Hello! Kamilah here, and if you’re like me, you’re excited that fall is officially here.
Not only does autumn mark the beginning of the holiday season, it also provides plenty of opportunities to share a meal with friends and family. Now I know that thinking of entertaining can sometimes bring on a sense of anxiety regarding all the logistics involved. But it doesn’t have to be that way — which is one of the reasons I love soup night so much.
Soup Night: A Time to Gather Together
Soup night provides an easy way to bring friends and family together around a table without needing to prepare a four-course dinner or work in the kitchen all day. All you need is the basic ingredients to make a soup, and you can then enlist your guests to bring specific elements (say, baguettes, cheese, and wine) with them. You can even just put all the ingredients in your slow cooker that morning in order to have it ready that evening. Plus, you can easily incorporate elements from your garden into your soup, further enhancing your soup’s connection with the fall season.
For me, soup night is a familiar marker of the autumn — after all, holding a warm bowl of soup is a comforting and nostalgic feeling. Not only is soup nourishing, it provides a connection point with friends and family (including kids because generally speaking, kids love soup). Everyone can grab their bowl and go outside or just hang out around the kitchen — whatever feels comfortable.
The soup acts as a centerpiece which everyone can gather around and share family-style, enjoying conversation in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. Whether you’re sharing your soup with friends or family, it’s a beautiful way to start your own seasonal tradition.
RECIPE- Courtesy of Parsnips and Pastries
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground mild Italian sausage
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/4 cups dry Ditalini pasta
- 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, thinly sliced into ribbons
- Sea salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. In another pot, boil the ditalini pasta in salted water until just below al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- To the dutch oven, add the ground sausage, crumble, and season with sea salt and pepper. Cook until browned and using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the additional tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and cook the onion, celery, and carrots until softened, but not browned. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and season with sea salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and fresh rosemary.
- Stir in the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, beans, and butternut squash. Return the sausage back to the pot, and bring the soup to a simmer.
- Cover the soup and simmer until the butternut squash is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
- Uncover and stir in the Swiss chard, cooking until wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta. Taste and adjust for additional seasoning.
- Serve the soup topped with shaved Parmesan cheese and additional fresh rosemary. Enjoy!