Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Harvest, Hottub, and Tomato Squash Soup

For some reason we were thinking we didn't have much production in the tomato department, but we were wrong. I froze 41 quarts of tomatoes! This was just part of one batch washed and ready to get peeled and quartered.

Look at the harvest! I got the squash and pumpkin at the Ely Farmers' Market.

We've had a nice spell of cool weather and the bugs have croaked, so I fired up the hottub. We shut it down all summer due to heat and bugs (I'd rather jump in the lake and cool off in the summer). Firing it up means putting the cleaned filters back into the filter compartment, filling it with water and adjusting chemicals. It's usually warm enough to use after about eight hours. We keep it running all winter and usually go out right before bedtime.

We don't use the hottub if it is colder than minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit because you stick to stuff on your way back into the house (like the door knob or your feet stick to the steps).

The other day I took advantage of all of those tomatoes and made a tomato and squash soup that was outstanding! You should make this and use up your tomatoes.

Sharee's Tomato and Squash Soup

This makes a huge pot of soup. If you have a ton of tomatoes, use them exclusively for the broth (i.e. don't add any chicken broth). If you don't have that many tomatoes, add a couple of cups of broth.

2 onions, chopped
1 T butter
1 orange fleshed squash - this time I used kobacha, but you could use butternut, hubbard, turk's turban, etc.
a whole bunch of garden tomatoes (I used maybe 15 medium tomatoes)
2 cups chicken broth (I've told you before about "Better than Bullion" - buy it.)
1 T brown sugar (secret weapon when cooking with a lot of acidity)
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Saute the onions in the butter until the onions are translucent (add 1 tsp salt). Peel and cut the squash into bite sized chunks and stir into the onions. Add the chopped tomatoes (no need to skin them), broth, and a little more salt. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and simmer until the squash is tender. Taste the broth. Does it need a little more salt? Usually at this point with this many tomatoes, I add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. It cuts the acidity of the tomatoes. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream. Eat with a nice, crusty bread.

Next - off to Italy! We leave on Saturday so look for a post when we get back the second week of October. Arivaderci!

p.s. Can you believe that we are going for two weeks with only carry-on luggage?! I'll tell you all about it when we're back.

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