Thursday, December 6, 2012

Squash the soup!

by Julie Hyzy

Our eldest daughter came up with a unique Christmas gift last year. She and her boyfriend bought us a farm share, that is: participation in a CSA - Community Supported Agriculture. Now, because they aren't wealthy, they couldn't buy us the summer share, it's too expensive. Instead, they bought us a six week fall share which began in mid-November.

This has been the most fun I've had cooking in a LONG time. Every week we pick up our box of vegetables and bring it home to play. I've learned how to make kohlrabi and Swiss chard (I remember making fun of these names when I was a kid. Things sure come back to haunt us, don't they?) among other new-to-me goodies.

I'm having a blast. This week I made black bean and kale soup. It looks... scary. Seriously, it isn't pretty. But it tastes great. I've also made a cabbage dish that was so good I wanted to lick the plate clean. Here's the link to that recipe: Braised cabbage. For the record, I skipped the carrots because sometimes they're too sweet for me, and I added bacon in addition to the bacon fat. It was fabulous.

Anyway, one of the items in our share was Queensland Blue Squash. Here's a link to what this looks like: Queensland Blue Images

I'd never seen one before, so I needed to troll the trust Internet for hints on how to slice, how to cook, how to serve this new treat.

Let me just say here, right now, that I'm not a squash girl. I think squash is just too sweet, overall, for my tastes. I baked the enormous Queensland Blue (and believe me, it's HUGE), then used the softened insides to make soup. I added all sorts of great ingredients - coconut milk, vegetable stock, onions, celery, garlic, even *jalapenos* ... and nothing. Nothing gave this thing any life. It was a huge pot of ... blah.

So I'm squashing squash soup going forward. I think it's just my personal taste. Boring. Bland. Blah. Sounds delicious, doesn't it? <grin>

Gotta tell you, though. The farm-raised, free-range chicken was AMAZING. Probably the best chicken I've ever had.

I'm thoroughly enjoying this experience. Every week is a new adventure.

Have you ever participated in a farm share/CSA? What fun things did you learn?


AJ Blythe said...

Hi Julie, as a Queenslander *grin* I have to say I love our pumpkin (it's never referred to as a squash in Australia). I can't leave you disappointed in such a yummy food so I'm including a recipe for you - this is a very famous recipe in Australia (sorry, you'll have to convert the oven temp from celcius to farenheit).

Pumpkin Scones
Chef: Lady Florence Bjelke-Petersen

You need:
1 Tblsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup mashed pumpkin (cold)
2 cups Self raising flour

Beat together butter, sugar and salt with electric mixer.
Add egg, then pumpkin and stir in the flour.
Turn on to floured board and cut.
Place in tray on top shelf of very hot oven 225-250'C for 15-20 minutes.

Aurian said...

Lol, as a child, I thoroughly hated koolrabi, and I never ever am going to eat it again. That cabbage dish now, that sounds very good. I am going to try that out.

Anne said...

No, I'd never heard of it before. Sounds fun if you're adventurous (and a cook).

Julie Hyzy said...

Anita Joy - THANK YOU!!!!