Cross-posted on Local Me.
Autumn rustles through the maples of Manhattan, sweeping away the tomatoes, corn, zucchinis, and berries of our Indian summer. I focused on the hearty, auburn, and waxy season-transition vegetables at my farmers' market class last weekend. Indeed, this is the time for roasting, stewing, and souping. Like last fall, I'm always on the hunt for unique pairings of fall and winter produce, especially those that are easy to prepare and keep cooking time to a minimum. After a few errands, I headed home to prepare for an impromptu pumpkin carving party. "Bring your own wine, bring your own pumpkin."
I pulled together a Pumpkin Carving Soup with remaining pieces of produce from the week: two leeks, one apple, one carrot, one kabocha squash, couple cloves of garlic, small chunk of ginger, and a handful of greens. Cut vegetables into chunks and toss into pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, then add 5 cups of stock, bring to boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Scoop out a few cups of the vegetable pieces and puree the remaining soup.
Add vegetable pieces back to mixture, toss in greens, cover, and heat on low until ready to serve. I paired the stew with the newly-named "brennel"...bread with fennel, inspired by Farmer John's cookbook.
Make or purchase artisan bread and cut into 1-inch slices. Thinly slice one fennel bulb and place in a bowl with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, juice of one lemon, a bit of grated lemon peel, and seasonings to taste. Mix well. Place the bread on a baking sheet and top with the fennel and oil mixture. Broil for 3-5 minutes until almost golden. Top with shredded local cheese and broil for 3-5 minutes more.
While I prepared the soup and brennel, our friend Devin worked on an amazing spiced pear muffin recipe from The Kitchn.
Highly recommended pumpkin carving movie: Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow.