Orchard + Soup
It's the mooooost wonderful tiiiiiiime of the year!
I love it. Warm but not hot. Cool but not cold. Leaves are hinting at changing colors. Candles are being lit. Chai tea is a-brewin'. And we schlep our kids to the orchard in celebration of it all.
I've said before that the orchard we go to is a no frills type place and I love it for that reason. It's a father and son farm and you can take whatever you want (of course you pay after you harvest)- they have Brussels sprouts, peppers, flowers, cucumber, zucchini, broccoli, beets, carrots, pumpkins, raspberries, tomatoes, and of course, the apples.
Annika, eating a freshly picked carrot. In spite of the dirt, she insisted it was "So nummy!" Hmm...
Taste-testing the broccoli
We left $80 lighter but with a good haul- two bags of apples, a bag of pears, two pints of raspberries, two baking pumpkins, two decorative gourds, a bunch of beets, some broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and carrots.
Later that afternoon I let the kids bully me into making a homemade apple pie (pies are definitely not in my skill set).
Yeah it didn't suck, especially since I also had vanilla ice cream and caramel on hand.
Back to vegetable-filled dietitian land...
What to do with random fall produce? Make a soup of course! So many soups, this one included, are really loose recipes. Feel free to swap in whatever veggies sound good to you. I let mine simmer for two hours, but you could simmer for just a few minutes, or even longer than I did. You could put it in a slow cooker. You can change up the seasoning. Soup is not fussy, and this is the epitome of "throw it together" healthy eating.
Roasted Vegetable Soup
-1 bunch beets (I had about 6 small beets), washed, peeled and cut into ~1" chunks
-1/2 lb carrots, washed and cut into ~1" chunks
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-2 boxes low sodium vegetable broth
-2 bay leaves
-1/4 teaspoon onion powder
-1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
I also used a handful of Brussels sprouts and broccoli florets and kale
On a rimmed sheet pan, combine beets, carrots, and olive oil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, stirring halfway to evenly roast. If veggies are lightly browned and tender, they're done- they may need longer roasting time depending on how large they were chopped. I added my kale during the last 5-10 minutes of roasting- it would've otherwise burned.
Add broth to a large pot and heat to medium-low. Add remaining seasonings, including bay leaf. Add roasted veggies and cover. Let simmer for however long you feel like!
I chose to puree my soup but you could absolutely have it as-is. I removed the bay leaves and used my easy-peasy immersion blender. It really is a pretty color of soup thanks to the beets (also, hellooooooo vitamins and fiber!).
I happened to have bought a loaf of sliced rustic bread and I made some gruyere pressed sandwiches to go along with this. I'm almost always a whole grain/sprouted grains girl when it comes to bread, but I thought I'd treat the family to something different.
Makes four large bowls. Per serving: 171 calories, 29 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fiber (yesssss), 4 grams fat, 7 grams protein, 405 mg sodium, plus 716% of your vitamin A needs for the day and 120% of your daily vitamin C needs. Nutrient-packed and fresh and delicious and perfect for the fall!