Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Submitted by Jen Durant

This slightly spicy soup is my favorite squash soup. It’s a bit time consuming for a simple soup but well worth it. I suggest making it one day in advance to allow the flavors to meld. I like to be dress it up with a drizzle of crème fraîche or sour cream that has been loosened with a bit of filtered water and sprinkled with pepitas.

The original recipe calls for unpeeled buttercup squash, which is then peeled after cooling, but I usually use peeled butternut squash since it is more common and easy to peel in advance. The cooking times should be altered accordingly. Your squash should be slightly browned when done roasting.

YIELD: 6 servings

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Callaloo

It’s not just fun to say, Callaloo is a leafy green, mineral rich staple in the Carribean diet. While there are many variations from region to region, the ingredients always contain a big leafy green similar in appearance to Kale, onions, scallions, and coconut milk. The ‘name’ of the vegetable is sometimes itself referred to as Callaloo but can be amaranth or taro.Try this variation below for a delicious Jamaican style Callaloo. If you already used up the callaloo, you can substitute greens, like sweet potato or “Asian cooking greens”, in this recipe. Continue reading

Onions

William Matthews, “Onions” from Selected Poems and Translations, 1969-1991.

Onions

By William Matthews

How easily happiness begins by
dicing onions. A lump of sweet butter
slithers and swirls across the floor
of the sauté pan, especially if its
errant path crosses a tiny slick
of olive oil. Then a tumble of onions.

 

This could mean soup or risotto
or chutney (from the Sanskrit
chatni, to lick). Slowly the onions
go limp and then nacreous
and then what cookbooks call clear,
though if they were eyes you could see

 

clearly the cataracts in them.
It’s true it can make you weep
to peel them, to unfurl and to tease
from the taut ball first the brittle,
caramel-colored and decrepit
papery outside layer, the least

recent the reticent onion
wrapped around its growing body,
for there’s nothing to an onion
but skin, and it’s true you can go on
weeping as you go on in, through
the moist middle skins, the sweetest

and thickest, and you can go on
in to the core, to the bud-like,
acrid, fibrous skins densely
clustered there, stalky and in-
complete, and these are the most
pungent, like the nuggets of nightmare

 

and rage and murmury animal
comfort that infant humans secrete.
This is the best domestic perfume.
You sit down to eat with a rumor
of onions still on your twice-washed
hands and lift to your mouth a hint

 

of a story about loam and usual
endurance. It’s there when you clean up
and rinse the wine glasses and make
a joke, and you leave the minutest
whiff of it on the light switch,
later, when you climb the stairs.

 

 

It’s easy to overdo the onion metaphor, but Matthews does it just right in this poem. Something that can never be overdone? Butter and onions. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about cooking from my mom, it’s that everything is made better by first sauteing in butter and onions. In fact, I can’t think of a single recipe that my mom has shared that hasn’t started with, “First, throw a little butter and onions in a pan…” And by a little, she means a half stick of butter and a very large onion.
What do onions make you think of?

 

Anne Macdonald’s Ravioli With Chicken

Here’s my recipe for the Ravioli with chicken dish from the Farm Direct Annual Meeting.  This is a recipe that I got from my husband’s great-aunt.  The proportions are pretty flexible but I have provided some here:

•Cooked chicken, can be all white meat or white and dark meat – 2 cups
•Raviolis – 1 13 oz. package
•Garlic, 2 large cloves, sliced (not chopped or crushed)
•Olive oil, 2 tablespoons
•Tomato sauce, to taste
•Optional: Mushrooms, Onions, Peppers

1) Cook ravioli.

2)  Heat olive oil and add garlic. If you are going to use vegetables, remove the garlic and cook mushrooms, onions and/or peppers.

3) When vegetables are sautéed, add garlic back in and set aside to cool slightly.  Combine cooked chicken with garlic and vegetables (or just garlic if you choose not to add vegetables).

4) Drain ravioli and add to chicken, garlic and vegetables.  Add tomato sauce, enough to coat everything or as thick as you like. Dish can be warmed in the oven or served at room temperature.

Please note: the proportions can be increased or decreased as needed in this dish.  For the annual meeting, I used 125 raviolis, one small whole chicken, 6 garlic cloves, 4 onions, 3 red peppers, 1 large package of mushrooms and 1 ½ jars of homemade tomato sauce.

 

Annual Meeting Root Soup

Steve Fowler, one of our FDC drivers, and his wife Molly brought this delicious soup to our annual meeting and it was a big hit! Here’s what they said about it: “We store a fair amount of vegetables every winter.  This is a recipe I came up with that goes great on a winter day and is easily adapted to what we have on hand – It turns out a little different every time, but is always worth the effort.  The following is just a guideline – use what you have.  It takes a couple of hours, but is easy, and you can walk away once everything is in the pot.

Start with:

2-3 onions (if you have leeks or shallots sitting in the back of the fridge, even better)
3 carrots,
2 celery stalks,
3-4 garlic
maybe a green pepper

Give them a rough chop and throw them in the pot with a good shot of olive oil – low heat and let them sweat while you prepare the rest.  Then peel and cube:

1 or 2 winter squash
2-3 Lbs. potatoes
2-3 Lbs. Sweet Potatoes
2 or 3 Celeriac Heads
1 Turnip or Rutabaga
3 or 4 Apples
A handful of herbs (dry or fresh – I like to use sage, rosemary, thyme)
A couple bay leaves

Add to the pot and just cover with water.  Bring to boil and turn back to a simmer until tender (about an hour).
Use a stick blender to puree (can be done in a food processor or mash for a course texture).
Salt and pepper to taste.
Add 1-2 cups cream or half & half.

Options:
Replacing some of the water with chicken stock or adding a couple handfuls of parmesan will make it a little richer, or if you save your cheese rinds – throw a couple in and remove right before pureeing.