Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Goodbye Summer

Autumn offically started on September 1st and for once this year the weather seemed to know what season we were in. Gale force winds and heavy rain showers plus the nights drawing in faster than Usain Bolt on a false start got me realising I need to think fast for Winter/Spring crops. Hopefully this weekend I will sow some pak choi and winter lettuces for the tunnel and will plant out what I already have in modules January King 3 savoy cabbage, Scarlet Kale and Florence fennel. The fennel will hopefully grow inside tunnel everything else will be outside under netting to protect from pigeons. This weekend I will also take some more photos to show you how things have progressed.

Due to the high winds I cut down the artichokes which had reached at least 12ft tall as last year they all got uprooted in the high winds as our allotment is exposed. I did not want to do this but they were leaning so much I did not want them ruining my neighbours plot, a shame really as the flower on them is lovely. I guess by doing this they can concentrate all their energy in to the tubers rather than producing flowers. A work colleague buys the ghastly daily express and according to their headline today we are in for a cold, wet and windy Autumn followed by another cold Winter, I take everything that paper says with a pinch of salt though.

This year looks like being another good year for butternut squash and I think there should be some ready now for picking as soon as I get a chance I will harvest and take some pictures. I will leave you with a lovely recipe for a warming buuternut squash soup just in case the express are right this should warm you up.


Serves: 4

1 Onion

1 Carrot

1 Small/medium Butternut Squash

1 Red Chilli

Pinch Salt & Pepper

2 Cloves of Garlic (finely chopped)

1.5 Liters Vegetable Stock

1 tablespoon Olive oil

1 teaspoon Butter

Preparation method

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins

1.Chop roughly the carrots, onion, butternut squash and chilli. Pour the oil and butter into a large saucepan, add the chopped vegetables and sweat for four minutes. Crush the garlic cloves and add to the pan, allow to cook for a further one to two minutes until you can smell the garlic cooking, take care not to burn the garlic as this will leave a nasty bitter taste.

2.Add the hot stock to the vegetables along with salt and pepper, allow to simmer for twenty minutes until reduced. Once reduced, take off the heat and blend with a hand blender or pour in a food processor and blend until all lumps are gone.

3.Taste and add salt and pepper if you feel it needs more. You will be left with a silky smooth soup, simply served in a warm bowl alongside some crusty bread to dunk

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