Before we changed the way we ate, I didn’t pay too much attention to eating seasonally. Sure, I knew that the best strawberries were in early June, tomatoes in July, squash in the fall, but really, most of those things are available year round. It wasn’t until after taking on a vegetarian way of eating that I started paying attention to food seasons. When the majority of what you eat is fruits and veggies, you want it to taste good, and be reasonable on the budget. Oh, the difference it makes to both your wallet and your taste buds.
One of my favorite books of all time is ‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle’ by Barbara Kingsolver. I read it a couple of years ago and fell in love with the way her family approaches seasonal, local eating. Living in the midwest, with harsh winters, it isn’t always possible to have local on hand, but we do our best to eat seasonally. In the book she includes a graphic called ‘The Vegetannual‘. It makes eating seasonally seem so simple. We used this idea to teach the boys about how growing seasons change just like the months on the calendar. Now, as we anticipate new seasons, we also talk about what new things we will see at the grocery stores and farmers’ market.
As we are now heavily into fall the root vegetables and leafy greens are making a steady appearance on our dinner table. This past weekend was the last farmers’ market until spring. We loaded up on kale, arugula, mixed greens, shallots, potatoes and squash. I used the potatoes we bought to make this roasted potato soup. It’s a favorite in our soup arsenal, last year it even made an appearance on our Thanksgiving menu.
The addition of roasted cauliflower gives this soup a hearty, rustic flavor. Very warm and comforting. One of the best parts? The addition of more veggies without the kids suspecting a thing.
- 4-6 large potatoes, chopped into 1-2 inch pieces (peeling is optional, I usually don't)
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
- 3 shallots, sliced in half
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- Extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper
- 4-6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a large baking sheet place chopped cauliflower, potatoes, garlic and shallots. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until tender.
- In a large soup pot place roasted vegetables, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Pour in vegetable stock. Over medium heat bring to a simmer for 20 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend. Turn off heat. Use immersion blender (food processor or blender work too) to puree. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Heat through when ready to serve.
Enjoy with a simple, mixed green salad, a few apple and pear slices, maybe even some crusty bread.