|Image borrowed from|
Mill City Farmers Market, Minneapolis, MN.
|The scene out my window. Now you understand.|
Winter squash is one of my favorites, and I am forever searching for a really good squash soup recipe. Most I've tried are a bit thin, even those that are pureed, and don't have the richness I long for. And I usually avoid the ones that are too creamy or overly spiced with curry or other exotics, because I generally like my food to taste like the food it is. (That said, I'm always a little over-zealous with the freshly ground black pepper, leading Dirk to remark, "Wow...peppery", to which I respond, "Hmm, you think so?")
Williams-Sonoma's Rustic Italian cookbook by Domenica Marchetti. The recipe is also conveniently located on her beautiful blog, Domenica Cooks. The pancetta croutons sold me on it immediately. If you know what's good for you, you will not neglect them when you make this, as emotional health is just as important as physical health this time of year. Click on over to Domenica Cooks to check out the recipe. The carrots added extra sweetness, and I added a sweet potato for even more orangey, healthy deliciousness.
You might be thinking...what about growing winter squash in your edible landscape? Let me just say this one takes some creativity. The large, coarse leaves make quite a statement, and can look really great when interplanted with chard, kale or other sturdy plants to break up the monotony. The vines are long...like take-over-your-garden-long. There are clever ways to save space, using trellises and other supports. Or, check out some of the newer bush types if you're really tight on space.
|Colorful chard seems to be doing a great job corralling this squash vine.|
Image borrowed from Santa Clara County Master Gardeners.
|Edible landscaping guru Rosalind Creasy can always be counted on to|
provide creative ideas for growing plants beautifully, including squash.
Image borrowed from www.rosalindcreasy.com.
Oh, here are a few good resources for growing winter squash in the garden:
Growing Pumpkins and Squash in Minnesota Home Gardens
Growing Pumpkins and Other Vine Crops in Wisconsin (Geared toward market gardeners, but includes LOTS of helpful info for gardeners too!)
Growing Winter Squash: Cornell University Garden Guide
Winter Squash: University of Illinois (Variety descriptions.)
And here's a handy guide for storing fruits and vegetables from the University of Wisconsin.
More about sweet potatoes (and the oft confused yams) and carrots next time. Now, I think I need some soup.
Stay warm out there!