Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Week 16: First Frost of Fall and Last Share of Summer

As is usual, it's been an unusual year as far as the weather is concerned. Planting season was slow to get going (really, really slow if you recall) but, once the weather started to cooperate, we plodded along and planted everything as planned--even if it was later than we'd like.

And we're so glad we did! This has been the warmest fall we've ever seen, and the latest first frost--allowing the crops a little bonus time to ripen up. In fact, we haven't even had our first frost yet this fall. Though, we're pretty sure it will happen tonight.

Which is why the main activity on the farm over the last few days has been bringing in squash. It won't keep if it gets frosted.

And we have far more than we can eat in the next few days :)
Even with help from the members, who'll be getting plenty of squash in the shares this week. This week's share will include: Spaghetti Squash, Honey Bear Acorn Squash, Pie Pumpkins, Celeriac, Cabbage, Rutabaga, Kale, Tomatoes, Winter Radishes, Carrots or Beets, and Leeks or Scallions.

This is the second week that we're giving out these lovely flowering kale:


We hope you are enjoying last week's kale. They are a bit different than the more familiar, broader leafed kales like winterbor or lacinato. I've found that they don't make good chips or salads because they're more stem than leaf. Happily, these  particular kales have some of the sweetest stems we've ever tasted and they are especially good in soup. Like the Pumpkin Apple Soup I made for this week's recipe.

Pumpkin Apple Soup
  • One Pie Pumpkin
  • One Leek
  • Three small (or one normal sized) Celeriac
  • Two tart Apples
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ginger
  • Salt, Pepper, and Cayenne Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Milk or Cream
  • 12 stems Kale
Halve the pumpkin and cook it at 350 degrees until soft, about one hour.

Meanwhile, chop the leeks, celeriac and apples into 1/4 inch pieces. Combine them with the chicken stock and seasonings in a medium saucepan. Bring them to a simmer and simmer until the celeriac are tender, about twenty minutes.

Chop the kale, stem and all, into bite sized pieces.

When the pumpkin has finished cooking, remove the seeds and discard. Then scoop out the flesh and puree it with the milk or cream until it is very smooth. 

Stir the pumpkin puree into the chicken stock, apples, celeriac and leeks. Then stir in the chopped kale.

Return the soup to low/medium heat and cook until it just barely begins to simmer, then serve.


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