One of the best things about Winter, IMHO, is soup.
I have this soup on the stove right now.
3 tbsp olive oil 1 cup coarsely chopped onion 1 cup peeled, cored and coarsely chopped Granny Smith apple 1 cup peeled and coarsely chopped turnip 1 cup peeled and chopped butternut squash (seeds discarded) 1 cup coarsely chopped carrot 1 cup peeled, chopped sweet potato 5 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock 1/4 cup maple syrup Cayenne pepper 1 small whole-grain baguette 3 oz goat cheese 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
For soup, heat oil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add apple, turnip, squash, carrot, and sweet potato; season with salt, then sauté 5 minutes. Add stock, bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add syrup, then cayenne pepper to taste. Cool slightly. Puree with a handheld mixer, food processor or blender. For toast toppers, cut 6 slices bread and toast them. Spread 1/2 oz goat cheese on top of each; sprinkle with chives. Pour soup into 6 large bowls; float toast on top.
My proportions are off from the recipe; I had a lot of little, multi-colored carrots from my CSA and no turnip. But that's the great thing about soup! I peeled and chopped listening to Handel's Water Music, which is likely the one CD I'd take to the desert island -- you know, the desert island where you can take one book, one CD (played by solar power, I guess), one photograph from your past, and one important memory.
Yesterday, DiL, who is a really, really brilliant cook, made butternut squash soup with grated gruyere cheese. Damn, that was good! I ate two bowls!
The other wonderful thing about soup is that it often gets better served as leftovers when the flavors have had time to meld. I'll freeze some of this soup, take some for lunch a few days this week, have a bowl nuked in the microwave when I get home late, starved, and cold. Fiber, Vitamin A, and the extra, not-to-be-discounted health benefits of warm, filling, brightly-colored, and spicy food eaten in a warm kitchen in the heart of darkness.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."