As the leaves on the trees transition from green and gold to bright oranges and reds, my cravings shift from ice cream and cold sandwiches to soups and baked goodies. It’s time to fire up the oven instead of the barbecue, and to bake with reckless abandon. Along with the perk of fresh baked bread, cookies, and pumpkin muffins, the house smells delicious and the heat from the oven cozily warms up the place. I especially like to add cloves to my autumn dishes, for that slightly warmer, spicier flavor. Fall cooking combines the delicious with the necessary. Our house isn’t all sugar and carbohydrates, however–I’m also a soup fiend.
There’s nothing that warms the body and soul like a bowl of soup on a chilly day, and I’m a fan of soups from around the world. I make borscht with fresh beets from our community-supported agriculture (CSA) box, which is enough to convert any beet-averse person to come to the purple side. I have my own version of chicken soup, where the secret ingredient isn’t just love, but also liberal amounts of ginger, a jalapeno pepper, and garlic. It comforts the soul, soothes the stomach, and is just what the doctor ordered whether or not you’re feeling under the weather. Just this last weekend, I was at the New York State Sheep and Wool festival, and had the most amazing lamb and barley soup, which I’m hoping to replicate at home.
I’m also experimenting with a recipe for Pho, the Vietnamese beef and noodle soup, but I haven’t quite perfected it yet. I love experimenting with recipes, because when they work out well, it’s amazing, and when my experiments in gastronomy end up to be disasters, they make for great stories. We have a fully stocked take-out menu drawer for just these types of occasions.
What are you cooking this fall season?
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