it's fall, it's fall, it's fall! what that means here in texas, following a helluvu summer, is it's under 100 degrees. yep. and we're so elated, soup becomes fair game anytime nighttime temps began falling below 78 degrees. normally the summer denouement is a little sad for me, but it's hard not celebrating the departure of this year's parched, brutal heat. seriously. when rain finally returned last friday, neighborhood kids danced in the street. I wish the camera had been at-the-ready, but honestly, it was nice just enjoying their glee.
this soup is a flavorful and hearty, but not heavy, addition to the fall repertoire. sweet butternut squash balances the savory flavors of pancetta and rosemary. we added a cup of wild rice blend, cooked in stock. next time we will probably also double the veggies (carrots and tomatoes, at least) and add red peppers. really though, we're tinkering with a pretty darned perfect recipe.
fall vegetable soup
from the little card thing the sample lady gave out at central market
serves 6 generously
1/2 lb. pancetta or bacon, diced
1/2 c. yellow onion, diced
1/2 c. celery, diced
1/2 c. carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1/2" pieces
1 c. canned chopped tomatoes (we used fresh, having let dry provisions deplete)
8 c. (64 oz — 2 boxes) chicken or veg stock
1 bunch kale, stems removed, cut into strips
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
heat 6 qt stock pot over medium heat; add pancetta and cook until beginning to brown. add onion, celery and carrot, cooking until veggies wilt and begin to brown (about 8 minutes). add garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
add butternut squash, tomatoes, stock and herbs, bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer; cook 10 minutes then add kale and cook another 10-15 minutes or until veggies are soft and fully cooked.
season with salt and pepper.
garnish with good olive oil and parmigiano reggiano.