It's November Squash Soup

Nice still life, eh? We're running out of space in the fridge to keep all this beautiful seasonal produce, so the semi shelf stable stuff ends up on the kitchen table. It was just so lovely today, and I had to take a picture.

Dave and his girlfriend Meg bought the Brussels sprout stalk and the leeks at the downtown farmer's market on Saturday. Only one more week until it moves inside for the winter! The apples are Cortlands from Door Creek Orchard, also nearing the end of their season. I've got another batch of windfall apple butter on the stove as I type this - the first one was so good we decided we don't want to run out this winter!

The green cherry tomatoes in the blue bowl are from the backyard, picked right before the first frost. They're ripening..... slowly. I pulled the last of the turnips from the backyard yesterday. Some of the greens went to the chickens (they love them!) but the best of them I saved for us and I stored them on the table in water. We've got our work cut out for us to eat all this stuff!

I discovered today that some of my squash from Heck's and Peck's is starting to rot! The worst of it went out to the compost. These all had little bad spots, so I roasted them and I'll freeze the cooked pulp for late winter. Lesson learned: don't store your 100lb of winter squash in the basement right next to the furnace! Luckily there's quite a bit that hasn't started to decay yet. I moved it to a cooler part of the basement. Hopefully it'll store for at least a few months. After those are gone, we'll have the frozen pulp to hold us over till spring (hopefully).

This picture turned out so good, it's too bad it's showing a bad spot! These little spots are easy to cut out and the majority of the squash is just fine. I was glad I discovered the problem before it took over the whole squash!

I decided to roast more butternut squash for a soup featuring some of those turnip greens that need to be eaten up.

A half an onion and a leek....

Sauteed in olive oil and butter.

Turnip greens are rarely if ever found in markets around here, but they're popular in the South. They're bitter and a tad spicy, like mustard greens. I've found that their flavor really benefits from a splash of apple cider vinegar. Like all greens, they're really really good for you. They're high in a ton of nutrients, but I like them because they make me feel good.

I added them to the leek and onion....

.....then some broth and the roasted butternut squash. When butternut is fully cooked there's no need to puree it, it just falls apart. The broth was actually not broth at all, but some water that we had cooked a few sausages in last week. They flavored it nicely, so I saved it for soup.

After all that had cooked for a while, I finished it with some half and half, diced leftover chicken, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Perfect!

A hearty November stew. Yum! The bitter greens are perfectly complemented by the sweet creamy squash and the slight tang of apple cider vinegar.

And in completely unrelated news. I've had my first three egg day - The Buff Sussex finally started to lay!

Stanley and I made egg salad sandwiches for lunch today. Up until now, all the chicken's eggs have ended up fried for my breakfast. I was reminded today of much I love hard boiled eggs. I can't wait till all the chickens are laying and we have more eggs than we know what to do with!

I'm adding the recipe for this egg salad to the end of this post.... it's easy to forget sometimes how simple and delicious things like this can be.

Squash and Turnip Green Soup

1 large butternut squash
1 big bunch of turnip greens
1 leek
1 yellow onion
Olive oil
Broth (any kind)
1 Chicken breast, or any other leftover chicken meat (optional)
Half and half
Apple cider vinegar

Preheat the over to 375. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds. Rub it with a little olive oil and cook open side down for about 45 minutes, until it's very soft. Melt a pat of butter and a few tablespoons of olive oil in a soup pot. Add chopped leek and onion and cook until they are soft. Take the turnip leaves off the stem and chop. Add greens to the pot and cook until the greens are very wilty. Add the stock and simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Add diced chicken and a cup of more of half and half. Season with vinegar and salt. Yum!

Simple Lunchtime Egg Salad

6 medium sized eggs, as fresh as possible.
1/2 of a small onion
Fresh sage and thyme
Salt and pepper

Chop up the eggs and onions, add enough mayo for your tastes, season with the herbs, salt, and pepper, spread it between two pieces of bread and you're good to go. Guaranteed to get you through till dinner!

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