There it is, the essence of family. You say goodbye to a sister, a father, mother, stepmother, and miss them every day, and then? All these little new ones come along, and you love them with all your heart.
Seeing the autumn berries ( and some chilly mornings) reminds me of this earthy soup I love: sweet with fresh carrots and ginger root, a little thyme, brightly colored, easy to whip up after your farmer's market visit, or a visit to your own garden. Add a greeny salad on the side, a slice of cheddar and good bread, and lie lazing on the lounge chair on the terrace, looking up at the sky, and accepting the sad and the joy all together.
Fresh Carrot Soup
4 cups light chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups peeled and sliced medium sized carrots (do not use baby carrots, which are dry)
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 - 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
kosher salt and pepper to taste
In a saucepan, bring all the ingredients to a simmer and cook until the carrots are just fork tender. Remove from heat briefly, then puree a few cups at a time in a blender. It will be a beautiful bright orange color. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving, and if it's too thick, just stir in a few tablespoons of water. You can serve this hot or cold.
Makes four to five servings.
Happy Labor Day!