Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Greens (and Gluten-Free Biscuits)

Yesterday was spent in Middlebury, Vermont with my friend Barb. It was pretty chilly… the high of the day was 4 degrees. But the bright sunshine and warm company more than made up for a cold winter’s day! I had errands to run, as I always do when I make a trip up there. We first stopped at Retro Works, a re-use center/thrift store that serves the community well. Barb had some things to donate, and then we shopped through the offerings of books, household items, glassware, linens, clothing, kitchenware, puzzles and games, craft items, furnishings, etc.
Next, we headed to Middlebury Natural Food Co-Op. We grabbed a bite to eat, picked up a few groceries, and continued on our way to Paris Brothers Feed. I needed birdseed to keep the birdfeeders stocked in this frigid weather, and oyster shells for the chickens. Lastly, I had to stop at Depot Farm Supply to pick up organic cracked corn and scratch feed for my assorted poultry. We drove home through a part of the small Amish community in Whitehall, New York. It was nice to get away, and I think Barb enjoyed the trip, too! (And she tolerated my driving past my turn-offs several times very well; I cannot drive and talk at the same time!) I do appreciate the area where we live, but I also love Vermont and New Hampshire, and am glad they are but a short drive away.
Needless to say, this morning was spent unloading bags of seed and feed, and taking care of all the birds, wild and domesticated. Before I headed outside, I roasted a butternut squash. When I came back inside, I started a pot of soup.

Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Greens
First, you need to roast your squash for an hour or so. I take the whole squash, prick the fatter seed end with a fork, and roast it at 325 degrees. Then I remove it from the oven, cut it in half, and let it cool for 10 or 15 minutes, so I can remove the skin and seeds.

In a pot over medium heat, add
 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 diced Red Onions
4-6 Cloves of chopped Garlic
Saute for a few minutes, then add
2 peeled, cored chopped Apples
2 chopped Carrots
1 peeled, chopped Potato
1 chopped Red Bell Pepper
The roasted Butternut Squash

2 handfuls of Greens, chopped or torn into small pieces
(I used Kale, Spinach and Collards)
1 good spoonful of Miso Paste
Pinch or two of Sea Salt
1-2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground Ginger, or to taste
1-2 teaspoons ground Turmeric, or to taste

Add enough water to barely cover the vegetables in the pot, stir well and often, and let cook for a few hours till everything is soft and fragrant. Keep adding enough water to keep everything barely covered, so the soup doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.

To finish the soup, remove from heat and stir in
1 can of Coconut milk
You may eat immediately if you like chunky soup. I prefer to run a stick blender through mine to make it smooth. The choice is yours.

When the soup has cooled, I ladle into small snack-size zip-lock bags, and store flat in my freezer.

Now, I like biscuits with my soup, so I’ll include my recipe

Gluten-Free Biscuits
In a small cup, mix together
1 Tablespoon (or 1 packet) Active Dry Yeast
1/3 cup warm Water
Set this aside to “foam” while you continue with the recipe
In a bowl, sift together
2 and ½ cups Gluten Free Flour blend
1 and ½ teaspoons Xanthan Gum
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Sugar
With the back of a fork, mash in
½ cup Shortening
Mix until the shortening has combined with the dry ingredients to resemble a coarse crumb. Now add the reserved yeast and water mixture and
1 cup of Buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with 1 teaspoon Vinegar added)
½ cup shredded Cheese (Cheddar, Asiago, Parmesan… whatever)
Blend well, but don’t overbeat, or they’ll be tough!
You can pat the dough out and cut with a biscuit cutter, then let rise for 15 minutes to a half-hour, or do what I do. Simply scoop out golf-ball sized pieces onto a parchment-lined or oiled pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

I only baked 2 biscuits in a very tiny pie tin, as you can see. I scooped the rest of the dough into a small pan and froze the unbaked biscuits and put them into zip-lock bags. That way, I can bake 1 or 2 when I want them.

You can bake the biscuits and then freeze them, but from my experience and personal taste, they are dry and crumbly when baked, frozen and re-heated. I much prefer to freeze the dough and bake them when I need them.


These biscuits make a very good breakfast biscuit with egg and cheese, or served fresh out of the oven and spread with Maple Butter or Honey Butter!

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