It is fall and I love fall! There are three things that I particularly look forward to: Soup, pumpkin, and Harry Potter.

So I will be making lots of soup and pumpkin stuff over the next little while. I’m also listening to Harry Potter on tape. I’ve actually never listened to an audio book before but I’m finding it truly delightful. The dude who reads Harry Potter rocks. I average 2 hours of driving every day between school drop-offs and pick-ups and errands. When I lived in Chicago I drove about twenty minutes a week, so Harry Potter is making the change a little more bearable. I actually look forward to getting in the car.

For the next few weeks I’ll share some of my favorite fall recipes! Reading and soup go so well together. Enjoy!

Pasta Fagioli and Peasant Bread

Pasta Fagioli

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, sliced (I don’t like celery so I omit)
1-2 carrots, sliced
2 T. olive oil
2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can navy or great northern beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups chicken broth or water
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. italian seasoning
1 T. dried parsley
1 bay leaf
1/3 C. grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1 cup diced ham (opt. I never use it.)
3/4 C. shell or small elbow macaroni

In a larg soup pot, saute onion, garlic, celery and carrot in olive oil until soft. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, cannellini beans, navy or Great Northern beans, chicken broth or water, salt Italian seasoning, parsley, bay, parmesan cheese, and ham. Bring to boil and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.

While soup is simmering, cook pasta. Drain and add to soup. Serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese and Peasant Bread.

Peasant Bread
This is such easy bread and so amazing with any soup

2 C. warm water
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
2 tsp. salt
1 T. sugar
4 C. flour

corn meal
melted butter

Mix water, yeast, salt, and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Mix in flour. Do not knead. Let rise for 1 hour. Spread a little oil on a baking sheet and sprinkle with corn meal. Form the dough into two rounds and place on the sheet, several inches apart. Cover and let rise 1 hour. Brush lightly with melted butter. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake for 15 minutes more. Brush with more melted butter while hot.
Serve warm.


  1. This sounds delicious, Liesl! I’ll have to try it in a month or two, since I’m still in summer mode. When you live in southern Nevada, late September feels like mid-July anywhere else:) (Our high today was 107, our “low” 72.)

    • Liesl

    • September 29, 2010

    • 1:36 pm

    Krista, it’s actually still pretty warm here too. In the 80’s. But the leaves are still turning and something in my body says “Soup.”

    • Lisa

    • September 29, 2010

    • 8:14 pm

    I am jealous that you are listening to Harry for the first time. I wish I could experience it for the first time all over again. Have fun with it.

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