Late Summer Vegetable Soup

Late Summer Vegetable Soup

Finally, fall.

I know it hasn’t quite arrived in all of it’s crisp, foliage-wrapped glory, but it is peeking around the corner. You can smell it in the air, feel in the mornings, and I? I. Can’t. Get. Enough.

That period right between summer and fall might be the best of all. It’s the sweet spot — not too cool, not too hot, evenings are still bright, and you can continue to hold on to that free spirit of summer while looking forward to maple- and pumpkin-scented everything, scarves and boots, and the change to a new season.

That’s kind of where my head was this weekend when I set out to make this soup. It’s got the best of both seasons all rolled into one — perfect for this time of year. It combines some of summer’s favorite vegetables with a nod towards fall’s — and let me tell you, the marriage is a beautiful thing. Not too heavy, not too light, perfect for these chilly late summer nights and indulging your fall cravings.

Late Summer Vegetable Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 carrots, diced
1 leek, chopped
3-4 celery stalks, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 can whole or diced tomatoes (or about 3 fresh ones, diced, if you can still get good summer tomatoes)
5 cups vegetable broth (or you can use half vegetable broth and half chicken broth)
1 can chickpeas
1 can butter or canellini beans (don’t rinse!)
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp flour
3 tbsp water
1 butternut squash, diced in big chunks
1 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 tsp pepper (or to taste)
Fresh parsley, for garnish

Over medium heat, in a large pot, sauté carrots, leek, celery, garlic, thyme, and oregano until veggies begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes (if you’re using can, add juice and all) and continue to sauté until tomatoes are completely heated through.

Add broth, chickpeas, beans, and butternut squash. Combine flour and water in a small bowl and whisk into a slurry, then add and combine. Fill each bean can with water and add (this will help get all that starchy goodness the beans are canned in, helping to thicken the soup). Bring to a boil, then add soy sauce. Stir, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about half an hour to 40 minutes.

Add zucchini, yellow squash, and spinach. Continue to cook for about 10-15 minutes (or longer if you like your veggies a little softer). Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve topped with fresh parsley and a slice of crusty bread.