jenna's kick a** soup

hi friends and happy fall! i can't believe it's already here! truly. literally. cannot.

the summer flew by too quickly. i'm sure i have a new job and many many events to blame for that, but in truth i feel like i blinked and the months of july, august, and september had past. it's funny, because in so many ways i live for those long summer days. you know, the ones where the sun seems like it will never set and hot sticky afternoons turn into "summer breeze" evenings. where vacations to new fun places or the familiar nostalgia-inducing places fill in weekends on the calendar. where dinner consists of fresh fish tacos and rosè on the patio with friends. for all of those moments this past summer, i am so grateful. 

but there is always something special about fall arriving. it feels like the start of the year in its own way. the weather turns cool (sometimes), the pumpkins arrive at the grocery store, and people start easing back into a different kind of cadence and rhythm. the season picks up and slows all at the same time and i think that's why, in some ways, fall has been edging out summer as my very favorite season. i love slipping into a sweater (light, mind you - this is california after all) and savoring coffee in the morning with the excitement of the holidays just around the corner. magic, i tell you.

and with fall in mind, i introduce you to my friend jenna's kick a** soup. grant and i went over to have dinner with her and her husband trev a few weeks ago (as is commonplace on any good weekend or weeknight for us) and she had cooked up this heavenly mixture of basically every veggie left in her fridge turned delicacy. jen is 8 months pregnant and a cooking goddess, among other things. i am so proud to be her friend. and now its like you get to sit in her kitchen with your cozy sweater on and talk about all the good and hard and funny things too with your feet kicked up in some socks... because i give to you her wonderful delicious soup right. now. your welcome.

to get started you'll need:

  • onion, chopped
  • garlic, minced
  • olive oil/sunflower seed oil
  • but i like...
  • potatoes, chopped
  • broccoli, chopped
  • carrots, chopped
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • zucchini or squash, chopped
  • chicken stock
  • cannelini beans
  • heavy cream
  • salt
  • pepper
  • red chili pepper flakes

to make the magic happen:

start by grabbing a big pot, drizzle a bit of olive oil in the bottom, and add onion + garlic to sauté. give the onion enough time to turn translucent (aka you can see through it) + the garlic to just barely brown. this should take just a few minutes. at that point add whatever other veggies you have in the fridge to the mix (make sure they're chopped into bite size pieces). let the veggies cook for a few minutes. if you're using potatoes, i usually throw those in first just after the onion and garlic as they need a bit more time to soften. then, fill the pot with chicken stock so that the veggies are covered with the broth. At this point, cover up the pot and let the soup simmer until the veggies are tender. The time will vary depending upon what veggies you've used but it should take at least 20 minutes. Then, add some beans if you'd like (cannelini beans really make the soup in my humble opinion), and let those cook about 5-10 minutes. Once the beans have softened, finish the soup off with some heavy cream, salt, pepper, and red chili pepper flakes. PURE. FALL. BLISS.

to serve:

pick your cutest bowls. this just makes anything more fun. ladle the soup into the bowls and top with a bit of cheese. HOORAY! YOU'VE DONE IT! you are ready to welcome fall + all of its warm soup inspired bliss.  i know for me, i've made this recipe over and over again, inspired by cozy conversations at jen's table - for sick days, for dinner with grant, and for weekday pick me ups with justin and tay.

and so happy soup-making to you friends. my hope is this can become a staple for your kitchen when you need an easy go-to recipe the same way it's become one for mine. from sweet chef jen to me to you. any other weeknight easy recipes i should be trying out? leave them in the comments below! ALSO, in other normal news, all these stellar pics were snapped by the one and only taylor souza (taylorsouzaphoto) as she continues to just always nail the photo game. love you girl.