Delicata Creamy Squash Soup

Delicata Creamy Squash Soup

September is here and that means temperatures will start to fall.  Warm soups should be on the menu to combat those cooler temperatures and there is just something so delicious and comforting about squash soup. With Colchester Neighborhood Farm harvesting wonderful delicata winter squash, this recipe for Delicata Creamy Squash Soup is sure to hit the spot on a cool autumn day. Add some grilled cheese sandwiches and you have all the makings of true comfort food!

Ingredients:

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Place the squash, cut sides down, in a baking dish. Add 1/8 inch water in baking dish, cover with foil and bake 35-40 minutes or until tender. Cool.

  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until onion is softened but not brown.
  2. Scrape the squash out of the flesh and add to onions. Add the stock and heavy cream. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.
  3. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Recipe: Chilled Fresh Pea Soup

Chilled Fresh Pea Soup  (The Washington Post, April 13, 2005 )
4 servings

A surprising amount of flavor can be coaxed from spent pea pods by simmering them in water.  The soup can be served warm, room temperature or chilled.

Ingredients:
1 lb. peas in the pod, pods scrubbed
3 scallions (white and light-green parts), chopped
4 sprigs fresh parsley (optional)
1 t. salt
5 C. water
2 t. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ t. sugar
2 C. chopped tender green lettuce leaves, preferably Boston lettuce
1/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream, for optional garnish
Finely torn mint leaves, for optional garnish

Directions:
Shell the peas and reserve both peas and pods. You should have at least 1 cup of peas.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the empty pea pods, scallions, parsley, ½ teaspoon of the salt and water to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer briskly for 20 minutes.  Strain the broth, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.  Reserve the broth; you should have at least 3 cups.

Melt the butter in the empty saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the onion, 1/2 t. salt and the sugar.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened but not browned, about 10 minutes.  Add the peas and broth; increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Simmer briskly for 3 minutes.  Add the lettuce and cook for another 2 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.

Puree the soup in batches in a blender until very smooth.  Serve warm or, if desired, cover and refrigerate until chilled through.

To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls.  If desired, top with a dollop of cream and/or scattering of mint.
Serve immediately.

“Green” Recipes: Kale & Watercress

We have planted lots more greens than the typical kale and Swiss chard and spinach.
There are Asian greens and other high powered dark leafies coming along; general rule of thumb – the darker the green, the more highly nutritious ~ there is one called vita-green!
In a few weeks you will be seeing Bok Choy and other Choy family greens with beautiful colors and textures; Yukina Savoy, Komatsuna and some with equally beautiful variety names such as Summer Fest, Black Summer, Autumn Joy and Win Win.
For the most part, the greens are great eaten fresh in a salad or also braised or in a stir fry or smoothie.  They are all also easily interchangeable in recipes calling for Swiss chard, kale and spinach. 

From member Jamie…
I found kale and watercress recipes on a website called realsimple.com.  They’re all meatless and sound pretty good.  I picked a few to share, but the website (maybe you’re familiar with it already) has lots of recipes using all kinds of good stuff! 

Quinoa with Mushrooms, Kale, and Sweet Potatoes 

Whole-Grain Spaghetti With Garlicky Kale and Tomatoes

Kale with Roasted Peppers and Olives

Kale and White Bean Soup

Chilled Sweet Pea and Watercress Soup

Gingery Sautéed Watercress and Shiitakes

Classic Carrot Ginger Soup

The latest recipe from Chef Carol… looks good, eh? 

Classic Carrot Ginger Soup
Vegan – serves 3

2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp ginger, peeled and sliced thin (add more to taste)
1 lb. carrots  sliced
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup soy milk
1 onion, diced
1 Tbsp honey, agave or maple syrup
1 tsp black pepper
salt to taste

Heat oil, onions, ginger and garlic in soup pan; sauté for a minute or two.
Add remaining broth, soy milk, pepper, honey, and carrots.
Bring to a simmer & cook until carrots are soft and will break with a fork.

