Monday, September 14, 2009

Harvest Time

I reached for a sweater last night and tossed a blanket across my bed. The leaves are just beginning to change, a few here and there. The morning light appears in the east well after six o'clock. The afternoon air still feels like summer and the katydids are noisy. But my world is shifting, turning, shedding it's green, bringing forth the last of the harvest before winter tucks us in.

As the weather turns cooler and school schedules heat up, I turn to soup for homegrown comfort. Here's a favorite recipe I created. It takes only minutes to prepare, which makes it the perfect choice for a busy day.

Cassandra's Harvest Soup

  • 1 lb of frozen mixed vegetables, or equivalent leftover vegetables of your choice
  • 1 can of kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, or other beans of your choice
  • 1 12-ounce can of tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup of a whole grain (rice, rolled barley, noodles)
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 2-4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. salt

  • 1 cup. of chopped, cooked chicken, ham, or beef can be added, if desired. My family likes it better without the meat.
  • diced potatoes can be used instead of the whole grain.
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion or scallions are a delicious addition.
  • Chopped summer squash or zucchini can be added, if you have it on hand.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar to the soup with the spices for more flavor.

Conventional Directions:

Cover the vegetables and whole grain with water and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and seasonings. Turn down to lowest heat, cover, and let sit for 10 more minutes.

Crock pot Directions:

Put all ingredients into cooker with hot tap water that sits two inches above the vegetables. Cook on high for 3-4 hours. If adding meat, put the meat in at the end and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Serving Suggestions:

Feeds 4-6 hungry people as a main course with a hearty bread. I have found that most children like this soup. My sons' favorite: pair it with grilled cheese sandwiches. You can double the recipe for 6-10 people.


What's your favorite soup?


  1. This is our world, as you described it, as well. Love your description of change. Today I had planned on making vegetable soup for the family. I will follow your recipe today. Yum.

  2. Your post is eloquent, and draws forth wonderful memories of favorite fall traditions. Thank you for sharing your soup recipe! I also love your blog name! Found a link here from the recipe exchange on THL. I have enjoyed my visit here! Blessings to you and yours!


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