Some people live in a place where they don’t really experience all the seasons, and we feel sorry for them because having four seasons a year is really a non-negotiable. Here in the Pacific Northwest, Fall is arguably the best season. The trees start to boast their fiery oranges, mellow yellows, and rusty red leaves. The air gets just crisp enough that you can wear a sweater comfortably but don’t need to be weighed down with a heavy coat just yet. The seemingly endless drizzle we know so well as Seattlites has yet to begin and there are still some sunny days randomly making their appearance. You might even fit in a hike before the season ends if you time it right.
But how swiftly and slyly Autumn makes its transition! One day you’re in shorts and flops and laying on top of your covers at night, and then before you even know what happened―as if a switch was flipped―you’re back in jeans and looking for your beanie. Autumn brings so many comforting traditions like chunky knit sweaters, sitting around a fire, hot cocoa, and the awe-inspiring color changes in the flora of the Pacific Northwest. But today we’re here to talk about an old friend we may not have seen in a while due to the heat of the summer.
Yes, that’s right! Soup! We’ve had no desire to eat (hot) soup for a couple of months, but now that Autumn has hit, we get so excited about soup again. There is something wonderful about getting home in the evening when it’s actually dark since the days are shortening and knowing you have a hot pot of your favorite soup on the stove. Your entire house fills with the savory aromas, you cozy up with a throw blanket and a bowl and DIG IN. And let’s be honest, half of the joy of soup is in having an excuse to toast up a crispy baguette...because some good bread can turn soup from an accompaniment into a meal itself. There’s just something special about the simplicity of enjoying a good bowl of soup and breaking bread (literally) with those you love. Also, let's talk about leftovers. Since when do leftovers actually get better with time?! They do with a good hearty soup like the one we are about to share with you! It's simple and fast, easily adaptable, super filling, and basically a ten on the cozy scale. I get requests for this soup all the time, so I thought this would be a fun opportunity to share it!
We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
The recipe is as follows:
4 pre-cooked sausage (or vegan sausage or omit altogether)
3 ribs celery, diced
2-3 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
1 fennel bulb, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp thyme
2 tbsp or more of fennel seed, powdered in your spice grinder/coffee grinder
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
8 cups broth
1 can white beans
Measurements are rough. Soup should be brothy and spicy.
Saute sausage in olive oil in large dutch oven. When slightly charred add in celery, carrots, onion, and fennel and bay leaves. Saute until veggies are softened and reduced down. Add in garlic and rest of spices and saute for 1 minute.
Add in can of tomatoes, beans, broth, and spices. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 20-30 minutes then add in kale. Simmer until kale is wilted (about 5 min). Top with parmesan