If soup seems too thick, add more broth to adjust consistency.

Remove pan from heat.  Wait a minute or two for soup to cool.
Use emersion Blender until creamy.  Once all the soup is blended, re-pour into soup pan and allow to simmer until it is ready to be served.

Re-heating the soup will lead to a thinner, less airy consistency.  You may notice some “air bubbles” in the soup right after the puree.

Recipe: Moroccan Harira Soup

“This thick soup is a wonderful comfort food. It’s easy to make, delicious and healthy! I know the spices sound strange, but the end result is an excellent savory soup. Good enough for company!”

Chef Carol tried this soup today at Whole Foods… her response is “YUMMY”!

Moroccan Harira Soup

Prep Time: 15 mins  Total Time: 2 hrs   Servings: 8

  • 1/2 C. Lentils
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 2 C. Onions, chopped 
  • 1/2 C. chopped fresh Parsley
  • 1/2 C. chopped Cilantro
  • 1/2 t. Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 t. Cinnamon
  • 1 t. Turmeric
  • 1 T. Paprika 
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
  • 2 C. vegetable broth or water
  • 1 (15 ounce) can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained  
  • 1/2 C Orzo Pasta
  • 2 T. Flour
  • 1/4 C. Chopped Cilantro
  • 2 T. Lemon juice
  • 1 T. Tomato Paste ( or Ketchup)
  1. Cook lentils in pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain.
  2. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, parsley, cilantro, ginger, and cinnamon. Saute 5 minutes or until onion is soft.
  3. Stir in tomatoes and saute 5 minutes more.
  4. Stir in broth, chickpeas, lentils, reserved tomato liquid, and 3 cups water.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 45 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring occassionally.  In separate bowl, whisk flour with 1 cup water.
  7. Whisk in cilantro, lemon juice and tomato paste.  Add mixture to soup.  Add orzo to soup.
  8. Cook for 5 minutes or until orzo is soft.
Nutrition Facts Serving Size: 1 (162 g)  Servings Per Recipe: 8  Calories 193.3   Calories Total Fat 2.7g  Sugars 3.6g Sodium 294.mg  Carbohydrate 35.0g  Fiber 7.7 g  Sugars 3.6 g  Protein 8.1g

Recipe: Chicken Gumbo

Well, here it is, Amity’s hit dish from the Harvest Pot Luck; those in attendance loved this gumbo!

From Member Amity…

Chicken Gumbo

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1/2 lb hot smoky sausage (like andouille)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup sliced okra (frozen is okay)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup spicy hot V8
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 -5 dashes Tabasco sauce or 3 -5 dashes louisiana hot sauce (optional)

*** I changed two things in this recipe.
I used a whole chicken (two actually, they were from the farm and were layers, not meat birds, so they were a little scrawny!)
I don’t eat pork so I used Turkey Kielbasa instead of sausage.

Directions:
Prep Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 3/4 hrs

  1. Boil chicken in stock, reduce heat and simmer until very tender.
  2. Remove chicken and reserve stock.
  3. Let chicken cool, then shred it.
  4. In a large Dutch oven, brown the sausage over med-low hea
  5. Remove the sausage and put it with the chicken, leaving the rendered fat in the pan
  6. Add the oil to the fat (use more or less than the 3 T. depending on how much fat you have from the sausage.  You need about 1/4 c. altogether).  Allow the oil/drippings to heat up over med-high setting.
  7. Add the flour and stir constantly until it becomes a medium brown color.
  8. When it is brown, turn off the heat and quickly add the okra, onion, garlic, celery, and bell pepper.
  9. Allow the sizzling to stop.
  10. Slowly pour in the stock, stirring well.
  11. Add the tomatoes, V-8 juice, green onions, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt, cayenne, black and white peppers, and bring to a boil over high temperature setting.
  12. Reduce heat and simmer 45 min
  13. Add the chicken and sausage and allow to heat through.

