Sunday, October 23, 2016

It's Butternut Squash Soup Time in Roanoke

Stuffing staymans into a peck bag.
The perfect butternut squash
For about three to four weeks each mid-fall, stayman  apples are at their peak of tartness and taste and I take that opportunity each year to make a cauldron of butternut squash soup.

It is so good, it'll make you cry--but only when the staymans are in season. Today was stayman day in the Smith household, so Margie and I drove out to Ikenberry Orchards in Botetourt County to pick up a load. I got half a peck (and I can stuff one of those peck bags), which is enough for a while. I also picked a nice fat butternut squash.

I'll cook about four apples and the two-pound squash, puree them, caramelize an onion, chop some garlic and saute it in three tablespoons of olive and three tablespoons of butter. I'll add a quart of chicken stock, cup of heavy cream and add a tablespoon of Worstershire, a third of a cup of Parmesian cheese and a smidge of nutmeg. That'll all simmer until it has a single taste ... about 30 minutes.

I'll refrigerate it over night and then serve. I love to watch people cry when they taste it.

Ikenberry's was a busy place with people loading up on pumpkins and other fall goodies, but the pumpkins were nearly gone. I am accustomed to seeing half an acre out there, but there were only a few available. But there was plenty of other great food inside (and Margie loaded up on the most expensive of it).

Nice day trip. Now comes the cooking.
You want a pumpkin? Good luck.
Just a few remained.
Margie's looking over the boxed soups.
Young woman re-stocking the apples.
Colorful fall goodies for your home.
Country (style) ham.

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