A few weeks ago, a great friend came to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with us. While Caroline was here, we took a road trip and drove through Prince Edward County which is a very scenic area not too far from our home. It is a new hotspot for wineries and vineyards, spectacular farmland and some of the most gorgeous waterfront properties around. We stopped in at Huff Estates Winery during our drive before we made it to Lake on a Mountain Restaurant fur lunch. This spot is very interesting because the title exactly explains the natural phenomenon that exists here…there is a lake on a mountain. It is so neat to see.
The whole point of this blog is not to tell about my trip to the county, but rather share a wonderful fall recipe that was inspired by my trip to the county with Caroline. We had the most delicious Butternut Squash soup flavoured with fresh ginger for lunch. I have tried since this day to make a similar tasting soup, but have not had much luck until today. I have been reading this cookbook called Clean Food by Terry Walters which focuses on all natural foods and cooking seasonally. The beginning of the cookbook explains a variety of less common ingredients that provide healthy alternatives for more common ingredients. Many of her recipes are gluten and egg free which is wonderful for those who have food allergies. In her book she has a recipe for Apple Butternut Squash soup. I had to try it and see if it could compare to the soup at Lake on the Mountain. I slightly modified the recipe based on what I had in my kitchen and also based on my taste preference. The subtle flavour of the coconut milk really mixed well with the sweet apples and savory onions and sage. But overall this soup was amazing and will definitely be added to the favourite recipe pile.
While I was making this soup, I was provided with some rather amusing entertainment. My porch is lined with pumpkins that slowly make it inside to my kitchen. But I suppose I was taking too long to bring them. I noticed that something was eating one of my pumpkins. The side had a huge hole in it. I couldn’t think what might eat a pumpkin. Then I looked out the window and caught the bugger red-handed. A gray squirrel had gotten into it and was taking all of the seeds out and burying them in my yard. The funniest part was that his whole body was inside of the thing with only his bushy tale sticking out! A few minutes later I looked again and there was a black squirrel getting into one of the other pumpkins! I quickly ran outside and saved the only pumpkin that did not have teeth marks in it. I was not trying to deprive them of food, but rather I was thinking of the pie that I have yet to make this season!
I have also included another one of Terry's recipes for Cranberry Chutney which is amazing. Her recipe calls for sucatant (minimally processed liqud cane sugar) which I omitted altogether to make for a more tart version of the recipe. I served the chutney over pork chops for one meal, ate it as a side dish with chicken another night, and topped a wheel of brie with it for a lovely appetizer. This is definately a nice twist on classic cranberry sauce which is usually loaded with suagr and sweetness.
Apple Squash Soup
Recipe Adapted from: Clean Food by Terry Walters
1 large butternut squash
1 large yellow onion, chopped (I used red)
2 TBS grapeseed oil (I used olive oil)
4 large apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (I used Empire apples)
4 cups vegetable stock (I used chicken stock)
1 cup rice milk (I used 3/4 cup white milk)
1/4 cup coconut milk (I increased to 1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper
** I added 1 tsp sage
1. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and pulp. Put face down in a roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until soft. Peel away the skin and cut into chunks.
2. In large pot, over medium heat, heat oil and sauté onions until soft. Add squash, apples, stock, milk, and herbs. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until apples and squash are soft.
3. Using a hand blender, puree until smooth. This can also be done in batches in the food processor.
Recipe From: Clean Food by Terry Walters
2 cups cranberries
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup sucatant
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 TBS cinnamon
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup water
1 small onion chopped
3 medium apples, cored and chopped
4 stalks of celery chopped
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1. Combine cranberries, raisins, sucatant, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and water in Dutch oven. Place over medium heat and cook for 15 minutes.
2. Stir in onion, apples, and celery and cook for 15 more minutes.
3. Remove from heat, fold in lemon peel, and serve.