Yup we are steadily moving headlong into Fall. It’s obvious when you wake up and the skies are still darkened, you can see your breath, and the sun hangs low in my rear-view mirror on my way to work and on my way home from work. Pretty soon it’ll be dark on my way to and from work.
It’s obvious that my favorite time of year is Summer so I am slightly sad to see it go. But I do love Fall. There’s a beauty that is unmatched. The leaves are changing. The pumpkins are ripening. The apples are ready to be picked.
Off my neighbor’s tree.
They’re away and asked me to pick up their mail and help myself to the apples. There are two different types of apples. One is a crab apple tree and the other is ‘regular apples’. I don’t really know what variety of apple they are though. They are tart. The crab apples are actually sweeter than the larger apples. I put both into this soup. Don’t worry about peeling these apples either. The skins are probably good for us anyway, right?
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into large chunks
- 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 6 parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 4 crab apples, halved and cored
- 2 tart apples (such as Granny Smith), quartered and cored
- salt and pepper
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 3 ribs celery with leaves, chopped
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 - 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place fennel, carrots, parsnips and both kinds of apples on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables soften and are nicely caramelized. Do not let any of the vegetables get overly dark or blackened.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
- Add onion, garlic, ginger and celery. Saute for 3-5 minutes until the onion and celery begin to soften.
- Add in the roasted vegetables.
- Top up with vegetable stock and add bay leaves and dried thyme.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly before blending.
- Blend in batches to get a nice smooth consistency.
- Return the blended soup to the pot and reheat. If necessary, thin out with additional water or vegetable stock, to get the right consistency you prefer.
- Taste and adjust for seasoning.
Okay, as promised, the background story behind the popcorn and soup thing. I don’t remember where I first tried it or who first introduced it to me. But what I do know is this: it’s tasty. There’s the story. It’s like crackers but not. I love my popcorn. I sprinkle nutritional yeast on it. I’m very content to eat soup with popcorn for dinner a lot of nights.