Fill your fall with seasonal vegetables – and cheese

Fall may mark the return of shorter days and lower temperatures – but it’s also a great time to rediscover hearty dishes such as soups, stews and chowders.

If you’re lucky enough to have a vegetable garden, you’ll know that a whole host of vegetables come into season at this time of year. Broccoli, pumpkin and celeriac are extremely versatile fall vegetables, while cabbage, onion and carrots are available year-round – but generally reach their peak in September and October.

These ingredients make excellent fare for soups, stews and risottos, and with a little imagination, you can add a creative twist to any of these dishes. Try combining seasonal vegetables with seasonal fruits, such as squash and pear or onion and apple. Or combine your favourite veg with a flavourful Canadian cheese: squash soup with Canadian Gouda, for example, or stuffed zucchini covered with grated Canadian Parmesan.

Colourful cuisine

This recipe is simple to make, and can be served as a hearty starter or a light meal. In fall, carrots have a much more robust flavour, and they lend a distinctive taste and colour to this dish. As a finishing touch, I suggest generously sprinkling Canadian Havarti over the soup. Its mild, buttery taste superbly complements the tang of carrot and onion. Alternatively, you can use shredded Canadian Cheddar, Colby, Brick or Gouda cheese.

 

HAVARTI-TOPPED GOLDEN CARROT SOUP

•    Prep. Time 10 mins
•    Cooking Time 20 mins
•    Yields 6 servings

 

WHAT YOU NEED

1/4 cup (50 mL) butter
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped onion
3 cups (750 mL) thinly sliced carrots
3 cups (750 mL) water
1/4 cup (50 mL) uncooked long grain rice
1 tbsp (15 mL) chicken broth mix
2 cups (500 mL) milk
Salt and pepper
Buttered croûtons
1 cup (250 mL) shredded Canadian Havarti cheese
Chopped parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

In large saucepan, melt butter. Sauté onion until tender. Add carrots, water, rice and bouillon mix. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until carrots are tender and rice is cooked.

Pour mixture in batches into blender container. Cover and blend until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan.

Stir in milk; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Reheat to serving temperature. Ladle into bowls and top with buttered croûtons, Canadian Havarti cheese and parsley.
Buttered Croûtons:

Toss 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) bread cubes in 3 tbsp (45 mL) melted butter. Bake at 350 °F (180 °C) 5 to 7 minutes. Turn cubes over; bake 5 to 7 minutes longer.

Pairing with soup

Many people are intimidated by the thought of pairing a liquid (soup) with a liquid (wine), but try to think of your soup strictly in terms of its ingredients – and apply the same rules as you would for any other dish. For this recipe, a New World Chardonnay has the necessary character and freshness to bring out the soup’s richness – or you could try a German or American Riesling.

 

For more unique Canadian cheeses, wine pairings and recipe suggestions, go to allyouneedischeese.ca.