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The Linnaea Farmer’s Kitchen
Shoulder Season Inspiration

By Kirsten

 

I am always reminded at this time of year that winter is not the lean time we think it is, the warmth of celebration and feasts make the cold dark season bearable and even sweet. No, rather it is this shoulder season, this stubborn transition from winter and it’s long road to Spring.  It will be a couple of months until we can encourage fresh food from the earth and our pantries and cooking inspiration may be dwindling.  On our remote little island, we to have sustain being the primary providers of our own culinary inspiration, and more than ever we need to make every supply run last and reduce waste.  This is a lifelong journey and we have all struggled with smart choices and minimal options for shortcuts and waste in the kitchen and garden. 

Spring, with it the promise of newness, new flavours, colours and freshness.  And a renewed interest in the growing of the food we desire.  We move out of the home into the garden and our big dreams of the bountiful baskets of harvest-

But wait, hold up! That dream takes work- not just the preparing of soil and tending to the plants, but the responsible harvest and processing of the bounty we have coaxed forth. 

We getting busy over here at Linnaea, with planning and planting, pruning and preparing, but in this shoulder season I wanted to give you a little inspiration to take stock and appreciate what you may already have.

 

As we begin to cultivate it may be our misconception that this is the big work /time consuming piece.  Harvest and preservation need to be given it’s fair due and equal space in the vision of a complete season. And of course, the work of prepping and cooking all your meals from scratch- the kitchen garden keeps us busy all year round.

 

In the meantime, clean out that freezer and pantry, get into the back of your cupboards! It is hard to prioritize the past when we are dreaming of the future , yet I don’t want to neglect the crops I lovingly cultivated and tended to from summer’s past. It is also a telling marker of what you and your people really eat, enjoy and desire.  That way you can avoid repeating over production in the coming season of the turnips that rotted and the chutney no one ate.  Take stock, make stock! and clean those shelves for the future harvest.  Got some leftover winter squash? No problem- now is the time to use it up before it molds and gets tossed in the compost – here is a favorite recipe to reinvigorate your taste for squash – even at the end of a long winter of roasts and soups!

 

 

 Butternut Squash Gochujang Noodle Soup

Roasted squash, garlic and onions blended with stock & bright spicy Korean Gochujang chilli paste become the base for this delicious noodle soup

Gluten free and vegan

 

Ingredients

Soup Base

½ squash -Peeled and cubed

½ red onion – sliced

1 bulb garlic

1 TBSP Gochujang

1 TBSP Soya Sauce

1 TBSP Rice Vinegar

1 tsp honey ( Sweeter of Choice )

500ML  Veggie Stock

 

Topping (Suggested )

Vermicelli rice noodles

200g peas – steamed

150g tofu- fried

1 TBSP pickled ginger or daikon carrot pickle

200g sautéed mushrooms

minced green onions, cilantro

Sesame seeds to garnish

 

Method

–heat oven to 400

Roast squash, onion and whole garlic bulb in olive oil – 30-40 min

Let cool slightly – enough to handle

Squeeze out roasted garlic into blender , with onion and ¾ of the roasted squash, add the rest of the soup base ingredients to the blender and puree- add a bit more liquid if too thick.

Warm soup base before serving

 

In the meantime, prepare the toppings to your taste.

Fill your bowl with the warm soup base, arrange toppings, including the remaining roasted squash

Enjoy slurping up this rich and delicious soup !

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