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Serves 6; Recipe By Courtney McDonald

Ingredients:
-1 pound beets, any color, washed, stem and root ends removed
-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
-1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
-2 small carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
-2 cups vegetable stock
-2 tsp. sugar
-1/2 cup buttermilk
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss the washed beets with ¼ cup olive oil and 1 Tbsp. salt. Spread on a baking sheet and add 2 Tbsp. water. Cover the baking sheet very tightly with foil and roast in the oven until tender – about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the beets. The water will steam the beets while roasting. When beets are tender, remove from the oven to cool slightly.

While beets are cooling, heat a small soup pot over medium heat. Add the remaining olive oil, onion and carrot. Sweat, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and translucent.

When the beets are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to scrape the skins off. Cut into quarters and add to the soup pot. Add the vegetable stock and enough water to cover the vegetables, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes to marry flavors. Remove the pot from the heat. Using a blender, puree the soup to a fine consistency. Finish with the sugar and buttermilk, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place soup over an ice bath to speed chilling and thin the consistency with cold
water, if necessary. Once soup is chilled, add the chopped dill and serve.

Serves 4 – Recipe by Courtney McDonald

Ingredients:
-1 pound small yellow potatoes, washed
-2 ears fresh corn, shucked (husks and silk removed)
-2 Tbsp. olive oil or butter
-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
-1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
-1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and torn into small pieces
-salt and pepper, to taste

Cut the potatoes into bite-size pieces and set aside. Over a large bowl, cut the corn kernels from the cobs. Then, using the back of your knife, scrape the “milk” from the cobs, adding it to the corn kernels. Discard empty cobs.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until onions are translucent. Season well with salt and pepper.

Add the potatoes, corn and enough water to cover (about 3-4 cups). Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Once potatoes are cooked, remove the pot from the stove and add the basil leaves.

Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately! Soup will keep, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for up to a week.

Serves 6; Recipe By Courtney McDonald

Ingredients:

-6 lbs. RougeVif d’etampes, Musque de Provence or other pumpkin, seeds removed and cut into wedges for roasting
-3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
-1/4 cup unsalted butter
-2 leeks, green tops removed, washed well and sliced crosswise
-1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
-2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
-3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
-4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, for browning
-zest and juice of 1 mandarin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Arrange the pumpkin wedges on a large baking sheet and toss with 2 Tbsp of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and roast, turning once, until pumpkin is soft – about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool slightly.  Scoop pumpkin flesh from the skin and set aside.

In a large soup pot over medium flame, heat the remaining olive oil and butter until butter is melted.  Add the leeks and garlic (if using), celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are soft and fragrant, about 15 minutes.  Add the cooked squash and enough chicken or vegetable stock to barely cover vegetables.  Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Cook until all vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes.  Puree soup in a blender in batches and return to the pot.  Adjust seasoning and add cream, if using.

While soup is cooking, heat the remaining 4 oz. butter in a medium saute pan or sautior over high heat.  Allow the milk solids to begin to caramelize on the bottom of the pan.  Once the butter begins to smell “nutty,” remove from the heat and immediately add the mandarin juice and zest.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep in a warm spot until ready to use.

Heat soup back to a simmer and serve!

Serves 6; Recipe by Courtney McDonald

Ingredients:
-2 pounds small potatoes, any variety, washed
-1 bunch collard greens, stems removed, washed well and sliced into ½ inch ribbons
-2 Tbsp. olive oil or butter
-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
-2 leeks, cleaned well and sliced thinly crosswise
-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1/4 cup heavy cream

Cut the potatoes into bite-size pieces and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the garlic and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until leeks are translucent. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, collard greens and broth to cover. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Once potatoes are cooked, remove the pot from the stove and add the cayenne and heavy cream.

Adjust seasoning if necessary and serve immediately.

Serves 6; Recipe by Courtney McDonald

Ingredients:
-2 heads cauliflower
-2 asian pears, any variety
-2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
-1 yellow or white onion, diced
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 tsp. lemon or meyer lemon juice
-1/4 cup heavy cream
-salt and pepper, to taste

Remove any leafy green parts from the cauliflower and cut into 1” chinks, stems and all. Peel and core the pears, then dice into 1/2” chunks. Set both aside.

In a medium soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until sweet and translucent (about 10 minutes). Add the cauliflower and pear and add enough cold water to barely cover. Season generously with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until cauliflower is completely soft, about 30 minutes.

Remove pot from heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked vegetables to a blender and puree with just enough cooking liquid to make pureeing easy. Be sure to get all of the onions and garlic. Discard any unused cooking liquid or save for another purpose.

Transfer pureed soup back to the original cooking pot and stir in the vinegar. Heat to desired temperature, finish the soup with the heavy cream and adjust salt and pepper seasoning to taste. Serve with crusty bread or buttered croutons.

Serves 6 – recipe by Courtney McDonald

Ingredients:
-1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-1 large yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
-2 medium butternut, kabocha or other hard squash, peeled

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