Now that Fall is upon us and winter is around the corner, we're already planning for a better Market next year. The Town of Mount Jackson has installed the new lampposts along the entrance of King Street, and in front of the vacant bank building, so we are hopeful that the Way-finding signs will be installed soon, and definitely by next Spring.
As gas and food prices continue to rise, local Farmers' Markets will become more and more important. Since the food comes locally, we can keep our prices very competitive.
One of our more unusual pumpkins was the Brodé Galeux d'Eysines, which meas "Embroidered with Warts from " in French! The "warts" appear when the fruit matures and are caused by the sugar inside seeping through the skin. It makes for a great Halloween decoration too!
Here's a favorite classic French Pumpkin Soup Recipe (serves 8-10):
One 5-6 pound pumpkin (Galeux D’Eyesines, Rouge Vif D’Etampes, or Musquee de Provence)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, sliced (white and light green parts)
1 yellow onion, diced
1 small fennel bulb, diced
2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
3 sprigs thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped sage
1/4 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
8 cups chicken broth (homemade chicken stock is preferable, and so easy)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar, optional
Grated fresh nutmeg, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
For cheese toasts:
Slices of French baguette
Softened unsalted butter
Finely chopped Thyme
Finely grated Gruyère cheese
Directions: For soup:
Cut the pumpkin in half with a sharp knife and scoop out seeds. Cut the halves into manageable chunks, then cut away the outer rind. Dice the flesh into 1-inch cubes. It’s really not so hard if you have a good chef’s knife.
Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot, medium heat. Add the leeks, onion and herbs and sweat the aromatics until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin cubes and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 20-30 minutes.
The soup gets better the following day as all the flavors have a chance to settle in.
For cheese toasts:
Prior to serving, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the baguette slices lightly with butter. Toast on one slide until lightly brown, just a few minutes. turn over and toast for another minute or two. Remove slices from oven and top with a little sprinkle each of chopped fresh Thyme and grated cheese. Put back in oven and toast another few minutes until cheese has melted.
Top warm bowls of soup with toasted baguette slices.
Enjoy anytime, but especially on a cold Fall evening, with a glass of Hard Cider!