Pat’s Harvest Soup
Paired with Cave Spring Estate Riesling
By Pat Anderson
It’s fall, and the bounty of the harvest season is upon us. We’ve got a huge selection of vegetables at this time of year!
Go to your local farmer’s market, and see what’s in season. You can use almost anything, from corn on the cob to shelled peas and new potatoes. Watch your colours: I’d go either green and yellow or yellow and orange, but wouldn’t put green and orange together. White vegetables work with any colours.
You’ll notice that this recipe doesn’t have a lot of precise measurements. That’s because the measurements will all depend on what you like to taste and the size of the vegetables at the market.
In this batch, I used:
You’ll also need:
sufficient chicken or vegetable stock to make the soup
herbs & spices to please
whipping cream (optional) or yogurt, if you want low fat.
Cut everything into pieces to go in the roasting pan.
Seed the squash.
Reserve the fennel fronds if you’d like to use them for garnish.
Cut the top off the garlic bulb.
Arrange everything in a roasting pan, season with pepper and a little salt, and drizzle liberally with olive oil — make sure you hit the cut top of the garlic with it.
Oven roast at 350F until veggies start to brown. The browning sweetens some of the ingredients, like the carrots, squash, garlic, and onion, and adds nuttiness to the cauliflower. This will take about two hours.
Remove from the oven, and allow to cool enough to skin the squash.
Squeeze the garlic out of the papery cover on each clove. Put all of the ingredients in a big stock pot on the stove and add stock to barely cover the veggies. You can use water if you have no stock, but may want to add more herbs to the pot near the end to bump up the flavour.
Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer until the vegetables are soft. Check your seasonings: this is when you’ll want to add salt (if required), white pepper, and what herbs you want in the soup. I like sage. You can use curry spices, or mid-eastern spices, or whatever spice profile you’d like: many cultures have a variation on this soup. Give it another 5 minutes for the flavours to blend, and remove from heat. Allow the soup to cool, and use an immersion (stick) blender, food processor, or blender to purée the soup. (At this point, you can cool it and freeze it for later in the season — it freezes well.)
Return to heat to warm up for service. This is when you would add cream if you want extra body (if you use yogurt, make sure you don’t boil it — it will separate). Serve, and garnish with fennel fronds or crisp fried sage leaves, or chopped nuts, or fresh herbs.
I like to serve it with an off-dry white wine: try it with Cave Spring Estate Riesling, $17.95.
On Pat Anderson’s site you’ll find her writings about food, gardening and photography in her blog, links to photographs that she sells, either as prints on canvas or as manufactured goods, as well as some things that she has fun with, like a little bit of Leslieville history and info about her gardens.