We are so excited for Autumn to arrive, and with only a few days away, we decided to start the Fall recipes early! There is just something so warm and cozy about Fall food. Soup is one of the most popular foods during the Fall and Winter months. It’s hard to get away with it in the Summer months because of the high temperatures, but once that first frost arrives, all I can think about is soup. With some leftover veggies from the farmer’s market, we decided to throw everything in a pot and make a warm, hearty carrot and turnip soup! Soup just wasn’t enough though, we also decided to make a panini with homemade focaccia and yummy fall flavors like turkey, brie, and a homemade fig spread! We also have an AMAZING beer pairing with this recipe so read on to learn more =).
For the Carrot and Turnip Soup recipe we start by creating a rich caramelization by combining the carrots with butter. We then add some onion, garlic, turnips, chicken broth, and some freshly grated ginger for that added little kick of flavor. The ginger really makes this dish. Boil, simmer, and puree and you have yourself a little bit of Autumn in a bowl! The panini was so delicious and so easy to make! You can obviously use a store bought Focaccia, but we decided to make our own because it is so easy to make! If you aren’t used to making bread, Focaccia would be the easiest one to start with. It doesn’t take much kneading and it’s quick too! We used Tyler Florence’s recipe for the bread. You can find his recipe here. For this panini, I layered turkey, brie, and some homemade fig spread (recipe to follow) and cooked just enough in the panini maker to get those perfect grill marks. This combination of soup and sandwich starts the season off right!
Zach actually found our beer pairing for this dish on a whim. He chose Crystal Springs’ Black Saddle PBA Stout. He was in the liquor store and thought it looked interesting and tasty so decided to pick up a bottle. Now, you more than likely have never heard of this brewery. They pride themselves on being the smallest brewery in the country, if not the smallest brewery in the world. Don’t let their smallness scare you away though, their brews are phenomenal, and this stout completely exceeded our expectations.
It would be an understatement to say that this beer was absolutely delicious. It went beyond that. They aged the brew in Port wine barrels and with every sip you really get that Port wine taste, and who doesn’t love a good Port!? I wasn’t completely sold at first with the pairing. I didn’t know if the flavors would really go with one another, but once I had a sip of the Stout with the fig spread on the panini, I was sold. The subtle sweetness of the beer with the sweetness of the fig spread act as if they were made for one another! Crystal Spring’s may be difficult for many of our readers to find, so any sweeter Imperial Stout will do the trick, but if you can get your hands on this beer, we certainly recommend it!
We welcome you to a taste of Autumn! Enjoy!
- 1-2 lbs Carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 lb turnips, washed, peeled, and chopped
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 medium spanish onion, roughly chopped
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
- 2-3 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup of heavy cream (if needed to thicken)
- 1/4 cup chopped bacon (for garnish)
- dollop of sour cream (for garnish)1 lb fresh figs, washed and stems removed
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- zest from one lemon
- juice from half of a lemon
- 1-2 tablespoons of water
- 4 slices of focaccia bread
- 4 slices of thickly sliced turkey breast
- 1-2 slices of brie cheese
- 1-2 tablespoons of completed fig spread
- 1-2 tablespoons melted butter
- On the stovetop, heat the butter in a stock pot on medium low to medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the carrots and let caramelize until they are just beginning to soften. Add the onions and garlic, and let sweat for a minute or two. Add the turnips, ginger, salt and pepper, and let cook for another minute or two.
- Add the chicken broth so it just covers the top of the veggies, and bring to a boil. After the soup has reached a boil, lower the heat to bring to a simmer. Let simmer on the stove for about 45 minutes to and hour, or until the veggies are very tender. Add more broth if necessary.
- In small batches, add the soup to your blender or food processor. Blend the concoction until it has completely pureed.
- Once every ounce of the soup has been pureed, pour back into your stock pot over low heat to keep warm. Add any additional seasonings if needed. If the soup isn’t thick enough add a touch of heavy cream, and if it is too heavy add a tad more chicken broth. This really depends on how dense the veggies were.
- Top with bacon and a dollop of sour cream and serve!
- For the paninis, in a saucepan, combine the figs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and water. Stir constantly until the concoction begins to bubble, then lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Let cook for about an hour. Stir occasionally. The figs will begin to break up after a while. After about an hour, remove the lid and continue to stir more frequently as the spread beings to thicken. Once the spread has thickened to a consistency you prefer, remove from heat and set aside until ready for use. If you aren’t going to use it right away, refrigerate. It will keep for a couple of days. Meanwhile, heat up your panini maker and begin assembling your sandwich.
- Flip your focaccia slices over so the inside is face up. Butter that side. The crust is going to be on the inside of the sandwich. This is so you get those perfect grill marks. You can only get those on the inside of the bread.
- Lay the one slice of bread butter side down on the panini maker and assemble your sandwich QUICKLY right on top of the sandwich press. Layer the turkey, brie, and fig spread and cover with the other slice of buttered focaccia. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the use of your panini maker, and cook until the cheese has melted and you’ve gotten those perfect grill marks.