In your box
- Brussels sprouts
- Kale: “Red Russian”
- Napa cabbage
- Salad Mix
- Sweet Pepper
- Winter Squash: “Fordhook” Acorn
The end is near! The weather doesn’t really feel like October and we still haven’t had a frost, but the fields are thinning out and fall is certain to arrive any day now. It’s hard to tell how much of this warm weather is the “new normal” and how much is just the luck of getting nice weather into October once in a while. If this is the way things are headed in the future, we will consider extending our season and adding another week or two onto the year. For this year, though, I had only planned on 18 weeks of delivery and the gardens won’t really support anything beyond that. So enjoy your boxes this week and next,
This week’s box
This week we welcome an uncommon but prolific winter squash, an acorn variety named “Fordhook.” It’s shaped a lot like a Nerf football. These acorns are pretty versatile in their use: you can bake them and eat them out of the shell, peel and dice and roast them, or bake them and scoop out the innards for a soup or sauce.
These squash also work well for a Squash – Leek soup. If you don’t know how to make a Squash Leek Soup, you just cut a hole in the squash, pour in some soup, and punch a hole in it. And then the soup leaks out. You might have noticed that my dad jokes and puns are getting rapidly worse as the season winds up, but the credit/blame for this bad pun actually goes to my father-in-law. If you actually want to make a squash-leek soup, the recipe is below.
We also welcome one of my favorite veggies this week: Brussels sprouts. I kept these on the stalk because they will store better and longer this way. Just store the whole stalk in the fridge or a cool basement or garage and the sprouts will keep well for a month or so. If you don’t have room to store them, you can just snap off the sprouts and store them in the fridge in a container. When you’re ready to use them, pop off the sprouts, snip off any extra material from the stem, and wash.
Brussels sprouts can be cooked in boiling water for 4-5 minutes or steamed for 6-10. Be sure to check them regularly so they don’t get mushy. We also enjoy roasting them. Just toss the sprouts in oil and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until crispy.
Roasted Acorn Squash and Leek Soup
- 2 small or 1 large acorn squash
- 1 tbsp butter, vegans use olive oil
- 1 about 1 cup large leek, light green and white part only
- 4 cups fat free, low sodium chicken broth or vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
- 2 tbsp chopped chives
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cut acorn squash in half and bake until tender, about 40 – 45 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Meanwhile, discard dark green part of the leek. Leeks usually tend to be sandy, so I like to clean them well by separating the layers and washing them well under cold water. Chop leeks and sauté in a large pot with butter or oil over medium low heat until tender, about 5 minutes.
- When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out seeds and discard. Scoop out the flesh from the skin and add to the pot with leeks.
- Add about 2/3 of the chicken stock to the pot; stir well and simmer about 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, blend soup until smooth. Add remaining broth and simmer a few more minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with pepitas and chopped chives.
Next week we are expecting cabbage, butternut squash, salad mix, Brussels sprouts. Onions, sweet peppers, arugula, and carrots are likely. Parsley, leeks, broccoli, rutabaga, and head lettuce are possible too–we’ll see what fits in the last box!