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!!