This golden fall vegetable soup couldn’t be easier, it’s just vegetables, herbs and water, and once the prep is done, there’s really not much cooking to do at all. The ingredient list was inspired by a box of fall vegetables that were donated to us for our classes from a local New York community supported agriculture group, and proves that delicious things can happen when you improvise. We added some wonderful flavor to the soup by adding a smoky dried chipotle pod at the beginning, and, stirred in a fresh infusion of herbs for added depth.
Watch the video to learn how to make it.
1. Place all of the soup vegetables into a large pot, except for the canned beans and the macaroni.
2. Add the bouquet garni and 3 quarts of water, or enough to cover the vegetables by 1-inch. Add the salt. Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer gently for an hour or until the vegetables are tender and the squash can be mashed against the sides of the pan. While the soup is cooking, prepare the Spicy Gremolata (to learn how, click here).
3. Remove the bouquet garni. Mash some of the squash against the pan to thicken the broth. Add the beans, cook for 10 minutes. Taste for salt. Add the macaroni. Cook until al dente. Stir in the Spicy Herb Pesto and serve immediately with the grated cheese.
Ann's Tips and Tricks
Traditional Basil Pesto is also delicious stirred into this soup.
A bouquet garni is basically a bundle of herbs that is added to soups and stews to add flavor. They are particularly useful in vegetarian cooking. If you don’t have all the herbs, it’s not the end of the world. I often use just fresh parsley, bay leaf and dried rosemary. If you use cheesecloth for a wrapper, you could also add ½ teaspoon of whole black peppercorns.
To make a bouquet garni:
Lay 3 to 4 stems of flat leaf parsley together on a cutting board. On the leafy end, lay a bay leaf, a sprig of fresh thyme, a couple of sage leaves and a small sprig of fresh rosemary.
Roll the leaves together so that they end up wrapped in the parsley stems. Wrap in cheesecloth or tie with kitchen twine to secure the bundle. That’s it.