Our Dark Days meals got a boost from our freezer this week. I was not overly ambitious last summer, but I did make a small start at saving things coming out of the garden or our CSA. One round of canning sent me quickly back to the freezer as means of preserving. If I ever get more ambitious and decide to save up quite a bit more, I'll probably have to do more canning. But, so far, the freezer has not been particularly close to full. And the only canner we have left from our early days of canning is extremely inconvenient to use. I don't want to buy a new one unless Im really co
So, one dinner was steak from our beef share (Kookoolan Farms) and a chard gratin. I didn't think that our garden chard would freeze all that well, but it seemed like making it into a gratin and then freezing that would be a way of having it to use later. And, it was - succesful, that is. A nice easy meal with a small salad on the side.
Last night I brought up a pint container of a tomato sauce that I had put together last summer with our garden tomatoes and basil. I added Oregon mushrooms and kale, plus some non-local red peppers and zucchini and we ate it on Nonna's Noodles (tre colori linguine).
Earlier in the week we had a second round of a soup I had made for friends last weekend. We had quite a bit of stock from a recently roasted turkey that included lots of the little bits of meat from the bones. We also had on hand a local delicata squash, carrots, potatoes and onions and also some pink beans. I got another squash, a beautiful one called gold nugget and found a minestrone recipe that used these items with a little adaptation. It turned out to be a beautiful soup - the bright oranges and golds of the squashes contrasting with the dark green kale.
Autumn Minestrone/Turkey Soup (adapted from an Epicurious recipe)
- 2 tablespoons canola or other vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 2 1/2 cups peeled and cubed winter squash (1 delicata + 1 gold nugget)*
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1/2 cup peeled and diced carrots
- 2 1/2 cups cubed potatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 cups turkey broth (with lots of the little bits from the carcass) + 2 cups water
- 4 cups chopped kale (Mustard Seed Farm in St. Paul, Oregon)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked pink beans (Draper Girls Farm, Parkdale)
Cook the dried beans in advance. Warm the oil in a large soup pot on medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the squash, celery, carrots, potatoes, oregano, salt, pepper, and water and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are almost done. Add the kale and beans and simmer for another 20 minutes, until the kale is tender and the beans are hot.