Even after all the years I have lived in Florida, I still can't get used to the idea that it is almost Halloween. Fall has not begun here yet. Yes, it may surprise you to discover we do have a change of seasons but it takes a good strong cold front coming through for us to sit up and take notice. As for now, it's still hot and humid in Florida and I long for the Michigan fall. For the gold and red trees, for pumpkin fields, for cider and donuts, for University of Michigan football games, for trick or treating in the brisk night air, for leaves falling from trees, swirling to the ground and even for getting the sweaters out of my closet. I remember being in northeastern Michigan at the old family cabin in Standish and looking out over the Rifle River.

Fall also makes me think of hot soups- something we don't make very much in Florida. My sister is a master soup maker and so was my mother; I will share some of their recipes with you now and then. But today, I feel like a good hearty vegetable soup called Ghivetch. One of my favorites because it works for lunch or dinner- along with some French bread to sop up the juices. Like most stews it is better the next day and freezes beautifully. I can't remember where I found the recipe but I do know it is delicious, good for you and I love the fragrance from the kitchen filling the house while it cooks.

The history of Ghivetch (pronounced you-vetch with the accent on the vetch) is rather convoluted. People refer to it alternately as Moldavian, Romanian and Bulgarian. Let's just say it is a blending of the cookery of the Balkan states, Yugoslavia, Romania and Bulgaria and, because of the substantial number of immigrants from these countries, it is particularly well known in Israel. Ghivetch is a medley of stewed vegetables similar to ratatouille, sometimes served with yogurt. My recipe does not use meat, fish or yogurt but I have found several that do. The choice is up to you. I cannot call it entirely a vegetarian dish because of the beef bouillon but I don't know why you couldn't use a vegetable broth instead. Anyway- serve it with some crusty French bread and wouldn't an apple crisp be a great finale?


1 cup carrots, sliced
1 cup green beans, sliced
1 cup diced potatoes
2 medium tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup celery, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1/2 Bermuda onion, sliced
1/2 head cauliflower, in florets
1/2 cup red pepper, sliced
1/2 cup green pepper, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
1 can beef bouillon (or beef consomme )
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dry tarragon
2 teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon savory (or thyme if you can't find it)

Method:Wash and prepare all the vegetables and place them in a large baking dish.
Mix the beef bouillon, garlic, olive oil, salt, tarragon, savory and bay leaf and pour over the vegetables. Cover tightly with tin foil and bake in a 350° oven for 1 and 1/2 hours. This recipe serves a minimum of 4, perhaps 6.

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