Adjust the seasoning as necessary and add the hot sauce if you want a little extra heat.  Serve over rice.

Recipe: Autumn Chowder

Here’s Chef Carol’s recipe for the vegetable chowder that everyone enjoyed at the 2010 Members’ Harvest Potluck.

Autumn Vegetable Chowder
¼ C. Butter
1 C. Onions, diced or Leeks
1 C. Celery, diced
1 C. Carrots, diced
1 t. each Dry Thyme & Sage
½ C. Fresh Parsley
1 lb. Frozen Corn
2 cans Creamed Corn
1 Sm. Butternut Squash, diced
3 lg. Yukon Gold Potatoes, cubed
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 lb. Frozen Green Beans
2 C. Milk

In a large pot melt butter over medium heat.  Add Onion or Leeks, Celery, Carrots, Parsley, Sage and Thyme; cook, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Add Potatoes, Squash and water to just cover.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until potatoes are almost tender, about 8 minutes.

Stir in corn, Green Beans, 1t. Salt, and ½ t. Pepper. Simmer until corn is thawed and heated thru about 5-8 minutes. Add Milk and heat but, do not boil.

Recipe: Easy Cream of Tomato Soup

From Member Kerrie…

We still have ripe tomatoes in the field to be harvested; as good as this is with the canned tomatoes, it might be even better with fresh! 

Easy Cream of Tomato Soup
Chop 1/2 onion, sauté in 4 Tbl butter until soft.
Add a few Tbl flour, cook for 1-2 min, stirring.
Add 1 large can whole plum tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, and a cup of whole milk.  You can add a few Tbls tomato paste, sometimes I do/don’t.
Blend with immersion blender, or transfer to blender to blend smooth, cook gently for 5-10 min.
I added a bit of half and half at the end because I had it in fridge.
Before serving, add a bunch of fresh chopped basil. 

Very forgiving with measurements, this only makes a few servings this way, so double up.  It goes great with grilled cheese!!

Recipe: Vegetable and Bean Soup

Here is a recipe to use beans and celery (feel free to toss in any other veggies; the recipe calls for Great Northern Beans but a variety of dried beans taste even better) 

Vegetable and Bean Soup

2 lbs dried beans
4 Bay Leaves
12 cups Water, pre-heated
3 cups Onions, diced
3 cups Carrots, diced
1 cup Celery, diced
6 oz. Tomato Paste
Cayenne Pepper or Hot Sauce, to taste (optional) 

Preparation:
This great northern bean, carrot, onion and celery soup is best started the evening before you want to serve it.  We cook the soup in our 6-1/2 quart slow cooker.  If you have a smaller slow cooker, you should cut the ingredients in half.
Turn on the slow cooker (crock-pot) to “high.”
Boil 12 cups of water (we use the microwave oven, heating the water 2 cups at a time), and carefully pour into the cooker pot.  Cover with the lid.
While the water is boiling, sort through the dried beans and discard any extraneous matter.  Then rinse the dried beans in a strainer.  It is best to do this in quantities of no more than one cup at a time.  Add the rinsed beans to the pot.  Add the bay leaves.
Before going to bed, add more hot water if needed, then turn the slow cooker down to “low.”
In the morning, stir the bean soup, and mix in the tomato paste.  If the soup is too thick, boil one more cup of water, add to the pot, and stir again.  Repeat as necessary.
Wash, peel, and dice the onions and the carrots, and wash and dice the celery.  Add to the cooker pot.  (To save cooking time, we precook the diced onions, carrots, and celery in our microwave oven, before adding to the pot.)  Optional: Add cayenne pepper or hot sauce, adjusting to taste. Cover the pot.

  • If you are planning to eat the soup at noon, we suggest turning the heat back up to “high”.  Stir the soup every hour.
  • If you are going to be away during the day, and are planning to eat the soup in the evening, leave the crock-pot setting on “low.”

Serve and enjoy with a large tossed salad.