Thursday, September 6, 2012

Carrot Soup + Peach Salad + Lemony Kale

A seasonal food party! As I find one season closing and another one approaching, I find myself making a variety of trans-seasonal foods and combining them for a colorful combination that essentially makes no sense at all...and I LOVE IT. Autumn is my personal favorite, so I'm itching for sweaters, warm coffee drinks, boots, crunchy leaves and spiced wine (I'll share my recipe with you this Fall!). We are a family of cold-weather lovers and Autumn gives us all an electric sense of hope in all things related to life. Do you experience this? This Fall/Winter will be our first for our baby boy, Banner. I just love a bundled up baby with a tiny, pink nose.

Let me share my recipes with you that you can find photographed above! This was our dinner last night and includes soup (that will be amazing all of the way through February), a salad (hurry and make it while Summer produce and your farmers market is still available, it's divine) and our own household kale staple, which we've named Lemony Kale.

Peach, Tomato and Feta Salad with Homemade Basil Vinaigrette
Combine 2 large ripe peaches and 2 large ripe heirloom tomatoes (cut into large, bite sized chunks) in a medium sized bowl.
In a blender, combine 1/2 cup of fresh, torn basil leaves, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon of honey. Blend well.
Toss tomato and peach salad with homemade dressing. Add 1/4 cup of feta cheese before serving, and serve at room temperature. DELISH!

Carrot, Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup
Cut 2 sweet potatoes and 4 carrots into chunks. Add to your favorite soup pot with 2 cups of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20-30 minutes. During simmer phase, chop 2 teaspoons of jarred, pickled ginger. Add to soup.
Once vegetables are soft, add salt and pepper and blend soup with either immersion blender or by transferring to your blender in batches. Add more broth during this phase if needed, to reach desired consistency.
Transfer back to stovetop and simmer on low until ready to serve, at least 15-20 more minutes to enhance flavors of the ginger in your soup.
Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
This recipe requires such a short amount of time, and such few ingredients for a soup that tastes like it's required a lot of thought and TLC. This makes it perfect for both entertaining or for a quick weekday dinner. Either way, I hope you'll love it as much as we did.

Lemony Kale
Heat 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in saucepan on medium heat. Add one large bunch of kale, the juice from one whole lemon, sea salt and pepper. Cook, stirring attentively, for 20 minutes on medium heat. Turn to low heat and sit until ready to serve.
This is a relatively low maintenance meal, full of nutrients and has a crisp and refreshing taste. We make this at least once a week and it can carry you through most seasons, as it's usually available year-round. Because kale's peak season is Fall (and even Winter), we can't wait for the delicious taste of kale to heighten as the next few months unfold.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and find time to give them a try. What's your favorite season? And why? We can't wait to live somewhere one day with SNOW again! We found it to be so romantic (during our Charlottesville days) to be snowed in with pots of soup, mugs of spiced wine and the snow falling outside. I'm lucky to have a husband who thinks that the seasons can be just as romantic as I do.

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