It's that time of year: the temperature is cool, the boots get dusted off, the mums are out at the farmers' market, and produce changes from tomatoes and corn to squash and potatoes. Fall time!! And if you're in Boston right now, fall time means cool rainy weather, which puts me in the mood for soup more than anything else.
With two butternut squash to cook from our last Farm Share box, I decided to make Butternut Squash soup one night. Other than peeling these vegetables, which is not only time consuming but also a feat that puts me in fear of amputating a finger or hand every time I give it a go*, this recipe is easy and really delicious. Without the bacon this dish would be vegan, so to those with an aversion to meat, don't let that deter you from using the recipe! *Seriously, if anyone has a tip for how to peel a butternut squash more easily (and prior to roasting) please let me know!
This recipe was great because every produce item used (with the exception of the garlic) was from our Farm Share: the squash, carrots, and the apple. Even the thyme was from our little window box garden!
And a tip: if you like to make soup or purées a lot and don't have a hand blender, I highly recommend one (we have the Cuisinart Smartstick Hand Blender). It makes puréeing a breeze! It's also a good alternative to a food processor (albeit a tiny one and only for chopping) if you live in a city and have an apartment where storage--specifically kitchen storage--is a challenge.
Farmhouse Butternut Squash Soup
4 bacon slices
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp. caraway seeds
2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 lbs. carrots, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
3 thyme sprigs
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
3 1/2 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 c. water
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
Cook bacon in a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
Add garlic and caraway seeds to fat in pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute. Add squash, carrots, apple, thyme, bay leaves, broth, water, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper and boil, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard thyme and bay leaves.
Purée about 4 c. soup in a blender, in batches if necessary, until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Or, if you have a hand blender like the one I mentioned before, just stick it in the pot and purée away! Return to pot and season with salt, pepper, and vinegar. Serve topped with crumbled bacon.
A loaf of whole wheat bread from the farmers' market down the street with Farm Share apples and raspberries makes a great Sunday brunch meal!
Lazy Day French Toast
4 slices of bread
Splash of milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon (or to taste)
(These ingredients yield enough batter for four pieces of relatively stale bread. The more porous or "stale" the bread is, the more it will soak up the egg batter. If the bread you use is fresher, this batter may cover a couple more pieces.)
Whisk together all ingredients. Take each slice of bread, one by one, and dip into the egg batter, covering the slice liberally. On medium heat, cook the slices on a large pan (I usually end up cooking one by one, but if you have a griddle you could do more!), flipping as frequently as necessary to cook the bread through while browning the outside without burning.
The week of September 23rd provided a great Farm Share: 4 green apples, 2 leeks, 2 butternut squash, 6 ears of corn, 4 yellow onions, salad mix, and collard greens.
We forgot to pick up our box on September 30 (sad!) so this is the last delivery post until next week, but look for a few recipe additions!
Happy (healthy) eating!
Holy moly, check these out. My husband wanted baked apples one night for dessert, so we grabbed a couple Farm Share apples and made this simple dish. Preparation took about 8 minutes, then the apples were left in the oven around an hour and they came out looking like this:
Apple explosion! But they were sooo good, light and fluffy and warm and subtly sweet.
Baked Apples with Toffee, Bourbon and Molasses
(from Bon Appétit)
6 7- to 8-oz. Golden Delicious apples (we used the red ones from our Farm Share, they were delicious!)
6 tbs. toffee bits (such as Skor) (we didn't have this, so it was omitted)
3 tbs. bourbon
3 tbs. unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. apple cider (we didn't have this either)
3 tbs. mild-flavored (light) molasses
1 tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
Vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Peel skin off top third of each apple. Using small melon baller, scoop out stem and core, leaving bottom intact. Stand apples in 11x7x2-inch baking dish. Add 1/2 tbs. bourbon and 1/2 tbs. butter to cavity of each apple. Whisk cider, molasses, sugar, and ginger in bowl; spoon over and around apples. * I was lazy, so instead of doing this I put a little molasses in the cavity of the apples, topped them with brown sugar, and also sprinkled ginger on top.
Bake apples until tender, bating often with pan juices, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Transfer apples to bowl. Pour juices from dish into small saucepan. Boil juices unti thick enough to coat spoon, about 6 minutes. Spoon sauce over apples. Serve apples warm with vanilla cream.
I love tomatoes in the summer! Look at these gorgeous specimens, yummmmy. The first picture is a tomato from our Farm Share, the bottom is a couple heirloom tomatoes we picked up at the farmer's market that is down the street from us. These were so delicious, and I just love the vibrant colors--vibrant colors to match the simply delicious vibrant flavor.
This was our first Farm Share pick up from our new location in Boston. It's not as convenient as our previous set-up (we could walk to the pick up before, now we have to drive) and we pick up the share on a different day; so we're still getting used to the routine (e.g., we forgot to pick it up this week--so sad!)
On September 10 we had a great box: 4 ears of corn, two bell peppers (one red, one green/red hybrid, nice!), beets, 4 apples, 3 tomatoes, an eggplant, flat leaf parsley, carrots, rainbow Swiss chard, and red onions.