I write this post as I sit outside on a chilly September morning. It’s a bit overcast but luckily there’s no rain. The leaves of the trees rustle in the wind, leaving the dried leaves to float down to the ground. When walking around, the ground is covered with brown, red and yellow leaves that are ready to be raked. The air is crisp and fresh, a relief after the summer’s heat and humidity. This is just the beginning of Fall.
Fall is a coveted season. It’s the season where people go apple picking, kids jump into piles of leaves, and everyone comes together at the end of the day for warm apple cider. Well, maybe this just happens in my dreams since it seems to contradict the reality of me drowning myself in homework. But one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that Fall is the season where foods are prepared warmer and warmer.
Vegetable soups come to mind when I think of feel-good Fall foods. Farmers begin to harvest all of their goods and store them for the winter or sell them at the market. This soup is filled with hardy vegetables that are currently in season, such as swiss chard and okra. It is also a cold curer, since flu season is coming up, and the soup that perfect to wind down from a hectic day. There is nothing better than coming home to a warm bowl of vegetable loaded soup.
Late Summer Minestrone
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 28 oz vegetable broth or you can use beef broth as well if you prefer
- 2 cups of water
- 8 oz green beans, chopped
- 15 oz cannellini beans, rinsed
- 1 cup fresh okra, chopped and air dried for 30 minutes (to reduce sliminess)
- 5 stalks of swiss chard, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, chopped
- 5 leaves of swiss chard, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Parmesan, to top
In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Stir in the garlic and onion and cook until tender.
Add the zucchini, broth and water. Bring to a boil, over high heat.
Stir the green beans, cannellini beans, okra and swiss chard stalks. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 10-12 minutes.
Add the basil, tomatoes, spinach and swiss chard leaves. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, until heated through.
Season with salt and pepper. Serve with grated parmesan.