Everything about today screamed fall. The weather was cool and the clouds were low. On a walk around the park my nose turned pink from the crisp air and multi colored leaves covered the ground beneath my feet. In the late afternoon a rainstorm rolled in and the air smelled sweet and damp. This is my favorite time of year. I’m very much a cold weather person, which is why the Pacific Northwest will forever be home.
Fall in the PNW is unreal. Our green city turns many shades of yellow, orange and red. The mornings are cold which call you to wear your warmest scarf and coziest boots. You can’t wait for your first sip of morning coffee, afternoon coffee and late afternoon coffee. If you have a fireplace, you sit by it and soak up it’s warmth. Cuddling is a necessity. Slippers are your best friend. Multiple layers of sweats are socially acceptable. I love this season, I love this region and I love days like today. On days like this there’s only one thought that goes through my mind: soup. Today my heart was yearning for a thick, wholesome and healthy soup with a cheesy piece of bread. So this is exactly what I did and you will LOVE this soup!
- 3 heads of broccoli with stems (about 6 cups), chopped
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
- 4 russet potatoes (inside flesh only)
- 6 cups of vegetable broth
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- On a baking sheet, bake the potatoes for 1 hour.
- While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add in the garlic and onion and cook for 5 minutes until the onions sweat.
- Add in the broccoli, cauliflower and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- When the potatoes are cooked through, cut each one in half lengthwise, then cut those halves in half again so you end up with four long spears.
- Carve the flesh out of the potatoes and add it to the soup pot. Save the skins!
- Cook the potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower mixture for another five minutes.
- Carefully puree the soup in batches in a blender.
- Pour the pureed soup back into the soup pot and stir in the parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
- Top with rosemary crostini!
- Keep your potato skins in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Brush the potato skins with olive oil and reheat in the oven for about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with a sauce of your choice (pizza, marinara, pesto, alfredo), vegetables, meats, cheese and herbs. Place back into the oven and cook for another 5-8 minutes until ingredients have warmed and cheese has melted. Voila! Potato Skin Pizzas!
- 1 baguette, sliced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3-4 sprigs of rosemary
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice the baguette into 3/4" slices and brush with olive oil.
- Toast in the oven for about 6 minutes or until crispy.
- Top with mozzarella and sprigs of rosemary.
- Place on the top rack of your oven and broil on low for 2-3 minutes until cheese has melted and bubbled.
- Remove from oven and place on top of your soup!
The best thing about soup is that you can make it in large batches and save it for lunches and dinners throughout the week! This will save you countless take-out packages and trips to the drive-thru! Pre-made soups usually come in a can or carton which are mostly recyclable. This is a good thing, but making large batches of homemade soup will keep you from buying multiple cans or cartons of the pre-made version, saving you room in your recycle bin!
Recycle your broth carton and paper baguette bag. Rinse and reuse your cheese Ziploc for pet waste or other garbage, or toss it Try to find shredded cheeses that come in a recyclable plastic tub in the dairy department or have the deli shred it for you into your own container. Compost all of your vegetable scraps!
Enjoy this filling, delicious, make-your-house-smell-like-Thanksgiving soup. Pair with red wine and Chopped, duh.