I’m terribly nostalgic in the fall.
Thinking back to falls of yesteryear and grasping at happy memories of the past. Crisp afternoons spent with my grandma, cozy dinners with my family as the days were getting shorter, and walks to the library after school.
It’s also the time of year when I start chasing warm fuzzies more than Jesus…the holiday season.
I wrote a really vulnerable post last year about my heart being in the wrong place for Thanksgiving. How I was looking for the holiday feelings to satisfy my soul when I know that they never can.
I want to enter the season this year with a heart aware of that tendency. I want to submit myself to God each day, seeking Him more than fleeting happiness from seasonal traditions.
I share all of that before the soup, because I’ve been restless this fall.
I’ve been looking for warm fuzzy moments to make me happy. For me that is usually time at home with my family, listening to good music while it’s getting dark outside. Smells of savory comfort food wafting from the kitchen. Everyone is happy and I get overwhelmed with gratitude for the beautiful life God has given me.
So far that hasn’t happened this year.
It’s been me scrambling to pull dinner together, wishing we’d just get a $5 pizza so I wouldn’t have to cook. It’s Andy stumbling exhausted through the side door after a long day of studying and exams. It’s Grace and Avery both wanting and needing me and crying over each other while I’m furiously chopping and stirring.
Not exactly the fall bliss I’ve been seeking, eh?
But that’s ok.
The Lord is showing me that He is all I need.
He is all I need.
SO, when I made this soup the other night, and it was perfectly dark, and everyone was getting along, and the tantalizing smell of it was wafting from the kitchen, I was happy.
But I didn’t look to that moment for happiness. I looked up to heaven and thanked God for smiling down on His daughter and blessing me with a moment.
Not because I needed it, but because He loves me.
Now let’s talk about this soup for a second…
It was SO GOOD!
Warm, rich, creamy, savory and super filling. It was a show stopper!
I modified it quite a bit from Shauna’s recipe (this is another Bread and Wine recipe) mostly based on what was more cost effective.
The original recipe called for a bulb of fennel, but fennel was almost $4 at the grocery last week, so I passed. You can read more about why I’m trying to save money on groceries here.
It also called for fresh rosemary, curls of parmesan cheese and ribbons of prosciutto, but as much as I would have loved to splurge on those items, I had dried rosemary in my spice cupboard, a green can of parmesan in the fridge and a pack of bacon, so that’s what I used.
She calls for olive oil to sauté the veggies and if you are adverse to bacon, go ahead and use a few splashes of olive oil for the sautéing, but I recommend cooking the bacon first and using those drippings instead :)
Using dried beans would save money (although Aldi sells white beans for $.59/can and they are so much faster!) but be sure to add water and extra salt to make up for the liquid from the canned beans.
Ok, here’s the recipe the way I made it the other night. Enjoy!
- 6 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled (reserve bacon grease)
- 2 shallots OR 1 medium onion, finely diced
- ½ lb carrots, sliced into thin coins on a diagonal
- 6 celery ribs, sliced on a diagonal
- 6 15 oz cans great northern beans in liquid
- ½ tsp Rosemary, (give it a rough chop or rub it well between your fingers before adding to the pot)
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup (or slightly less) extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- (optional) spoonful of dijon mustard
- In a large stockpot, soften shallots or onion in bacon grease (or olive oil) over medium heat.
- Add carrots and celery, and allow to soften 10-15 minutes.
- Add beans in their liquid, garlic powder and crushed rosemary.
- Cover and cook for 20 minutes at a gentle boil.
- Taste, add salt & pepper, taste again—and keep in mind that you’ll get a good amount of salt from the toppings.
- Cook for 20 more minutes, or longer if you have time.
- For the balsamic vinaigrette, mix a few tablespoons of balsamic, a quarter cup or so of olive oil, some salt and pepper in a glass jar, then shake well. A spoonful of dijon mustard is recommended, but I skipped it because Andy is not a fan :)
- Serve the hot soup topped with parmesan cheese, bacon crumbles and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.
- Commence moaning. LOL