Autumn Soups & Chutney to be made

My goodness! The wind is howling and the trees bending double in these gales, but the leaves are still green and hanging on there, how the poor old roots must be struggling.

Last week I went and saw a friend who is lucky enough to have some very old trees in her garden. I didn’t know but trees have a shedding time when they drop branches off the tree (don’t ask me why) but nature is a wondrous thing! She had a Turkish Oak 250 years old that had shed a branch which weighed about 3 tons – the huge tree is fine but I’d not want to be under it when it happened. A week before in earlier gales this late summer another tree came down, it was a 650 year old English Oak, short trunk and wide branches, made me feel so sad. It looked like a dying elephant and sure enough all the hopeful little bits of green are now gone. It took 6 chainsaw men to cut it up in a day, now only the huge trunk remains – I’m sure nature will find a good way to use it!

How have all your veggie gardens done this year? Hasn’t it been strange with the dry and prolonged temperatures. I tried butternut squashes this year and they’ve grown prolifically all over everywhere! Many good looking squashes as well, I’m hoping they will keep as they are good in so many ways.

Butternut Squash Soup

1 Squash
Stock (chicken) or veg cube
Pepper and salt
Water
A swirl of cream or spoon of Greek yoghurt

Peel and de-pip squash, chop into squares, put into a pan with water and stock cube and cook.

When soft blitz with a stick or in a liquidizer, season, warm through add cream or yoghurt and enjoy.

Chutney

Then the runner beans never seemed to set, I don’t think they like the hot and dry weather, as soon as it got cooler they were off and have been wonderful this year. Now these cooler nights and the final crop goes to chutney.

Into a pan put sliced and chopped beans and cook for 15 mins. Then add:

Onion
Red pepper
Apple
Medium curry powder
Pepper and salt
Tiny bit of dried chilly
A squeeze off tomato sauce

Let it all bubble together until the consistency looks right, and adjust seasoning.

Bottle into sterile jars and enjoy with a baked spud!

I still think this chutney is the best, though closely run by tomatoes, both green and red.

That’s enough ramble this time, too much gardening to do now – it’s always nice to put everything to bed properly so when the spring comes you can hit the road running! I also have some curtains and cushions to make, and of course, for this Granny there is Christmas around the corner, and I do try and make for all 8 of them now!