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Blackbean & Butternut Squash Soup

black bean soup 1

After letting the bone broth simmer on my stove for 24 hours, I was desperate for a bowl of soup. I love the way that a rich simmering soup started with bacon and butter brings the house to life, and how a soup full of layers of complex flavors can turn a cold, drab, rainy day into something special. Add in some crusty bread and a bottle of wine and you’ll have the perfect fall evening.

black bean soup 5

black bean soup 3
My first soup of the year is always this one. A hearty soup that begins with bacon and includes enough garlic to ward off the worst of colds, healing bone broth, and my seasonal favorite butternut squash, this soup belongs in a world with red leaves and knee boots and cardamom spiced everything.
black bean soup 2

Black Bean & Butternut Squash Soup

1 lb dried black beans
1 lb thick cut bacon
1/2 stick salted butter
1 yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
6 cups bone broth
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 cups fresh cubed butternut squash
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup fresh kale
1 tsp paprika
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Soak beans overnight in a bowl, covered with a towel.

In a soup pot cook half of the bacon, diced. Add in minced garlic, chopped onion, and butter. Drain and rinse beans, and add to pot, along with bone broth and seasoning. Simmer 1 hour or until beans have softened. Add in tomatoes and kale. Simmer an additional hour, tasting frequently and adding salt as needed.

Heat oven to 425. Toss squash in oil and salt and roast for 20-25 minutes. As the squash is roasting, cook remaining bacon. Stir most of the squash into the soup, reserving some for garnish. Stir in apple cider vinegar.

Serve soup hot topped with squash and crispy bacon.

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Lovely Internet 10.18.13

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1. I don’t usually dress up for Halloween, but I think Jenny’s costume is perfect.

2. I’m more of a pie person, but cinnamon roll cupcakes have peaked my interest!

3. This family Halloween costume idea is just the sweetest.

4. I’m excited to dig my teeth into the new Kinfolk cookbook.

5. With the last of the summer’s figs, I may try this.

6. I had my worst day at sea ever this week, but probably nothing compared to what these folks experienced.

7. Let’s all agree the cutest result of the shutdown ending is that the Pandacam is back on, right?

8. One of these is on its way from Portland for River. We love Greypaw- Kaylee’s leash, training tab, and collar all came from Erin. Her work is amazing!

9. How the South Made Me a Queer Feminist

10. I am still giggling uncontrollably about the fact that this popped up this week. That whole story coming soon.

In the Works: For those local readers, I’ll be doing a cast iron workshop on November 7 at GRUB! I’m psyched- we’re going to talk about the hows and whys of cast iron, demo a few recipes, and eat some good food!

For more tidbits from Elena the person, follow me on twitterinstagrampinterest or facebook. Follow along with MissElenaeous for thoughts on everything other than Southern food.

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Bone Broth

bone broth 1 After the round of sickness that swept through school and a few long days traveling by air and automobile, I came down with the inevitable cold. This time of year is hard on the body, and I often struggle with doing my best to take time for myself while all the world around me seems to be going mad. It’s easy to check out, order Indian food, and pledge to cook another day. In all honesty, we’ve been doing a lot more of that than I’d like to admit the past few months. But when a that first chill in the air (and fogginess in the chest) hits, my reset button switches. I pull myself up out of the muck of late summer and get back in the kitchen. An act that, inevitably, feeds much more than the body.

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The first thing on the menu this week was a generous batch of bone broth. Bone broth, like chicken stock, is a simple combination of vegetables, water, and beef bones, simmered for an extended period of time. This batch had beef bones (labeled “soup bones” in the butcher’s freezer department of the market), oxtail, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, and carrots. The bones were roasted, the vegetables were chopped, water was added, and the broth simmered for over 24 hours.

bone broth 5

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For the past few months I’ve been lamenting the end of summer, complaining to anyone who would listen that I wasn’t ready for the seasons to change. And I wasn’t. This summer was amazing- full of adventure, excitement, and opportunity. I loved every second of it and I was not willing to let go of long afternoons at the beach or boat rides or saying yes to everything because who cares, it’s summer! Finally, however, this week, I was ready. I got home from another big trip with a cold and a messy house and I just knew it was time. It was time to settle back in for fall. Time for long evenings on the couch with a book and a cup of tea, for pots of soup simmering for hours on end, time for roasts and root vegetables. And when I get sick of all that, it will be time to dream of watermelon again.

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Bone Broth

4-6 pounds beef bones & oxtail

4-6 pounds root vegetables- potatoes, carrots, onions, etc

1 head garlic (leave cloves whole)

1/2 stick butter

Salt

In a 425F oven, roast bones for 30 minutes.

Melt butter in a large soup pot. Add bones to the pot, along with onion, garlic, and remaining root vegetables. Fill pot with filtered water. Bring to a boil. Stir well and reduce broth to a simmer. Simmer with the lid on but slightly cracked, for 12-24 hours. Strain and freeze the broth.

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