Pureed squash and mushroom soup

What you need:

2 medium butternut or acorn squash

2 1/2 cups water

Tbsp. butter or oil

1 cup chopped onions

2 medium cloves of garlic

1 1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. coriander

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder

1/2 lbs. sliced mushrooms

Cayenne pepper or lemon juice to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 375. Split squashes lengthwise and remove seeds. Place face down on a lightly oiled tray and bake until soft, about 30-40 minutes. After cooled, scoop out the insides and mash or blend until there is three cups of pureed squash. In a medium pot, heat butter or oil.

Add onion, garlic, salt and spices over medium heat until onions are soft. Add mushrooms and cook covered for 10 minutes on medium heat. Add squash and water. Heat until warm.

Source: Sara Brody, co-founder of The Second Kitchen

M embers of the Boulder food co-op The Second Kitchen have already begun storing food in preparation for the cold weather.

The team is cleaning and storing squash, canning tomatoes and freezing spinach in an attempt to keep the group stocked with locally grown foods after the gardens have stopped producing.

Sara Brody, one of the co-op's founders, said it's almost impossible to maintain a strictly local diet during the winter months, but she's doing what she can to keep the group's more than 65 households optimistic.


"We know we're helping the environment and also keeping our costs down by eating local foods," Brody said. "But also our body reacts to cold weather and it wants those rich, hearty foods that are available in the winter time."

The tins that fill Brody's home -- and keep the group stocked with local food -- are now filled with potatoes, squash and apples instead of berries and greens.

Brody said she embraces the heartier foods she cooks with in the winter by adding soups to her weekly meals.

Rosie Dooley, left, and Emma Ruffin, try their hand at making pie crust at a demonstration on Saturday. Members of the Boulder food co-op, The Second
Rosie Dooley, left, and Emma Ruffin, try their hand at making pie crust at a demonstration on Saturday. Members of the Boulder food co-op, The Second Kitchen, said locally-grown apples are still available despite cooler weather. Cliff Grassmick / Colorado Daily ( CLIFF GRASSMICK )

"Not only are they warm and filling in the winter but they're one of my favorite things to eat," Brody said. "I mean you basically mix water, onions and spices with a veggie and that's it."

Pureed potatoes, pumpkin and squash are a few ingredients Brody suggests trying in the basic soup recipe. Toss in some cayenne pepper for a little spice, plenty of salt and you've got a warm winter dish, she said.

Brody recommends cooking and refrigerating extra helpings for some quick leftovers during finals week.

Shanan Olson, executive director of the Boulder County Farmers Market, said winter dishes often lend themselves to larger quantities, leaving plenty for leftovers.

Olson said a stew might take longer to make, but is also simple when left in a Crock-Pot all day. She also said cooking with large squash and a surplus of potatoes makes it easy to get halfway to your next meal.

With two farmers' markets remaining -- Saturday is Boulder's last market and Longmont will host its winter market Dec. 2 and 3 -- there's still plenty of time to stock up on squash, potatoes and greens from local farmers.

Brody said for meat eaters, winter is a great time to rely on chicken, beef or pork while pairing the proteins with sautéed cabbage or roasted squash.

"It is winter and you can't have everything you want all the time so it makes us appreciate the food we do have," Brody said.