Our butternut vine has found its second wind. I had an idea for a lentil soup with butternut squash in it, and it was so delicious we couldn’t even believe it. I’ve been instructed to use all of our butternuts this way.
VEGETARIAN FRIENDS, of course you can make this without the meats. Just use some olive oil to brown the onions, and then use vegetable broth instead of beef stock. I would not, however, recommend fake bacon. Ever.
Lentil Soup with Butternut Squash, Sausage, and Kale
1 onion, chopped
6 oz bacon, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 package hot Italian sausage, cut in small pieces
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 large butternut squash, peeled, cleaned, and cut in 1/2- to 1-inch chunks
4 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
8 cups low sodium beef broth (preferably home made, from the bones of a cow named Bessie)
1 bunch kale, sliced
8 sage leaves, sliced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp pepper
salt, to taste
1 Tbsp paprika
hot pepper flakes, to taste
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 cup dry French green lentils
1/4 cup dry bulgur
- Place bacon chunks in large heavy bottomed pan on medium heat while you chop up your onion and garlic.
- Add onion and garlic to pot and cook until bacon has browned and onions start to caramelize, stirring frequently.
- Add sausage. Either brown the sausage separately ahead of time if you want to drain off the juices, or just add it directly to the pot and cook through, stirring frequently.
- Add celery at the same time as the sausage, or as soon as you have it chopped. Cook until celery is wilty.
- Add the butternut chunks, and stir.
- Add the tomatoes, kale, and then the broth.
- Add spices, and bring to a boil.
- When the kale has wilted to make room in the pot for the lentils and bulgur, add them.
- NOTE: this soup gets better as it sits in the fridge – boy are you in for a treat!
- **VEGETARIAN FRIENDS, of course you can make this without the meats. Just use some olive oil to brown the onions, and then use vegetable broth instead of beef stock. I would not, however, recommend fake bacon. Ever.
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This is obviously a picture of some leftover meatloaf, since it was so delicious I forgot to photograph it the first time around.
We went in on a 1/4 of a cow (we’ll call her Bessie) with some relatives. A good portion of my freezer is now occupied by beef. Meatloaf made of high quality grass fed beef from a cow you’ve named is NOT to be missed! Delicious, delicious, delicious. In fact, this meatloaf turned out so delicious that I forgot to photograph it when it was in loaf form, and only remembered a few days later when it had become delicious leftovers.
1. Prepare the Pan
1 tsp olive oil (yes, just a tiny bit to coat the onions, since you’re going to top the meatloaf with bacon)
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
sprinkle of salt
- Heat oven to 400.
- Pour olive oil into pan, heat over medium high heat, and add onions and salt.
- When onions are wilty, add garlic.
- Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, as you mix and form the meatloaf.
2. Prepare Meatloaf
2 lb ground beef
1 cup high quality stale bread, cubed
1/4 cup asiago, cubed
1/4 cup fontina, cubed
1/4 cup grated parmesan/romano blend
1/8 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
red pepper flakes to taste
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl, and mix with hands.
- Be very careful not to over mix, as this will make the meatloaf tough and bouncy. Only mix long enough to evenly distribute all of the ingredients, and only mix with your hands. Never use a mixer, or you will end up with a football on you hands, and not a meatloaf.
- Form into a meatloaf shape.
3. Bake Meatloaf
Heavy bottomed pan with sauteed onions and garlic
1/3 – 1/2 lb bacon (that Applewood smoked uncured stuff from TJ’s is REALLY good!)
2 packages frozen peas
- Add peas to pot with onions, and mix.
- Clear a space in the center of the pot for the meatloaf.
- Arrange bacon strips on top of the meatloaf.
- Cover, and bake for about 20 minutes.
- Remove lid, and bake until meat thermometer reaches desired rareness temperature (about 30 more minutes, depending on the shape of the loaf).
- If the onions start to stick to the pot, add a little water or broth. This will also make a really nice sauce.
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I realize this isn’t the most appropriate recipe for summer, but it was really cold and gloomy here last week, which is when I made it.
Meaty Meaty Pea Soup
1 package bacon, chopped
1 package pre-cooked no nitrates andouille sausage (Niman Ranch is a good one), chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
8 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
6 celery stalks, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
4 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
4 cups broth
2 cups dry split peas (I used the yellow ones, but you could use green if you prefer)
- Chop meats and place in a heavy bottom pan over low-medium heat. Stir periodically as they brown.
- Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion starts to brown, stirring periodically. (You can remove the meats and pour off the fat, but then add a little olive oil as you saute the onion and garlic.)
- Add the carrots and celery, stirring periodically as they cook. When they have softened, add the broth, sage, parsley, and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, and then add the split peas.
- Cook over low heat until the peas get creamy, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing is burning on the bottom of the pot.
- Add water as necessary if the mixture starts looking too thick. I even add water when I reheat the leftovers, as the mixture tends to get thicker the longer it sits.
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I acquired some duck eggs and used them in this recipe. They taste a little bit richer than regular eggs, and I wish I could always use them!
This Frittata was kind of a cross between a tortilla Espanola (due to the potatoes), a quiche, and a strata. Whatever you want to call it, it did turn out delicious.
1 package bacon, sliced (minus three strips, which were cooked separately and sent with the guy who wanted to drive around in his luxury convertible while I was at home slaving away in the kitchen)
4 medium red potatoes, thinly sliced
1 lb fava beans (weighed prior to removing from pods)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp rosemary
2 Tbsp white wine
1 cup ricotta
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
3 duck eggs or 4 jumbo chicken eggs
1 Tbsp cream or milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup grated cheese (a mix of cheeses is good – fontina, provolone, and parmesan is what I recommend)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Remove fava beans from pods.
- Slice bacon and cook (on the stove, over medium heat) in a heavy pot or cast iron skillet (something you can transfer to the oven later).
- While bacon is cooking, clean and slice your potatoes.
- Remove bacon from pan, and place in a bowl or on a plate with paper towels on the bottom to absorb excess grease.
- Pour all but about 1 Tbsp of oil out of pan.
- Place pan back on stove and add potatoes. Turn heat to medium.
- As potatoes start to cook, sprinkle salt, pepper, and cayenne over the top. Chop your rosemary and sprinkle that over the top.
- Add fava beans and bacon to pan.
- With a spatula, scrape the bottom of the pan and move the potatoes around so that they can all take a turn getting brown at the bottom of the pan.
- When there’s a nice amount of crusty stuff at the bottom of the pan and all of the potatoes have at least a small patch of golden brown goodness on them, add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan.
- Turn heat to low and cover to steam. Stir periodically.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine ricotta, parsley, nutmeg, cream/milk, and eggs. Using a fork, beat until combined. If you have some lumps of ricotta, that’s fine.
- When the potatoes are tender, turn off the stove.
- Pour the ricotta/egg mixture over the contents of the pan (no need to stir).
- Sprinkle the cheese over the top.
- Place pan in oven and cook for about 30 minutes, until eggs are done cooking and the cheese is melted.
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