We are having some beautiful fall weather in South Florida! When fall comes to Florida, it’s more of a pretend season. It will be 80 degrees and locals will pulling out their boots, light sweaters and scarves…pretty silly looking to the vacationing Northerners who are walking around in their shorts and sundresses. When you live here for awhile, you feel the change of seasons and get very excited.
This weekend, we hit some low temps. The humidity is gone and just the most wonderful breezes are blowing through my open windows. The morning air is brisk, almost to a chill as my Chihuahuas make it short, quick walk. My morning walk is at a faster pace, my hands curled up in my sweatshirt to keep warm.
The skies were clear and the bluest blue, while the sun gently warmed the breezes creating the picture perfect day. As evening came, the temperature dropped further and as I planned for all day, a warming soup would be just what we needed to fully experience this Fall weather.
Basing this on my mom’s minestrone recipe, I just swapped out the potatoes for pumpkin. I kept it simple and did not add in any beans. The pumpkin seeds were a last minute thought while I was cutting the pumpkin. The seeds added an interesting bite and salty taste.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups raw pumpkin, about 1/2 small pumpkin, cubedubed
2 large carrots, peeled and cubed
2 cups zucchini, cubed
1 small bunch spinach, washed, trimmed and roughly chopped, about 2 cups
4 – 5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Toasted pumpkin seeds and Parmesian cheese, grated for serving, optional
In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil. Add in the onion and sauté till tender. Add in the pumpkin and carrots and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Add in the zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in the stock to just cover the veggies. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30-35 minutes. Add in the spinach and parsley and turn off the heat. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Serves about 4 as a main dish. Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds and grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.