Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A Souper Harvest

Despite all the produce I picked up at the farmers' market over the weekend, I didn't really have any intention of cooking much this week as I need to clean out the refrigerator before my vacation.

But I did fully intend to pull out my slow cooker and a quart of vegetable stock to turn some of those vegetables into a harvest stew.

Since I walked home for lunch yesterday, I was able to start the stew then. I sauteed onions and garlic and a red pepper along with dried thyme, dried oregano, and some black pepper. That mixture went into the pot along with some corn from the freezer, cubes of butternut squash, two carrots, a potato, a rib of celery, the last of the wild rice, and some fresh sage.

It simmered through the rest of the afternoon while I finished work and ran errands downtown, and I returned home to a house full of that savory fragrance.

I topped my bowl full of stew with some roasted and salted sunflower seeds for an extra crunch, and the combination of flavors and textures made a very pleasing supper for a cool fall evening.

(Unfortunately, it was a rather warm fall evening last night, so it wasn't quite as appropriate. Still, it was good.)

One quart of the remaining stew has been set aside for my Opera-Loving Friends since the one friend is still recuperating from a recent heart bypass surgery (hence the lack of salt in the stew), and what I don't eat from the other quart of leftover stew by the time I head out of town this weekend will go into the freezer for a truly chilly fall night.

There are plenty of ways to extend the harvest!

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