My dad has a green thumb, and so does Ben’s dad. The fall is the best time to go home to visit the parents in Iowa and score fresh, organic, home grown with love produce which can be anything from peppers, tomatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, to apples. My parents are will grown enough vegetables that will last them through the winter by storing potatoes and onions in a cool dry spot, and freezing chopped peppers that will be ready to go for one of my dad’s homemade pizzas- which you can’t beat. One of our last visits we brought home what seemed like a bushel and a big peck of Yukon potatoes, so we put them to work in pot with some leeks, some sausage, and some other ingredients and came up with a winner that I can guarantee will warm your belly and make your taste buds dance in the cold months to come.
When I think of comfort food, soup is one of the first things that come to mind. This ginger squash soup is as wholesome as it comes. By roasting the squash, onion, and garlic, a sweetness is achieved that gives this soup a unique flavor. The cinnamon gives a nice fall touch and the ginger adds a complimentary contrast in flavor that gives the soup a subtle kick.
Kim and I fall in a routine like most of making the same ten different dishes for our weeknight dinners, but this soup is a nice affordable addition to any meal.
This past spring Ben and I were asked to participate in a silent auction with the proceeds benefitting the Kansas City Arts Community. We jumped at the opportunity to be a part of such a great cause and donated a private Four course meal for Four in the comfort of the highest bidder’s own home. The winners of the meal cashed in a few weeks ago, and Connie & Tina opened their kitchen and home to us where we prepared some creations from our blog and some new flavors including a sweet corn shooter that kicked off the evening.
For this special evening, Ben used the very last of his father’s last sweet corn that he harvested upon retiring. As a member of the Pieper family, it was almost like a right of passage or initiation by participating in the sweet corn harvest. The corn would be boiled, shocked in ice water, and then moved to the kitchen table where it would be cut off the cob and then portioned out into freezer bags. This process ensured that the Pieper sweet corn could be enjoyed year round by the family and allowed us to create a new recipe to share with you.
It’s pretty unbelievable how fast a year can go by, and that’s what we’re celebrating. It was 1 year ago on September 3, 2009 that the Foodies officially launched the Four Foodies. We’ve eaten very well over the past 12 months, and it’s been a pleasure sharing and trying some new recipes, flavors, and memories with you. Our favorite thing about the blog has been hearing from you. Your feedback and comments are what keep us going, and we try our best to reply to your questions & comments.
Another thing that we’d like to say- we sincerely apologize for having been negligent over the past month. It’s been a very busy summer between seeing friends and family, and needless to say we’ve dropped the spatula. I’ve been fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and training for the Women’s Nike ½ Marathon in San Francisco. Ben has recently moved into a new studio space that will put us in close proximity to our favorite farmer’s market, so we’ll have inspiration of the local farmers to keep us cranking out new posts. We also went on a long overdue and well deserved trip to Europe. Our souvenirs that we brought back were the few pounds that we gained while dining on the anything and everything that sounded good, looked good, and smelled good. Rest assured we’ll be serving up a new recipe inspired by the Dutch, and no, there’s nothing freaky deaky about it.
So, to mark our anniversary, we are repeating the dinner that we had the night we kicked off the Four Foodies. My first go at this dish was a few years ago. Ben was skeptical- with good reason. It was another one of those odd cravings- “I want it, yet I’ve never had it.” We’ve served it many times since marking other special occasions- the first 2008 Presidential debates, my older brother Scott’s visit to KC, my sister & husband’s visit this past March when she gave me the big news that they were preggers, and of course the launch and now anniversary of the Four Foodies. It’s fun. It’s festivus. It’s Jambalaya
This is the first recipe of the Top Ten Basic Kitchen Utensils. The next 10 entries will feature each utensil in the order that weve established as an essential. Number 1 is the kitchen knife.
We chose to make minestrone soup, because it has lots of small diced vegetables in its recipe which is a great way to highlight the necessity of a good blade. We have also included a visual reference when you hear different sizes of diced vegetables. A good rule for soup is to cut the product to pieces that fit on to a spoon. If you want lots of different flavors use small dice.
One of the best things to do in the city on the weekends is to hit up the farmers’ market. Hands down it is the best place to pick up fresh produce brought to the city from local farmers with their fresh harvests consisting of peaches and cream corn, heirloom tomatoes, fresh herbs, potatoes, onions, garlic, squash, peaches, watermelon, fresh baked breads and cookies. It is a place of inspiration with the historic background of the River Market itself, the cityscape, the live entertainment, and the stimulation of all five senses- no sixth sense at work here. We took off for the market on a mission- to showcase the goodies that can be gotten from the venders that travel from far and wide. The finds inspired a hearty meal that all meataterians can appreciate with a spin on the traditional meat and potato dish- bison strips with au gratin potatoes, grilled asparagus, and fresh tomato soup.
“local buffalo provided by” KC Buffalo Co