence between the buck­wheat and the barley.

  2. Sean says:

    It looks really scrump­tious Kris! Per­fect for the autumn, and the long winter.

  3. Josiane says:

    Mom used to make a sim­i­lar soup, and it’s still a favorite of mine. I tend to add so many things in when I make it that I inevitably turn it into some­thing that’d almost qual­ify as a stew — that makes for a yummy and *very* hearty (to say the least!) soup!

  4. Leigh says:

    Ugh, you can have sum­mer. I can’t wait until it’s cool enough here to eat soup with­out sweating.

  5. ames says:

    Bring on Fall! I love soup it’s com­fort­ing and one of the best things about fall besides crisp sunny days, the chang­ing col­ors of the leaves, sweaters and not to men­tion the smokey smell in the evenings.

    Your soup looks pretty darn amazing!


  6. jessy says:

    i caught a wiff of fall the other day, and it’s look­ing like tem­per­a­tures here in rva will be drop­ping soon, too. i can­not wait for the leaves to change col­ors and for soup sea­son to begin. i love a good mine­strone and yours looks hearty and deli­cious, Kris. totally putting it on my list to make! thanks for shar­ing such yumminess!

  7. FoodFeud says:

    Sounds great as I lis­ten to the wind whis­tle outside!

  8. Jojo says:

    Per­fect. It’s cer­tainly soup sea­son over here in the UK & I don’t even feel like we’ve had a summer!

  9. Marlene says:

    I think we went right to win­ter! I still want fresh veg­gies! Oh well… I will pull stuff out of the freezer and make soup. The bet­ter to go with this impend­ing cold… :(

  10. Christina says:

    Holy crap that soup looks amaz­ing, and I usu­ally hate soup. I’ll keep this in mind for when it gets cooler here. I really want to leap through the screen and eat that bread, it looks like really fab­u­lous soup bread. What kind of bread is that? Did you make it?

    • Kris says:

      Sadly, I did not. It came from a local bak­ery. They call it their “bird­seed baguette”. They just coat it in assorted seeds before bak­ing. I love soup, but I think hav­ing an excel­lent side of bread makes or breaks it.

  11. grammyegg says:

    I made this for dinner.….DELICIOUS!!