Autumn is in full swing here in Atlanta. I’ve been outside more and more these days because of Mingus. The colors, the breeze rustling the wind chimes, the crunch of leaves as 4+2 feet traipse through the piles – it’s been quite inspiring. Weather-wise, this is my favorite time of year. Walking with a cup of coffee, being able to throw on my trench and a scarf. It all makes me feel more settled. More alert. Ready to absorb more sights. Fuel for the creative fire.
Soup recipes and holiday cooking are also in full swing here. The cookbooks have been showing up hot & heavy…and the sight of them has made me go back and revisit some older ones, as well. From now through New Years Eve, I’ll be highlighting recipes on the blog that I think compliment a holiday celebration. They’re not necessarily event specific – there are lots of food blogs doing a great job of highlighting Thanksgiving or Christmas recipes – but they’ll happily fit into seasonal menu or holiday meals. In the meantime, in the midst of all that, it’s nice to recharge with a bit of warm, comforting soup the color of the leaves beneath your feet.
Yellow Pepper & Saffron Soup – serves 4 – adapted from a recipe by the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers
This recipe came from a cookbook I picked up at the recent Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit, which a group of us were here in Atlanta were invited to attend. There was so much to see and taste there – the amount of produce was overwhelming. I left that trade show very inspired & armed with some recipes to try. This was one of them. It’s an unusual soup – it’s bold and flavorful with a bit of sweetness. I topped mine with a sprinkle of bread crumbs but some chopped herbs would be nice, as well. This would be an excellent soup to serve for the holidays in a shot glass or small tasting portion. Not only is it bright and flavorful but the color just screams autumn.
• 4 large yellow bell peppers – roasted, peeled and seeded
• 1 tbsp. butter
• 1 small yellow onion, diced
• 1 large garlic clove, minced
• 2 cups lightly flavored vegetable stock
• 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
• 1 small jalapeno, de-seeded and diced
• ¼ tsp. saffron threads
• 1 cup half and half cream
• kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large sauce pan or stock pot, melt the butter over medium heat, then add garlic and onions. Saute for minutes. Stir in the vegetable stock, carrot, chopped roasted yellow bell peppers and jalapeno pepper. Crumble in saffron. Bring stock to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Puree in food processor or high powered blender until mixture is smooth – you may have to add a touch of water to get this puree super smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, add cream and season to taste. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of chopped herbs or toasted breadcrumbs.