I love that there are four distinct seasons of the year. Each one is unique and leaves me with a bucket list of things to enjoy and do. The official start of fall this week left me with a major “to do” list. Top of the list was mums and pumpkins for the front porch to replace the geraniums and ferns I’d enjoyed all summer long. Next up, the first pot of soup for the fall.
I love soup and with a busy schedule it is quick and figure friendly. I tend to make up a large pot each weekend. It makes enough to have a weekend meal and have lunch and dinner over the next week. For my inaugural pot of fall soup, I decided to go with an oldie but goodie – fire roasted tomato soup. It is quick and easy.
- two chicken breasts cut into bite size chunks
- two links of either chorizo or hot Italian chicken sausage
- one large red or yellow bell pepper, diced
- two medium onions, diced
- olive oil
- two 28 ounce cans of fire roasted tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cloves garlic
- large container of chicken stock or bone broth
In a large stock pot, sauté the chicken, sausage, onion, garlic, pepper, cilantro, and salt and pepper. When the meat is done, add in tomatoes and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Add in the chicken stock and cook on low for two hours.
Yesterday I looked down at my calendar and saw the notation, “first day of autumn”. It’s been cool here in Virginia, somewhat unusually so for the beginning of September, but it also cues a sense of anticipation, of something new to come. I love the fall, but then again, I love winter, spring, and summer. The change of the seasons feels like a right of passage.
I enjoy fall for its crisp cool nights, change of leaves, the fall fruits and veggies like the squash and apples I find at the farmer’s market. What is more fun than a corn maze, mums on the front porch, or a ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway at the height of leaf color? As the days grow shorter and the weather cooler there is a sense of an ending as is appropriate for fall and the approach of winter. The anticipation of spring will soon follow and start the cycle over again.
Growing up I heard stories of my grandmother changing the curtains and rugs for summer and then back again at the start of fall. Something of that rubbed off for me. I tend to “decorate” for Easter, fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and, of course, Christmas. Nothing as elaborate as Christmas, but seasonal centerpieces for each holiday. So, this week I pulled out my velvet pumpkins for the dining room table. The geraniums I’d lovingly planted in containers on the front porch at the beginning of spring were on their last leg. It was time to freshen up the front door with mums for fall.
As I write this, I’m also making my “must do” list for the fall.
- Gather a group of friends and fin a corn maze to explore.
- Take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and remember to bring my camera.
- Take 29 from Charlottesville to Lynchburg for a drive for leaves and fresh apples.
- Find a pumpkin patch and bring home fun pumpkins.
- Pull out my ceramic jack o’ lanterns for the front porch.
- Plan a movie night for all my favorite scares movies, calling John Carpenter!
- Football and tailgate Saturday, bonus points if I can arrange it for Kenan stadium.
- Cook up a pot of Brunswick stew.
- Change out my closet for warm clothes.
What is on your must do list for the fall?