Hearty Autumn Harvest Roasted Veggie Soup
(Full text recipe and recipe video at the bottom!)
This hearty soup invites you to settle into Autumn by touching upon all the senses...The colors mimic the changing leaves and the last of the sunny days for a while (until the Winter Solstice - the longest night of the year - when the days start to lengthen afterward). The flavors are similar to a traditional veggie soup, but with a hint of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cumin that fill your house with a warm fall scent that whispers, "let's snuggle up next to a fall campfire on a chilly night..." Roasted veggies from the last of summer's harvest give it a bit of a smoky flavor, the tomatoes and tomato sauce make it a little sweet, and egg mixed into the broth and red quinoa and beans provide some extra protein for a satisfying, stand-alone meal.
My inspiration for this meal came from 2 places: 1. My love of keeping attuned to the rhythm of my environment and the ever-changing seasons (flora and fauna), Earth, sun, and moon, through seasonal and local foods, 2 out of 3 of the facets to my "Happy Foods" philosophy, which I believes brings about a sense of happiness and well-being by jiving with nature instead of running against it, and 2. A conversation with my friend at The Locavore - a little store in Frankfort, NY, that sells local food and goods. Mimi, as her friends and family affectionately call her, is the mother of the store owner, an old-school Italian woman who always gives me ideas for natural home remedies and recipes. She was telling me about her recipe for "Ah Mah-ness" (I spelled it phonetically because I have NO IDEA how to actually spell it - so maybe some of you Italians can help an Irish-German girl out), or Cocozelle (pronounced "gagoots"), where they would take all their leftover veggies from the garden, chop them up, and simmer them in a broth made from tomato sauce and stock, then add egg to the broth at the end. Wow! My mouth was watering. I put my own spin on her recipe, and the result was nothing short of magnificent.
Enjoy this soup as is, or sub your own veggies. Either way, it should definitely be enjoyed on the first cold evening of Autumn, as you settle into the waning half of the year when our individual and collective souls start to quiet down into rest and contemplation for a few months.
As always, Nutritional Psychology is at the forefront of this meal and my "Happy Foods" 3-tiered philosophy (along with the seasonal and local aspect). This meal gives your body and mind everything it needs to function optimally - lots of veggies, healthy fats (olive oil on the roasted veggies), complete (as well as incomplete) protein to help your brain produce Seratonin and Norepinephrin (the "happy" chemicals), and a nutrient-rich veggie broth (can sub in my homemade Bone Broth to make it even more nutrient-dense AND gut-healthy!) This recipe is gluten-free, and the limited starches/grains will keep your Blood Sugar/Adrenal Axis, your stress hormones, and your mood stable.
I hope you enjoy! And as always, eat Local, eat Seasonal, eat Happy Food!
Step 1: Roast the veggies
Chop 7-8 cups of fall harvest veggies of your choosing, and toss with 3 tbsp. olive oil and a few cranks of sea salt in a large bowl. Spread them out on baking sheets or in baking dishes, in a single layer. Roast in the oven at 400F for 30 minutes. When done roasting, remove them from the baking dishes and put aside in a big bowl. For this recipe, we used: Carrots, Carnival Squash, Delicata Squash, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Zucchini, and Tomatoes.
Step 2: Prep remainder of soup ingredients/make the spice mix
Chop 1 yellow onion and 3 garlic cloves and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together:
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. basil
- 1 tsp. parsley
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- few grinds black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. ground thyme
- 1/4 tsp. white pepper
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Step 3: Make the soup!
Heat 3 tbsp. olive oil in a soup pot on medium-high heat. Cook onions and garlic for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
Add spice mix, 8 cups broth (I used veggie for this recipe, but a bone broth is divine!), and 2 cups tomato sauce (I used homemade), and stir together. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup of quinoa, cover, and simmer 10 minutes.
Add in the roasted veggies, 15 oz. cooked kidney beans, and 15 oz. cooked pinto beans, cover again, and simmer 5 more minutes.
*(Optional Step)* If you want to add a little more protein to your meal, scramble 6 eggs, and pour them into the simmering soup, slowly, while stirring.
Taste test, adjust seasonings as needed, and enjoy!