Autumn root crops, parsnips, carrots, turnips, become more flavorful if harvesting is delayed until the first frosts. Certain types of wine grapes, if left on the vine, become sweeter from the action called “noble rot” that concentrates sugar in the fruit. This autumn , fix a pot of vegetable soup to celebrate the value of waiting. Toast the virtue of patience with a glass of sweet wine.
Autumn Vegetable Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet yellow onion
1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces.
3 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 stalk celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 parsnips, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 medium red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 fennel bulb, halved, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
salt and pepper
Put oil in pot and turn heat to medium high. Cook onions until golden, about seven minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes and herb sprigs and simmer over medium heat for twenty minutes. Add the squash, potatoes, carrots, celery, parsnips and fennel, cover and cook 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Uncover, remove the herb sprigs, and cook fifteen more minutes, or until the soup has thickened somewhat. Season with salt and pepper.