As soon as fall hits I become soup obsessed. I am particularly fond of a roasted vegetable-based soup. You can make one of these soups with practically any vegetable. All you need to do is roast the vegetables with onions and garlic, add your favorite seasonings, serve with a simple salad and wha- la, you have a great healthy fall soup and salad dinner.
I am getting lazy in my old age. Here is what I served for the appetizer. I tried to copy the lovely hummus platter that we had at Terrain, mine was not quite as pretty. I purchased hummus at the grocery store, slathered it on an appetizer board, drizzled it with blood orange (any favorite flavor would work) olive oil, and sprinkled with pine nuts. I cut on the diagonal some pretty rainbow carrots, added some rustic crackers and that was it.
I set the table with some old Italian made dinnerware that I have had for years. I am not a big fan of holiday-specific dinnerware that you can only use once a year. These are definitely more fall based in color but they can be used other times during the year as well. The napkins were a hostess gift from one of Jenna’s friends (they are on sale at Pottery Barn and linked in the widget below). I normally use them in the summer but that orange stitching made them work for fall as well.
I served a favorite fall salad with apples from our orchard, fennel walnuts, and blue cheese. If you can’t find fennel or don’t care for it, don’t worry about it. The salad is just as yummy without it. I have linked any unusual ingredients at the bottom if you can’t find them locally.
Mixed Greens with Blood Orange, Fennel and Beets
- 1 lb mixed greens
- 2 blood oranges sectioned
- 1 large fennel bulb or two small cored and sliced
- 1 red onion sliced thin
- 2 beets sliced
- 1 t grated zest from blood oranges
- 2 T freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 t sugar
- 1/2 t dijon mustard
- 1/4 t sea salt
- 4 T blood orange olive oil
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- goat cheese sprinkled to taste
Place salad plates in the refrigerator while preparing salad and dressing.
In a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, sugar, mustard, and fine sea salt, whisking until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly until the dressing is well blended. Season with fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Just before serving mound mixed greens on chilled serving plates. Arrange sliced beets, sectioned blood oranges and sliced fennel on top of greens. Drizzle with orange vinaigrette. Sprinkle with goat cheese.
You can make numerous substitutions on this salad. If you don't have fennel, omit it, if you don't have access to blood oranges use regular oranges. You can even use canned beats I used to roast my beets all the time and honestly I can't tell the difference. The main thing is to make this work during shelter in place. I highly recommend ordering a couple citrus olive oils you will love them.
My pewter flatware is linked below as well. My daughter, my daughter in law and I all have this. We all are big fans. It just gets better with age and does not require polishing. The glasses are from Mexico (linked below) sturdy as can be and still fun to use at times.
This roasted butternut squash and red pepper soup is a favorite. I think I first had a version of this at Mary Ann’s house. Butternut squash soup by itself is a little rich for me. I like this version because it has peppers as well. I have tweaked it a bit over the years but here is my latest incarnation. My food pics are rather pathetic. I need to learn to do a better job.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup
- 1/4 c olive oil extra virgin
- 2 1/4 c chopped onions
- 1 butternut squash peeled and cubed
- 3 bell peppers, red, yellow and orange seeded and cubed
- 4 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 t kosher salt
- 1 t smoked paprika
- 1/4 t red pepper flakes
- 1/4 t black pepper
- 8 c vegetable or chicken stock
- 3 t fresh thyme
- 1 t lemon zest
- 1/4 c 1/2 and 1/2
- sprinkled goat cheese to taste
- 4 T chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Peel and cube squash, roughly chop bell peppers and onion. Add shole peeled cloves of garlic. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until tender.
Remove vegetables from the oven. Puree in batches until smooth in Cuisinart. Add to large stockpot, and add vegetable broth. Heat the soup over medium until warmed through. Add lemon zest and adjust seasonings. You may need to add more broth. Finish off with half and half before serving. You can leave this off if you prefer a healthier option. Soup tastes just as good or better the next day. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with goat cheese and parsley.
This dough bowl was purchased from Dani at Patine. I love the metal repairs. If you call her and she can probably track one down for you. If not I have linked similar below. Our table is wide and long, so this dough bowl really works. However, it does cost a small fortune to fill it with pumpkins.
Let me know if you try my Healthy Fall Soup and Salad dinner. You might also enjoy my Mexican Street Corn Soup here. I have linked some of my favorite soup cookbooks below if you are a soup nazi like me. I am particularly found of anything by Cooks Illustrated as they are tested and rated.