CSA (9/24/2015): Feeling like fall

 September 25, 2015

butternutThough it seems like the gorgeous sunny weather could keep going forever, there’s an unmistakable crisp in the air even on the warmest of these September days. So we’re excited to get some of our winter squash haul in the CSA box this week. Along with the carrots and celery root, you’ve got all the fixings for a hearty fall soup (see recipe below).

Amazingly, our eggplant and peppers are continuing to produce serious quantities of fruit even as the chilly weather approaches, but our tomatoes are more or less spent. The cherry tomatoes we have planted under plastic in the high tunnel are still cranking and should give us a few more decent weeks, though even they are looking tired. But the field tomatoes are essentially done. They gave us a pretty good run this season, so I can’t complain.

But while the warm weather crops may hang on a bit longer, our focus is turning to fall. We’ve got lots of cold-loving crops on the way, but the king of them all may be the Butternut squash. Though it seems like the quintessential New England winter crop, something that must have been eaten at the first Thanksgiving, Butternut was only developed in the 1940s. (There’s an interesting article on its origins here.) We love it most of all in soups, and the recipe below (from the amazing Full Belly Farm in California) shows off the flavor enhancing qualities of celeriac incredibly well.

Creamy Butternut Squash and Celery Root Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 celery root, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 – 2 green apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • 3 carrots, chopped into thin coins
  • 2 onions or leeks (or both!), chopped coarsely
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups veggie stock – optional
  • cream – optional and to taste
  • salt and pepper
  • homemade croutons – optional
  • dill or chives – optional

Saute the onions or leeks in a large soup pot with some olive oil. Add the butternut, celery root, carrots, apples and veggie stock to the pot. Add enough water to cover the veggies by an inch. Boil this mixture until all the veggies are very, very soft. Blend all of it with an immersion blender or in a regular blender in batches until super smooth. Add the cream and stir to combine, if using. Season with salt and pepper. After the soup is served in the bowls, top with a few homemade croutons and some bright herbs, such as dill or chives.