Fall is my favorite food season. I enjoy the hearty, earthy flavors of fall vegetables and wait patiently through the year for the weather to cool down just enough to spur me to make big satisfying pots of chili or stew. Inspired by the produce that has begun to show up in the grocery stores recently, I decided to make a pot of vegetable soup.
For my fall-inspired variation on vegetable soup, I used:
- 4 slices of bacon
- 1 small Sweet Dumpling squash
- 2 carrots
- 3 celery stalks
- 1 small onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 4 oz of Baby Portobello mushrooms
- 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 14 oz can Cannellini beans
- 32 oz chicken broth
- 2 Russet potatoes
- 1/2 bunch Lacinato kale
- 1/2 bunch Swiss chard
- Salt and pepper
For the soup, start with the traditional carrots, celery, and onion. Peel and dice the carrots, cut the celery stalks in half lengthwise and dice the halves, mince the garlic, and finely chop the onion. To this traditional mix, also chop about four ounces of baby portobello mushrooms and prepare a Sweet Dumpling squash.
To prepare the Sweet Dumpling squash, cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and carefully peel the the skin of the squash off with a sharp knife. Dice the squash flesh into pieces about the same size as the pieces of diced carrots.
In a 6-quart cast-iron dutch oven, cook four slices of bacon (halved) on medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside for later. For a healthier option, leave out the bacon and add olive oil to the pot instead.
After removing the cooked bacon, add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and squash to the pot with the bacon grease, cooking about 15 minutes until the vegetables soften.
Once the vegetables soften, add dried sage and thyme (about a half teaspoon each) and the can of diced tomatoes with their juices. Add in the chopped mushroom and the can of cannellini beans. Mix well and pour in the chicken broth.
Bring the soup to boil and reduce the heat to medium low. Dice the Russet potatoes and add them to the simmering soup.
After about 10 minutes, check to see if the potatoes are soft. While the soup simmers, wash and cut the kale and Swiss chard into 1 inch squares., removing the stem. When the potatoes are soft, add kale and chard to the soup.
As the kale and chard begins to wilt, stir the soup well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This hearty, fall inspired soup is full of vegetables and flavor. The Sweet Dumpling squash, mushrooms, kale, and chard provide a tasty twist on more traditional vegetable soups. Bowls of this warm soup offer earthy, satisfying flavors of the season, perfect for the Fall’s cooler weather.