That transition from hot, sunny, vibrant summer days to cool, crisp fall can be hard for some. I totally get it! It’s hard to give up the longer days, sunshine, blue skies and more importantly the warm weather! But, I have three perfect recipes that will help you get through this tough transition and give fall the warm welcome it deserves.
Whether you like it or not fall is nearing with each day that passes by. *Insert: crying emojI* Trust me, I already miss summer. The longer days full of sunlight and the warm air. Just like you, I don’t want to accept the fact that patio season might be over. So, to make this transition a little more bearable, I created the perfect soup and salad duo and included ingredients that remind me of both summer and fall. Ingredients include: apples, corn, dried cherries, cabbage and a warm soup with vibrant fall colors, spinach tomatoes, and cheese tortellini.
So first, lets chat soup. This Italian Tortellini and Spinach soup with Chicken Sausage is so warm, light and flavorful. Its packed with The perfect mixture of: vegetables, seasonings, protein and carbs. You can get that satisfaction of consuming a ”pasta dish” without all of the heavy creams and sauces. It is cooked to perfection in a warm broth that truly just warms your heart with each bite.
I paired this soup with a homemade triple herb butter log that gets spread on a warm soft pretzel loaf. I love eating this soup nicely presented for dinner or lunch. But, I also love eating this in my favorite large mug, while I am curled up on the couch watching my favorite show or my favorite football team. This soup will be sure to help you get through these upcoming fall and winter days.
Now, let‘s talk about the salad. This Napa salad is hands down one of my all time favorite salads I’ve ever made. This also happens to be my moms favorite salad as well. It Is honestly addicting. Once you start, you cant stop! I find myself refilling my plate 2 to 3 to even 4 times if I have room in my tummy! Trust me, I can’t believe it either.
The reason I love this salad so much is because there are so many flavors of sweet, savory and salty mixed in with textures of crunchy, chewy and soft. You get everything you’ve ever wanted within this one salad. It is contains the good kind of fat with the avocado, the good kind of carbs with the apples and dried cherries, protein with the marcona almonds, corn, cheese and crunchy green vegetables.
This salad reminds me of both the summer season and the fall season in one which is another reason why I love this salad so much. Apples, corn on the cob, nuts, avocado and dried cherries give me both summer and fall vibes. They are ingredients that once combined, you might think that fall flavors plus the season itself isn’t so bad after all. It will get you excited for all of those other fall dishes that also include those items.
One last thing about this salad that is so great is that since the flavors are so great on their own, you can dress this salad up with any type of vinaigrette and it will taste amazing. My recommendations for the dressing would be a balsamic vinaigrette, an Italian vinaigrette or a red wine vinaigrette.
Get ready to get in that fall spirit with my Italian Tortellini and Spinach Soup with Chicken Sausage paired with my Napa Salad. Once you try this you will be happily sipping your way through the rest of this fall and winter season.
Did you make this? If so, tag @prettyplatebymichelle and #prettyplatebymichelle on instagram! I would love to see your dish!
Serves 5+, INGREDIENTS: For the Italian Tortellini and Spinach Soup with Chicken Sausage
1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
1 TBSP minced garlic
1/2 Cup carrots, diced
1 LB. spicy chicken sausage, casing removed (I got this from Whole Foods, also it is not that spicy in my opinion)
1 Lb. chilled cheese tortellini from the fridge section (I got this from Whole Foods)
10 Cups vegetable broth
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 TBSP olive oil
2 Bay leaves
1/2 TBSP oregano
1/2 TBSP basil
1 TSP salt
1/2 TSP black pepper
3 Cups fresh spinach, stems removed
Parmesan cheese, shredded (To top your soup with)
Prepare your vegetables. Mince your yellow onion, dice your carrots, and remove the stems from your spinach leaves. Place in separate bowls.
Remove the castings from your chicken sausage and remove the meat. Discard the casting.
Spray a pan with non-stick spray. Heat a pan over medium heat. Add your chicken sausage and cook until no longer pink in the middle. About 6-8 minutes. Once cooked, set aside.
In a large pot, heat 2 TBSP olive oil over medium heat, swirl the pot so the oil is covers the entire base. Once heated add your yellow onions, garlic and carrots. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until onion become translucent and your pot is fragrant.
Add your can of diced tomatoes and your vegetable broth. Stir to combine onions, carrots, tomatoes, garlic and broth. Next, add your bay leaves, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Stir to combine again.
Add your chicken sausage and tortellini. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling bring back down to a medium low and simmer. Cook until tortellini is tender and al dente about 6-7 minutes.
Once tortellini is cooked, add your spinach and cook another 2 minutes until spinach is wilted.
Serve immediately and with parmesan cheese on the side. Anything that is left over, save for the next couple of days. It will be good for up to a week.
Serves 5+, INGREDIENTS: For the Triple Herb Garlic Butter Log
4,1/4 Cup sticks of butter left out of the fridge for 20-30 minutes prior to using ** NOTE: You want the butter to be hard, but not too hard to where you cant mix. So, leave it out for a little bit before use. You also do not want it to be completely at room temp where it is too soft. So right in the middle is perfect! ** (see photo above)
1-2 TBSP chives, finley chopped
1-2 TBSP fresh thyme leaves
1-2 TBSP fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 TBSP minced garlic
1/2 TSP salt
1/2 TBSP Fresh lemon juice
Finely chop you herbs and place in a bowl. Mix all three together.
Place your butter sticks in a bowl, add the herbs, garlic, salt and lemon juice. Mix well with a fork.
When everything is mixed well, lay wax paper, foil or plastic wrap down and place your butter on it. Mold it into a log shape form. Transfer to your an air tight container or a butter dish and place in the fridge to harden together until use.
Serves 5+, INGREDIENTS: For the Napa Salad
2 Medium to small romaine lettuce heads, sliced in medium to thin slices
One head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1 medium to large apple, washed and chopped (skin on)
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup marcona almonds, lightly salted
2 corn on the cobs, corn cut off
1 Avocado, diced
Heat a large pot of water over high heat, add your corn on the cob. Cook for about 7-10 minutes and remove from heat. Once cooled, cut the corn off the cob and place in a bowl. Set aside.
Chop your romaine lettuce heads and your Napa cabbage and place in your serving bowl of choice. Mix the two together, make sure they are mixed well.
Chop your apples and dice your avocado.
Add apples, dried cherries, marcona almonds, corn and cheese. Mix the salad well with salad tongs or your hands.
Top the salad with diced avocado and serve with your choice of dressing.
PRETTY PLATE KITCHEN ITEMS USED: