By Liza Drew, Keene State College Dietetic Intern
Kale is one of the heartiest vegetables and can be harvested all winter long if protected from the snow with mulch or hay.
Though winter may not bring New Hampshire’s most plentiful harvest of fruits and vegetables, with a little creativity, this season can be filled with local ingredients. Local milk, cheese, and other dairy products can be obtained year round as well as meats and baked goods. In cold winter months, cows tend to produce milk that is slightly higher in butterfat, which makes for a creamy treat. As we wait for Spring to arrive, try warming some local milk with a spoonful of maple syrup or honey for a comforting indulgence on a cold night. Local fruits and vegetables can be canned or frozen to add variety and flavor to a winter meal. Some vegetables such as potatoes, onions, and winter squash will last all winter if stored in a cool and dry place, so stock up when they are in season for the months ahead! Here is an idea for a cold weather meal featuring seasonal, local vegetables…and Spring is just around the corner!
Roasted Vegetable and Kale Stew
3 medium carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise
1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1 inch chunks
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups vegetable broth
4 cups chopped kale
3 large fresh thyme sprigs
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 bay leaf
2 cups cooked white beans or garbanzo beans
Salt and Pepper to taste
Roast carrots, onions, squash and garlic on an oiled baking sheet at 400º for about 40 minutes, or until brown and tender. Allow vegetables to cool and chop roughly into small cubes. Transfer vegetables to a large stock-pot and add remaining ingredients. Allow soup to simmer for about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with crusty bread and local cheese for a delicious meal.