Stories from the New York City trip to follow, but for now, this is my way of celebrating home, autumn, and rainy weather.
Autumn in a Stew Pot
(measurements are approximate)
about 3 quarts water
1 tbsp butter or margarine
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 tsp dried celery, crushed
1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3 small red potatoes, cubed, skin on
3 stalks celery, diced
3 small carrots, diced, skin on
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp Italian spice
1/4 tsp salt
about 1 quart homemade tomato sauce
-chopped Roma tomatoes, garlic, onions, spices, water
(You could also use a pre-prepared chunky tomato sauce.)
Add about 6 oz of water to a large stew pot, with butter, garlic, onion, celery, basil, and a dash of pepper. Bring to a slow simmer on medium heat, and stir. Toss in carrots and celery along with another 6-12 oz of water (enough to keep the vegetables barely covered and to prevent sticking). Raise the temperature to high heat and stir periodically as it boils. Add the butternut squash, with more water, and then the potatoes. Add the salt and other spices at this point.
Stir in the tomato sauce. Once blended and boiling smoothly, reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and allow the soup to simmer, stirring occasionally. It should still be a thick consistency, not watery. Cook until the vegetables are at the desired softness and the soup is at desired thickness. Season to taste.
Total time-to-table, about 20 minutes preparation and one hour cooking.
Completely worth it.