Autumn Soup a la Four Chickens

by Jeanne on October 15, 2009

The weather is getting colder, windier, and rainier here. Finally. We’ve been having an incredible and beautiful prolonged summer here in Seattle and it’s only just now that the weather has truly taken a turn to fall weather. As much as I hate to see summer go, I am ready for autumn. I’m always surprised that I am ready for each new season as it appears. Mother Nature has done a good job at gauging the length of time each season sticks around–usually long enough and not too long. At least for me.

The colder weather means returning to comforting, warming foods. At the top of the this list for my family is (other than baked goods, soup. Last night, I made one of our family’s favorite cold-weather soups. Many of the ingredients can be optional, so I will just call it Autumn Soup a la Four Chickens. What ties it together is the cumin, basil, and bay, and the fact that it includes greens of some sort.

Autumn Soup a la Four Chickens

3 TBL butter, olive oil, or combo of both
1 onion, chopped (leeks would be good here, too)
2 TBL garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried basil
1 bay leaf
1 lb ground turkey or chicken (white or dark meat or combo of both)*
1/2 lb-1 lb potatoes, diced into 1/2″ cubes (we like Yukon Gold here)
1 1/2 C Great Northern Beans, cooked (you can substitute bean of choice)*
2 QT chicken or veggie stock
1 bunch of kale, collards, or chard, chopped (kale or collards hold up best, but chard is tasty, too)
kosher salt and pepper to taste

*you can use either the meat or the beans or both. I have made the soup with each option and we love them all

-heat butter/oil in large pot
-add ground meat and cook until almost done (if using)
-salt generously
-add onions and garlic and cook until soft
-add potatoes, cook a bit so they are coated with other ingredients
-add beans (if using) and then stock
-add cumin, basil and bay leaf and mix well
-simmer as long as you want–at least until potatoes are soft (a long-ish simmer time melds the flavors of this soup)
-about 10 mins before you’re ready to eat, add kale, collards, or chard, mix into soup
-simmer more until greens become a bit soft
-test for salt and pepper–add more to taste



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