Fall season arouses all things comfort.
The favourite blanket, the old sweater, the faithful boots, the itch to draw a smiley face on a misty window, the urge to jump into the pile of fallen maple leaves, the aroma of cinnamon and apple pies, the steam of a hot cup of tea…I could go on and on ’cause it’s my absolute favorite time of the year.
Fallen leaves seem to send a message of pause. Pause and embrace the memories of Summer gone by. Pause and breathe. Live the moment because from here on, starts the end of yet another year.
This season passes us by ever so quickly but that’s the charm of Fall. It’s a short yet such a spectacular time especially here in Canada where we are so blessed to have these glorious colours in our back yard. The magic of this season never ceases to amaze me. I never take it for granted, probably because it’s so short lived.
Our weekly meal plan almost always includes a big pot of soup. Especially now, with a chill in the air, a bowl of hearty soup and bread always hits the spot. I tend to experiment with soup quite a bit. When the end result calls for an immersion blender, you can’t go wrong!
This soup was the result of some left over zucchini. It all started with a zealous purchase of farm grown zucchini earlier this month. So October, in our home, was a month of zucchini bread, zucchini curry, zucchini pasta, grilled zucchini, raw zucchini…
I think I have scarred my son for life against one particular vegetable..zucchini.
Thankfully this soup came to the rescue and soaked up all the zucchini misery. This one’s a keeper. It embodies everything I love about Fall. The aroma of roasted tomatoes and garlic, its ember colour with a hint of green. It’s a perfect accompaniment to this season.
Ingredients (serves 4 generous bowls)
8 ripe tomatoes, washed and quartered. Any kind. I used Campari
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. You could add in a tablespoon more if you wish
A knob of butter, yes, butter
I small white onion finely chopped
1 full head of garlic. Wrapped in foil
3 medium zucchinis, finely chopped
2 cups chicken broth
Half cup milk. 2% worked just fine
1/4 cup full cream
2 sprigs of fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon of dried version)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375’F. While the oven heats, place the tomatos and foil wrapped head of garlic onto the baking sheet. If you wish, you can drizzle the tomatoes with some olive oil and sprinkle some salt. I didn’t as I added the salt to the final soup. Bake for about 30-40 mins till the tomatoes start to release their juices and become slightly charred on the edges. The head of garlic should be soft when the foil is removed. While the tomatoes bake, drizzle 2-3 tablespoons olive oil into a heavy bottom base deep pot. Once the oil has warmed up, add a knob of butter and let it melt. Add the chopped onions to the pan and sautée till they start to sweat.
Add in the zucchini and stir and cook till the zucchini starts to slightly wilt. Now dump in the tomatoes and their juices.
Squeeze out the baked garlic from its skin and stir it into the soup base.
Stir once again and now add in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once it has boiled bring to a simmer for about 20 mins. Add in salt as per your taste.
Cool the pot off the stove and then blend to a consistency you like with an immersion blender. I blended our soup to a very smooth consistency. Add in the milk and bring back to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the cream and oregano leaves. Give it one last stir and taste for salt. Add in a dash of pepper.
Serve hot with some dipping bread. Grab your vintage blanket and curl up by the fireplace and enjoy!