* Alchemy Farmhouse *


A two-way soup for Liz…
September 21, 2008, 6:03 pm
Filed under: Alchemy Farmhouse
Macoun apples & ginger

squash soup with its secret ingredients: Macoun apples & ginger

At the request of my good friend Liz, here are some squash soup recipes. One works well for a lighter meal or even as a chilled soup, while the other is thicker and more substantial. they are both vegan, but could easily be doctored if you are craving meat or dairy. I think you might be surprised though, if you are expecting a vegan soup to be tasteless or ‘wussy’. Give them a fair shot 🙂

Light Apple Squash Soup

1 lg. butternut squash, halved, sprinkled with cinnamon, and roasted 1 hr. in 400 degree oven

4-5 apples, peeled and sliced

1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 inch slice ginger root, finely minced

couple splashes EVOO

several cups veggie stock–I prefer Kitchen Basics because it is flavorful & lower in sodium than most brands

Saute ginger, garlic and apples in EVOO on low heat, covered, for 15 minutes. Do not let the garlic or ginger brown- it will make the soup bitter. Baste it with the juices that seep from the cooking apples. Afterward, put mixture in blender and top with squash spooned from its baked shell. Add one cup stock to begin mixing, and as needed for desired consistency. I prefer mine pureed smoothly like apple sauce. Simmer quickly on the stove top if serving immediately, otherwise refrigerate or freeze until needed.

Hearty White Bean Squash Soup with Cauliflower

Same as above ingredients

1 half-head cauliflower

1 lg. can white beans

Roast squash as instructed in recipe above, and in the meantime, steam a half-head of cauliflower. Cook apples, garlic, ginger as before. If using dried white beans, have them soaked 24 hours in advance, or the easiest way is to use 1 lg. can rinsed and drained of Great Northern or Cannellini beans. Put them in the blender first, along with one cup of stock and puree. Add stock as needed. Then add cauliflower, squash and apple mixture, adding stock as needed, and going in ‘shifts’ depending on blender capacity. Pour finished batches into a large container and mix at the end, if need be. This one is a much richer version, and the beans balance the sweetness of the apples. It would be a nice soup to add sausage and sage too, if you are meat-inclined. Enjoy!



Autumn seeps in…
September 21, 2008, 5:13 pm
Filed under: Alchemy Farmhouse
a garden mainstay

a garden mainstay

dying lemon cucumber vines

dying lemon cucumber vines

second-harvest strawberries

second-harvest strawberries

fall pea sprouts

fall pea sprouts

cayenne chiles finally ripen

cayenne chiles finally ripen

these stunners are finally getting their moment...

these stunners are finally getting their moment...

Love-Lies-Bleeding Amaranthus close-up

Love-Lies-Bleeding Amaranthus close-up

The windows need to be closed in the evenings, sitting in the warm sun is no longer a given, and halloween candy is all over the shelves. Here in the Alchemy Farmhouse garden, Autumn means getting the lead out to plant fall crops and create coldframes. I’ll be working on that for the next few weeks, and will post pictures and instructions for anyone who would like to create their own to lengthen the growing season or get a jump start this spring. But in the meantime, enjoy the weather and meet me at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival in Saugerties, NY next weekend! It’s in its 20th year and runs from 10-6 on saturday and 10-5 on Sunday. There’s tons of stinky, savory garlic foods to try, music for dancing, and garlic for planting. I’ll see you there!



Bangin’ Tomatillo Salsa
September 14, 2008, 4:22 pm
Filed under: Alchemy Farmhouse
purple de milpa tomatillos

purple de milpa tomatillos

I tried to come up with a title for this using proper English, but I just couldn’t stop thinking that it was the most appropriate. I made the most bangin tomatillo salsa yesterday, and it’s not even funny! I used the recipe we had always followed at Cookies & Cream, but this time was just magical because the tomatillos, jalapeno, garlic–it was all home-grown!

Tomatillo Salsa

2 dozen tomatillos, husked and rinsed (less ripe are tangier, more ripe, sweeter)

1 small onion, diced or I have used shallots–delicious!

1 clove garlic, rough chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded & rough chopped

dash cumin

dash salt

Simmer the tomatillos for up to 5 minutes in below-rolling-boil water for up to 5 minutes, or until their colors ‘browns’ a bit. Err on the side of underdone, as overcooking will turn them to mush. Toss all other ingredients in a blender and add tomatillos last–their juice is what will bring it all together. Pulse briefly to incorporate. be careful when removing the lid as the hot ingredients will steam out. That’s it! So good and tangy! This salsa freezes well or can keep in the fridge up to about a week or so. Enjoy!



‘Orange’ picking…
September 7, 2008, 4:42 pm
Filed under: Alchemy Farmhouse
first fresh carrot!

first fresh carrot!

This past week has been filled with the harvesting of many lovely orange things–namely carrots and cantaloupes. They are both full of beta carotene, as many orange things are. I hope everyone is enjoying the abundant harvest time and eating well!

super-sweet canteloupe

super-sweet canteloupe