Best Harvest Moon Autumn Soups For Your Gratitude Journal
I love the Season of the Harvest, when we have a huge full moon and can see the wonders that we have grown during the spring and summer. It is not a wonder at all that Asian and Native American cultures, First Nations and the Americas, Africans and many other peoples joyously proclaim the harvest in feasts, ceremonies, dance, and song.
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A number of good dishes are not usually considered when looking at the ways to prepare fruits, vegetables, and grains for harvest feasts and events of thanksgiving from Late August through the end of November. The offerings on this page are just a few, and you likely have more in an old recipe box in the back of a cupboard or a handwritten cookbook from your ancestors. Or, you might have a cookbook published inexpensively by your church, other house of faith, or club that contains traditional or forgotten harvest recipes.
This Harvest Season, you may want to experiment with beginning a 30-Day Thankfulness or Gratitude Journal. Use even a simple spiral bound notebook or your computer's word processing program and for each day, record at least one Item, Person, or Situation for which you are thankful or which you think you might appreciate more; perhaps with a few thoughts, a sketch, or a poem. This can change one's perspective and enhance a good one.
You've heard of an Advent Calendar to celebrate the coming of Christmas one day at a time beginning with December 1st? Why not a Thanksgiving Journal now, or beginning November 1st? (In America, right before Elections, when we could use a good thought among the Negative Ad campaigns!)
Harvest Season is a good time to be thankful, and in the Old Testament, the Harvest was first celebrated with an Offering of the First Fruits. A Gratitude Journal, or one for Thankfulness or daily Beauty used to record good things for 30 days maybe just that (some folks use 40 days for the cycle).
Yukon Gold Soup
Makes 8 servings.
- 1 TBSP butter or substitute
- 3 Cups thinly-sliced leeks(3 or 4 leeks)
- 6 measured Cups Yukon gold potatoes after peeling and cubing
- 2 Cups spring water
- 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 2 Cans vegetable broth, low-sodium
- 2 Sprigs of Thyme
- 1/2 Cup Heavy cream
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground red pepper, optional if you like a bit of spice
- In a soup pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and pour in the leek slices.
- Stir and cook leek until just beginning to become tender, about 10 minutes.
- Pour in the potato cubes, water, salt, vegetable broth, and thyme.
- Bring pot to the boil and immediately reduce heat. Then cook on simmer (low) uncovered for 20 minutes. Potatoes should be tender.
- Remove from heat, stir to allow evaporation of more of the water.
- Remove thyme. Mash
potatoes to a chunky consistency, pour in cream, and stir with red pepper if you choose that option. Pour into a serving dish.
- Sprinkle black pepper over the potatoes at this point.
Variations - Small red potatoes are good in this recipe. Peel only a strip of skin from around the centers and cook whole. If potatoes are large, cut in half. Mash with remaining skins still on. Shredded cheese on top of this dish is an added good touch, cheddar, smoked cheddar or even Swiss -- if you wish, broil to melt. Crumbled cooked bacon is also very good sprinkled across the top.
Sweet Potato Soup with Kale and Garlic
kes 8 servings
- 1 TBSP tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Medium white onions, peeled and chopped
- 2 TBSP dried Italian herbs
- 8 Cups vegetable broth, low sodium
- 1 Can (14 to 16 oz.) cannelloni or other white beans, drained
- 1.5 Pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed well, then diced
- 4 Oz. or more washed Kale leaves, chopped coarse - you need 4 Cups
- 10 Garlic cloves, minced; more if you wish
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and pour in onions and Italian herbs.
- Sauté onions until soft
and golden, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Pour in broth, beans, sweet potatoes, and
- Bring the pot to the boil and reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in minced garlic and continue to simmer until sweet potatoes and beans are tender.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve in bowls.
Pear , Sweet Potato, and Squash - Delicate Sweetness
Makes 6 - 8 servings
- 1 Pound Butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 Large sweet potato of your favorite type - peeled and diced
- 2 Cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 Cups spring water
- 1 Stick of cinnamon
- 3/4 to 1 tsp salt
- 2 TBSP butter or substitute
- 2 Medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced thin
- 3 Large Bartlett pears
- 1/4 Cup dry white wine
- 1/4 Cup half-and-half or yogurt
- White pepper, to taste
- Place squash and sweet potato in a soup pot and pour in the, water,
cinnamon stick, and salt. Over medium heat, simmer until vegetables are tender, 35
minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick. Meanwhile...
- In a frying pan, melt butter over low heat and cook the onions in
it, stirring, until they begin to caramelize. remove from heat.
core, and slice pears thin. Pour slices into the onion pan, replace over medium-low heat and cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring.
- Pour in white wine, cover; simmer 10 minutes. Check soup pot and turn off heat at the 35-minute time.
- Add onions and pears to the soup pot and either leave chunky or puree in a blender in appropriately-sized batches. (I like it chunky and sometimes mash the vegetables somewhat.
- Add cream and white
pepper, and re-season with salt if you need it.
- Re-heat the soup to simmer stage only.
- Serve in bowls with a garnish, if you wish: chopped chives, shredded cheese, or a sprig or two of mint.