Garlic coming full circle (and a pumpkin soup recipe!)

I love a full circle moment, especially in the world of farming. Seeing the results of one season’s hard work show up in a later season as a finished product that we can eat and enjoy – there’s nothing better!


At the moment we’re seeing garlic in this light. You have been getting some bulbs in your shares and we’re also starting to plant for next year’s crop!

We harvest the bulbs by pulling the whole plant out of the ground and then hanging them to dry in our barn. They’ve been hanging since early July, curing up in the rafters. After that period, we pull them down, cut off the stalks, and clean them up so they’re ready for all of you.



Each year we also set aside some portion of the harvest to save as seed garlic for our fall planting. This is a task we keep for rainy days or super hot ones when the thought of going outside is very unappealing. We separate the garlic cloves and usually aim for a little over 100 pounds to plant with.



By October we have several bins set aside with beautiful, juicy garlic cloves and the next step is to go out on the tractor and shape the beds.



After that we spend a few afternoons out in the field and push each clove into the soil, deep enough to help insulate it against the coming winter but not too much to inhibit its growth. Garlic is a pretty quick one to sprout, as you may have experienced with a neglected bulb on your kitchen counter. In a few weeks we’ll see the perky green stalks poking out of the earth which means it’s time to lay down a blanket of mulch. They’ll soon poke out of this as well, but that extra layer will prevent them from damage throughout the winter.



photo credit: https://stonepierpress.org/gardeningnews/growing-garlic


This week we have a wonderful autumnal recipe from Foodies, Farms & Friends! See the recipe below for Pumpkin Soup with Sage and Garlic Croutons (serves 6).

Soup

Croutons

​1/2 cookie sheet pumpkin pieces roasted in olive oil

sliced or cubed bread (we used croissants) enough to cover base of 1/4 cookie sheet

1 diced onion

2 cloves crushed garlic

3 diced carrots

6 chopped fresh sage leaves

4 stalks diced celery

pepper and salt to taste

2 cloves chopped garlic

2 tbs olive oil

4-5 cups vegetable/chicken stock

3 tbs olive oil, butter, or ghee

pepper and salt to taste

Pre-heat oven to 375 F.


Roast pumpkin until soft (not browned).


Cook onion, carrots and celery very gently in 3 tbs olive oil (for a richer flavor use ghee or butter, cook gently or it will burn). Cook until onion is translucent and other vegetables are getting soft, then add garlic and cook gently for another 2 minutes or so. Add 2 cups stock to vegetables and cook until all vegetables are soft. Add roasted pumpkin to pot and stir together. Add more stock until vegetables are covered. Gently simmer for about 10 minutes, stir frequently so that nothing sticks to bottom of the pot.


Add cooked soup to blender or use stick blender and blend until soup is smooth and velvety. Add more stock if soup is too thick. Add pepper and salt to taste. Put back in pot and re-heat prior to serving or into containers for refrigeration or freezer.


To make croutons, chop or slice bread (enough bread to cover base of ¼ cookie sheet). Place in mixing bowl and add garlic, sage and olive oil. Mix with hands to cover bread with other ingredients. Place onto cookie sheet and bake in oven at 375oF until bread is a little brown and crunchy. Serve with soup!


Just about any type of pumpkin or Winter Squash can be used for this recipe. We used Carnival Squash from our OAF share in our instructional video, but Jarrahdale and Butternut Squash are also excellent varieties to use. This soup also keeps very well in the freezer.




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