One of my favourite things about living in our town is the multitude of farms around us. I love living here because we have all the conveniences of a city and all the luxuries of a small town. Today we went to The Cottage Hospital. You know you are going to get good service when you go to a hospital with that name. It is in a nearby town that I have to say I have a little crush on. The hospital is probably the size of my house, but the town is beautiful.
|These tiny onions melt in the soup. No chopping. Love it!|
|These are regular onions. I didn't use them in this recipe.|
|More fresh local goodies.|
On our way back from the hospital I wanted to stop at a little farm shop that sells fresh produce and the best butter tarts ever. My friend Libby was coming over and I wanted to get something I know she would love. We saw what I thought was butter nut squash. It happened to be butter cup squash. The squashes were the most beautiful colours of orange and green. Each one was absolutely perfect. I also picked up some small cooking onions, smooth potatoes, long green leeks, cabbage, and fresh garlic. I also caught something else I have never heard of before - sweet potato squash. It was a light creamy colour with green strips. I couldn't wait to introduce these ingredients to our kitchen.
|You have to love the lush oranges and yellows.|
All these ingredients were screaming to party in my chicken soup. I love how new ingredients produce surges of inspiration for the kitchen. Here is my recipe for Butter Cup Chicken Soup. This recipes made 3 pot fulls. (I borrowed 4 slow cookers for our children's blessing ceremony and I wanted to return them full rather than empty.)
Butter Cup Chicken Soup
I challenged myself not to use anything out of a package for this recipe.
2 whole chickens cut into quarters
4 cups mini or cut carrots
6 celery sticks chopped
2 bunches of garlic smashed
1 large bunch of fresh thyme (You can use dried thyme (4 tablespoons))
6 small cooking onions peeled and cut in half
1 butter cup squash peeled cut into large chunks (I suppose you can use butter nut squash)
3 sweet potato squashes peeled and sliced into large chunks (optional)
3 leeks washed and cut in half
salt and pepper to taste (I do love my white pepper but you can use black)
Fill a large pot with water to cover all of the ingredients. You might need to make this in three batches or in a very large pot. Add all the ingredients and let come to a boil over medium heat. Cook until all the squashes have dissolved and chicken is falling away from the bones when you stir the pot. The onions should have dissolved by this time. Continue to simmer on low-medium heat until the soup thickens. Taste the soup to ensure you have enough salt and pepper. You are ready for some awesome chicken-squash goodness. You might want to cut up some of the chicken if you prefer chicken in every spoonful.
From our kitchen to your table!