"You Gotta Wear Fall To Sell Fall."

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August 14, 2012 by jooshanoosh

The title of this post is the phrase we’ve been kicking around at my store.  I work retail and you are always ahead one season.  Some parts of this are great, you start to see the spring clothes come in when there is still slush on the ground or see the Christmas ornaments before Halloween (that one’s not the greatest.)  The down side is, of course, you are so sick of the season by the time it finally shows up! HOWEVER, while all the seasons bring a fresh point of view, none is as evocative and sense stirring as Fall. 

Beautiful Soup

Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!

Beau–ootiful Soo-oop!
Beau–ootiful Soo-oop!
Soo–oop of the e–e–evening,
Beautiful, beautiful Soup!

Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth only of Beautiful Soup?
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?

Beau–ootiful Soo-oop!
Beau–ootiful Soo-oop!
Soo–oop of the e–e–evening,
Beautiful, beauti–FUL SOUP!

~Lewis Carroll

I have to agree with Lewis Carroll’s lilting praise on this one: on a damp autumn night, there is nothing quite as satisfying as a steaming tureen of beautiful soup. When we were younger, my mom would regularly make us grilled cheese sandwiches and cream of tomato soup; this meal remains one of my most basic comfort foods. Since then, Lindsay and I have adapted this formula slightly: vegetarian chili in place of the cream of tomato soup; pepperjack grilled cheese (I guess we just mostly Tex-Mexed the meal). I love soup and sandwich nights.

A couple of years ago, I came home from my fancy store with this book:

It is filled with mouth-watering soups suited to the fresh ingredients available in each of the four seasons. We, of course, are looking forward to  enjoying the book’s suggested Fall fare, and, boy, is it delicious! Our favorite so far is a terrific adult spin on my old grilled cheese and tomato soup combo: Fabulous Fall Root Soup and Grilled Gorgonzola and Apple on Sourdough. The recipes are both scrumptious and simple: two words I like very much.

Fabulous Fall Roots SoupMakes 8 servings

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only ( 3 to 4 medium leeks)
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium rutabaga (1 to 1 1/4 pounds), peeled and diced
8 cups chicken stock (we used vegetable stock)
Kosher salt
1 1/4 cups crème fraîche
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Heat butter in a large, heavy pot (with a lid) over medium-high heat. When melted and hot, add leeks, carrots, and rutabaga. Sauté vegetables until softened, for 10 minutes or longer. Add stock and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, for about 30 minutes.

2. Purée the soup in batches in a food processor or blender and return the soup to the pot. Whisk in 3/4 cup of the crème fraîche. Taste soup and season with salt, as neede. (The soup can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat.)

3. To serve, ladle soup into shallow soup bowls. Garnish each serving with a generous dollop of the remaining 1/2 cup crème fraîche and a sprinkling of parsley.

Grilled Gorgonzola and Apple on Sourdough

Makes 4 servings

1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored but unpeeled, very thinly sliced and tossed in 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
8 crusty sourdough bread slices (3/8- to 1/2-inch thick)
8 ounces creamy blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola, Fourme d’Ambert, or Bleu d’Auvergne, thickly sliced.
4 tablespoons chopped pecans
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more if needed

Layer one slice of cheese on bread; top with pecans. Gently press pecans into cheese. Place apple slices on top of cheese and pecans, then top with second slice of bread. Brush both sides of bread with melted butter and grill until browned on both sides.

So get ready to enjoy some fancy fall comfort food — and let us know what your favorite soup/sandwich combo is.

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