SUMMER SQUASH BISQUE
2 Tablespoons sunflower oil
1 1/2 lbs. summer squash, medium diced (choose any kind of squash or a combination!)
2 Tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bulb fennel, halved, cored, each half cut in thirds and thinly-sliced
a generous helping of chopped basil (also consider garnishing the soup with basil leaves)
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
freshly-ground black pepper, and salt, to taste
1 1/2 cups milk, sour cream, or yogurt
Toss chopped summer squash with oil and salt and roast in a baking pan until the squash is tender and lightly-browned. Meanwhile, saute the onions and fennel, lightly salted, in an oiled skillet until soft and fragrant. Combine all vegetables in a soup pot with the stock and seasonings. Cook enough to heat the liquids, but do not boil. Add the milk, cream, or yogurt. If you can't eat dairy but would like to thicken this soup, try boiling and mashing some potatoes with butter, and stirring the mashed potatoes into the soup until the texture is as you like it. For a smoother soup, puree in a blender or pass through a food mill. Makes about 8 cups.
Serve with roast beets, and a nice green salad or pasta salad.
The lovely Madeline who worked here in 2013 and '14 (Salem customers will remember her at market) was a kitchen wizard. Madeline always used the finest seasonal ingredients to the best effect. I have adapted her recipe for broccoli slaw, which she adapted from the fine food blog listed below (the author of the blog says even her recipe is an adaptation, so this is clearly a flexible recipe which can change depending on what you have at hand.).
This is our version.
For the slaw:
1 1/2 lb. broccoli, cut into small (1/3 inch?) chunks
3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dried fruit such as raisins, currants, or cranberries
2 red spring onions, sliced fine (yes you can use the greens too!)
Mix all ingredients.
For the dressing:
1/2 cup plain cultured yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
Toss with the vegetables, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves four as a side dish, with a little leftover perhaps.
You really can have fun playing with this basic format. Thinly-sliced fennel is really nice in this slaw too, as is celtuce shopped small, pickled onions or shallot in place of fresh, cilantro, dill, basil, or parsley ... go to it!