Here in the Northeast, a chill is in the air. I’m relieved to say so, since it’s late October and last week it was inexplicably over 80 degrees for a few days. You know what autumn for realz means: leaves will fall and you will eat soup. This is not a recipe, but it plays one on TV.
First: go to a farm, a farmstand or a farmers market. Talk to a farmer! Farmers are so interesting! Pick out your favorite soup vegetables, even better if they’re organic. Which vegetables? Well, ask yourself this tricky question: Hey, you, what things are delicious? Then buy those. The farmer wins!
Prepare your vegetables for roasting. You may peel things. Here, I peeled a butternut squash and a passel of apples. I chopped up the peels and fed them to the chickens. The chickens win! I quartered onions and saved the tops and peels for stock. Future Me wins! Then I added spices I like, salt, pepper, bay leaves, a cinnamon stick and fennel seeds to my vegetables, swished them all with olive oil and roasted them at 350 until the squash was fork tender. My house smelled great, so again: I win!
Dewy glam shot of roasted vegetables. Everyone loves an ensemble cast.
I let these cool, pulled out the bay leaves and cinnamon stick, then I pureed my vegetables with an immersion blender. Those are fun to play with, so I win again! Then I simmered my velvety puree, added some apple juice until I was happy with the texture and seasoned until I was super happy. Happiness is good, so I win again!
I added matchsticks of swiss cheese and a chiffonade of basil, which means I chopped them up with a sharp knife, which you can do! Everyone wins!
- the farmer wins
- the chickens win
- future Me wins
- I win
- I continue to win
- I win again
- you win
- everyone wins!
Finally, Pete, who is a chef and sometimes is sick of cooking, had a fine meal without having to lift a hand. Pete wins!
So: this isn’t a recipe, it’s a method. You can make yourself really good food for truly next to nothing, and besides you, a whole lot of people and critters win. Go, you!