You are probably expecting another tree, so here are the “mother maples” in my backyard in all their glory.
Due to this day being too full for tree research, I will pass along my fall harvest soup frenzy with 3 soups I had never made before.
Today I made beet borscht using two of the largest beets in this photo. There are many different borscht recipes, but this was my take after reading several of them.
2-4 beets, 1 carrot, 1 onion chopped finely. (I cut the beets into noodle-like strips). Cover with boiling water just to the top of the vegetables. Boil for 15 mins.
Add 2 cups of broth (I use Vegetable Better Than Bouillon in water but you can use beef or chicken broth), 1 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp honey, 2 Tbsp vinegar, 1 tsp cloves, and 1 cup grated cabbage. Boil another 15 minutes.
Puree half of the soup and pour back into the pot. Add 1/2 to 1 cup buttermilk at the end (I make my own by adding 1 tbsp lemon juice to milk).
Monday I made Chilean Bean Stew thanks to the Moosewood Restaurant cookbook. This uses the classic Andean combination of squash, beans and corn and tastes magical! Just like the Natives who discovered that perfect “Three Sisters” combo of crops that benefit one another. I used the Delicata squash in this photo, but you can use any.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
3 cups water
4 cups peeled, seeded, cubed squash
3 cups fresh, frozen or canned corn
3 cups cooked pinto beans
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (I used 1/4 cup dried)
The farm stand was selling dried Flageolets, a great texture pale green bean that cooks up to look like white beans, but you can use two 15-ounce cans of pintos or kidneys red and/or white.
Saute the first 6 ingredients in a soup pot on medium heat for 5 mins. Add the water and squash, cover, bring to boil; then reduce heat and simmer 10 mins. Stir in 1 cup of corn and the beans and basil. Cover and continue to simmer for another 5-10 mins until squash is soft.
Ladle 2 cups of broth from the stew into a blender (or use a hand blender) and add remaining 2 cups of corn. Puree until smooth. Stir pureed corn back into the stew. Voila!
Tuesday it was potato and leek soup I made up, neither of which are pictured anywhere, but Skagit Valley farms are full of potatoes and onions!
1 leek (wash well and slice thin)
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp butter
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Saute these chopped ingredients in the butter in soup pot until translucent. Add:
3 cups broth
2 cups milk or cream
6-7 potatoes (golden are best, but I used red), peeled, halved, and sliced thinly
Simmer until potatoes are soft.
Mmmmm. . .my freezer (and roommates) are now full of soup!