Ok, I give in! I fully accept the fact that Fall is just a week away and we have no choice but to embrace it or be really cranky for the next six months. I’ll choose to welcome it with this soup I’m calling Farmers’ Market Minestrone because my weekly trip to the farms this week inspired me to give in and celebrate the flavours of the season.
Doesn’t it look yummy? It is chock full of nutrients and it’s slurpingly delicious! I’ve added pearl barley to it but if you’re not a fan, you can omit it. I find that barley adds a lot of body and turns your soup into a full meal. It is a great source of dietary fiber and contains several vitamins and minerals including niacin, thiamine, selenium, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper. It is not gluten-free but it is cholesterol free and low in fat.
How can you avoid Autumn when you come upon these beautiful displays at Nicholyn Farms? Pumpkins everywhere and all of those fabulous apples!
And I loved this mixed basket of pears, plums, peaches, apples and concord grapes. Such a beautiful late summer harvest treat! I’m looking at those juicy grapes and realize I ate mine up so it’s time for another run to the market!
Then I was off to Barrie Hill Farms where the first thing I spotted were these beautiful green and yellow beans. Those were going into my basket without a thought!
And I knew I was making soup when I came across these beautiful onions and garlic. I go through a lot of garlic in my house so I was glad to see these good looking bulbs. In the cold months ahead, I will be roasting lots of garlic, especially for snacks. They’ll keep your immune system up in the cold/flu season.
This soup is quick and easy to pull together. I saw it on Country Living a few months ago and knew I would have to make it. I added more veggie stock than they did and omitted the basil pesto. I thought the flavour was enough without it but I’m sure it would be delicious. If you make it on a Sunday night you can put it in your kids’ thermos for a healthy lunch to get them through those long days.
Remember that a lot of the farmers’ markets are still open and many carry fall strawberries and raspberries right up till the end of September so don’t deny yourself until you have to! I loved the gorgeous heirloom carrots they had for the soup and zucchini was monster sized! I had a bowl of this for lunch today and I can’t wait to have another for dinner!
I’m going to be putting a roundup together of healthy soups and stews so if you have a favourite, let me know and I’ll be sure to find the most delicious one for you. In the meantime, I hope you’ll try this one and let me know what you think. Cheers!
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cup green cabbage
- 2 large carrots
- 2 large celery stalks
- 1 medium onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups organic vegetable broth
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 medium zucchini
- ½ pound green and yellow beans
- Heat 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot. Add barley and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring constantly. Transfer barley to small bowl; set aside.
- In same Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add cabbage, carrots, celery, and onion; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in barley, water, broth, tomatoes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 25 minutes.
- Stir zucchini and beans into barley mixture; increase heat to medium and cook, covered, 10 to 15 minutes longer or until all vegetables and barley are tender.