Saturday, September 26, 2009


"The leaves of brown came tumblin' down, remember
In September in the rain
The Sun went down just like a dying ember
That September in the rain.
To every word of love I heard you whisper
The raindrops seem to play a sweet refrain."
~ September in the Rain
(Lyrics by Warren & Dubin)

(a gardener's gift)


~ Simple Saturday night supper ... harvest rich and autumn friendly on a chilly day

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped red or sweet onion
1 1/2 cups chopped (well-washed) leeks
1 cup chopped carrots or sweet potato
4 minced garlic cloves
1 quarts organic chicken broth
1 cup white wine
1 28-oz. can diced Italian tomatoes
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme (1 tsp. dried)
2 bay leaves
1 16 oz. cans rinsed and drained cannellini or garbanzo beans
3 cups baby spinach leaves
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

  • Heat oil in large stockpot. Add onion, leek, carrot/sweet potato and garlic. Saute 5 minutes or until limp.
  • Add chicken broth, wine, tomatoes, pepper flakes, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer 30 minutes.
  • Add beans and and simmer 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves and add spinach.
  • Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese. (8 servings)


8 slices Japanese (or thin skinned) eggplant (4 in. long & 1/4 in. thick)
8 sliced lengthwise small zucchini (1/4 in. thick)
8 slices red pepper (1/4 inch thick)
8 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. herbes de Provence
coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. good pesto
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese
8 slices good country-style or sourdough bread

  • Preheat grill or panini press.
  • Combine olive oil, herbes de Provence, salt & pepper. Toss eggplant, zucchini and red pepper slices with 3 Tbsp. of seasoned olive oil. Grill in batches, 1-2 minutes, or until tender. Transfer to plate.
  • Brush 1 side of each slice of bread with seasoned olive oil. Turn oil side over on clean surface.
  • Cover 4 slices of bread with 2 slices of each vegetable. Arrange cheese on top.
  • Spread pesto on remaining 4 slices of bread. Place pesto side down over stacked bread.
  • Cook on grill panini press until bread is golden and cheese is melted (3-5 minutes). Slice in half. (4 servings)


Anonymous said...

Mmmm, what lovely warming soup that would be! I'll be making Bean and Ham soup tomorrow, trying to take the chill out of a rainy day.

Unknown said...

Hi Joey, the collage of garden shots and the words are beautiful. I'll try out your recipe for the soup when it gets cooler here.

Have a great day!

marmee said...

yummy...soup always sounds good around this time of year. lovely watery photos...we too are in rain daily.
happy september.

Liz said...

Your soup sound delicious!

I love the photos too, Autumn certainly seems to have arrived for you!

JP said...

Yup, soups are good for health. Thanks for sharing.

Gail said...

Joey, My friend...It's almost dinner time, the Mr is out riding his bicycle and now my mouth is watering as I read this delicious recipe. Thank goodness there are fine photos to distract me! gail

Anonymous said...

Sweet Joey, I hope you are doing better and getting along as well as can be after your loss. Big hugs to you. I know your heart is heavy.

Really love the coppery concentration in the collage--so clever.

Unknown said...

Mmm... I love that potato soup recipe already! It definitely seems as though the simple soups are a key comfort food in fall--for me, anyway. (For you, too?) They warm you right through to your heart, I think. Have a wonderful rest-of-September, Joey!

lindalou said...

Just came over from Blogtanical. Saw you were nominated for best Michigan Garden Blog, so I visiting all the Michigan nominees (being a fellow Michigander).

Your soup recipe sounds delicious. Will have to try it, although my soups normally turn out...poorly.

Love the photos.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Joey! It's good to see that you're going to help me be creative in the kitchen again. ;-) Have you seen "Julie and Julia?" It's my new favorite - and it's hard to beat "Sound of Music!" ha.

Hope you're doing well. Much love!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Mmmmm, panini! I'm SO glad it finally rained last night!!

The Mermaid Cottage said...

Hi Joey -

Doug and I spent last week with friends visiting Disney World so I did not get to spend much time on the internet. What a wonderful surprise to sign on and find that you have returned to your blog. I'm so glad you're back! I read some of the comments on the past few posts and they said exactly the things that I have been thinking!

Now, I need to get back and look at all the yummy new recipes and pictures. After a steamy week in Florida (yesterday was in the 90's with 93% humidity...or at least that is what the tv weatherlady claimed) I'm thrilled to be home in cool and colorful Michigan!

Looking forward to your future posts, Sheila from west Michigan

joey said...

Love bean soup, Robin ... a perfect choice for a windy/rainy day (which we have today)!

Thank you, dear Kanak. Always a joy to hear from you ... tuck this recipe away for a chilly day!

Can you believe only 2 days left of September, Marmee ... where did summmer go? It's very chilly/rainy/windy here today ... autumn has found us for sure!

joey said...

Thanks Liz ~ sadly autumn has arrived ... a chill in the air for sure. Frankly, I'm not ready!

I could eat some sort of soup daily, Jarlin. Enjoyed your last thught provoking post!

joey said...

Thanks for the laugh, dear Gail ... you're a hoot! Today is another soup day for sure ... I'm gathering old favorite recipes, expecting to keep my stock pot very busy!

Hi dear Anna ... have also been thinking of you also over these past few weeks. Thank you for your concern. You always seem to get the drift of my photos ... thanks again, dear one.

Indeed Kim, you know me well. I ALWAYS have a pot of soup either on the back burner or in the frig ... when one is gone, another is simmering. Where did summer go ... only 2 days left of beautiful September! (I'm stubborn and must ease into each season)

joey said...

Welcome Lindalou ... fun to meet a fellow Michigan (aren't we lucky to live here) blogger! I come from a l O N G line of soup czars ... and have many recipes posted that might be appealing. Give them a try and let me know!

I'm most anxious to see Julie & Julia, Shady, but lately life seems to get in the way ~ rave reviews from all I know ... how's the soundtrack?

Enjoying our weather, Monica! The sky looks more like November, dear Scorpio/Michigan friend! Another soup & panini night ... actually, Mr. Ho-Hum likes to travel with the panini press ... he could eat one every night!

I see you are a Scorpio also, dear Sheila (is there a site to The Mermaid Cottage)! Aw ... thank you so much for your kind words. I've missed you also. Actually, chuckled when I read your note since I had just returned from picking my daughter (also in Florida ~ Amelia Island) up from the airport. What a shock for her system (with the high winds/rain, I was afraid she might be delayed)! She had a wonderful time with but said it was HOT/HUMID and had many 'bad hair' days:) Happy Autumn cookin'!

Unknown said...

Funny you shoould post on September in the rain. Because we're so having that this week here in Nova Scotia. Soup sounds like a comforting way to combat such things. (I have work to do in the garden and the rain keeps coming anyway!)

joey said...

I can't get this song out of my head, jodi! We are getting our share of rain here also ... guess we should be thankful, at least for our gardens. I don't mind working in spring rain but am having a hard time dragging myself out in the garden today ... rain showers, 55 degrees and bone chilling wind. So ... since my daughter is joining us for dinner, the kitchen seems the perfect spot to light!

inadvertent farmer said...

Both of those recipes sound scrumptious! Kim

joey said...

Enjoy, Kim ... the grilled panini, a great way to savor your lovely eggplant harvest!