Fall is finally hear in the Kanto area (Tokyo and surrounding prefectures), and I love it!
Ever since typhoon #15 hit us, it’s been cool and lovely. It’s been in the low 70′s during the day and the high 50′s at night. We had to get out some of our heavier blankets this week, since it gets so cool at night now. The leaves are also starting to change, so most of the trees have a yellowish orange-ish tint to them, and you can often smell that smokey smell on the air that’s so common to fall and winter.
Due to the start of fall, I’ve initiated my annual fall food extravaganza! Which basically means I just get super excited about the fall weather and start cooking lots of fall foods. Ha! Soups, chili, pumpkin, chestnuts, apples, fresh bread, I love it!
Last night for dinner, I tried out a new recipe for minestrone soup, and baked some pumpkin yeast bread to go with it. A good hearty soup and fresh bread is pretty hard to beat in the fall/winter months, and this soup did not disappoint!
Minestrone Soup (serves 3 – 4)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 1 medium size onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 stick celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- small bunch of fresh basil, leaves and stalked separated
- 2 (15 oz./400 g) cans of whole tomatoes
- 1 c. red wine
- 1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
- 1 bunch of fresh spinach, chopped
- 2 c. chicken stock (or beef or vegetable)
- 1 (15 oz./400 g) can of red kidney beans, drained
- 25 – 30 g dried pasta
- grated Parmesan (optional)
- Heat oil in a large pot over low heat. Add bacon, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and the diced stalks of basil. Slowly cook on low heat so that the vegetables sweat but don’t brown for about 20 minutes with the lid slightly ajar.
- Add the can tomatoes, zucchini, and red wine. Smash up the tomatoes with a spoon, and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
- Add the spinach, stock, beans, and pasta. Continue simmering until the pasta is cooked.
- Season with salt and pepper, and add a little more stock if the soup is too thick.
- Serve with the torn up basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil on top of the soup, and grated Parmesan.
This recipe is based on a minestrone soup recipe from Jamie Oliver.
Ah, Fall. I love you so!