This is truly one of my favorite times of year. I love each "first" of fall - the first cool day, the first time you pull on a long-neglected jacket, the first scarf draped loosely around your neck. I love the first nip in the air and the first time it is truly justified and not just paranoia to button/zip up your jacket and maybe hunch up a little against the wind.
I love the smells - the crisp scent of firewood set ablaze in someone's cozy fireplace, the smoke wafting from their chimney and filling the air with an unmistakably autumnal feel and smell; the first emergence of cinnamon brooms and pine cones in the supermarkets, and the syrupy aroma of freshly baked apple cobbler in your own kitchen.
Yours. Not mine. I'm not baking until Wednesday at the earliest. But you can share your smushy, cinnamon-y, warm apple-y cobblerness with me if you'd like.
Today was the first day the sunlit temperatures couldn't find their way out of the 50s, which meant it was also the first day we didn't have the a/c on at work, which meant it was the first day I was actually warm. Regardless, the walk home was all the chilliness I needed to be perfectly provoked to make Autumn Minestrone from the Moosewood Restaurant Soups & Stews Deck.
To a soundtrack of Apoptygma Berzerk, I lovingly made the broth myself last night, following a recipe from the same deck for Garlic Broth. Believe me, anything involving 3 heads of garlic is okay in my book. I expected the resulting soup to be a bit brothier, since it called for 6 cups of the broth I painstakingly simmered while playing on facebook, but I guess I underestimated the sheer volume of veggies that would be going into it. Believe me - I'm not complaining about the veggies. Every time I eat something this full of veggies, especially lovely, dark green, Tuscan kale and Vitamin C-rich cauliflower, I can just about feel the health flowing into me.
I could use a little boost right now. But hey, when I can breath without tightness in my chest, I'll appreciate breathing all the more, right? This is just another opportunity for gratitude.
Nevertheless, I did anticipate the soup would be, well....soupier, so I asked Mister to pick up special rustic Italian bread for us to dip in the broth and make our soup dinner a little more substantial. Turns out I needn't have worried, but the seeded spelt bread he picked up was still a delightful addition to our light Mediterranean feast, which I topped off with a generous bowl of mixed olives.
One final thing of note, merely because I'm making such a concerted effort to improvise more: somehow, in a moment of brain malfunction, I used up the zucchini I meant to add to this soup. After a thorough interrogation of the cat, I remembered what I had done with the zucchini and moved on to being grateful I was too lazy to make the roasted cauliflower appetizer I had intended for a few nights ago (when I used up the zucchini without realizing), so I subbed the cauliflower for the squash. Mister loves cauliflower and merely tolerates zucchini because it's a part of so many recipes there would be nothing left for me to cook if he outlawed that ingredient, too (along with eggplant, mushrooms, tempeh, quinoa, and "squishy wheat"). Mister and I agreed, though, that this soup was far better completed by the cauliflower than it would have been with zucchini. The texture it leant was perfect, as was the subtle flavor and the barely perceptible way it soaked up the garlic broth.