Much to our dismay or joy without warning winter is upon us and the pellet stoves have been thrust back into action. Lucky for us we’re fully stocked with an array of winter storage vegetables ranging from burly potatoes to a colorful squash. If you haven’t stocked up, never fear. Check out the Western Montana Grower’s Cooperative fall/winter CSA shares and your local Missoula Community Food Co-op for winter storage veggies. As we hunker down for a winter full of pond hockey, hot coco, and blazing fires our minds are squarely focused on warming foods as we’ll be hosting a handful of folks from the university administration to showcase our projects and talents.
I’d like to share one of my favorite cold weather recipes featuring my favorite soup ingredient, celeriac. Feel free and encouraged to experience with variations, different squash, and even a dash of dairy in this gluten free and vegan recipe. If you have never dealt with celeriac aka celery root here’s an excellent video on how to prepare this delicious treat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwDGEFrri-M.
Squashy Celeriac Soup
2 squash of your choosing (Buttercup, Butternut, Kabocha, and Pie pumpkins are all ideal)
¼ cup of oil of your choosing
1 softball size “bulb” of celeriac
3-5 cloves of garlic
1 Tablespoon Sage
1 ½ teaspoon thyme
1 quart of broth plus water if necessary
Salt, Pepper, and Honey to taste
- Preheat oven to 400º. Slice squash horizontally and place skin side down in an oven safe dish w/enough water to cover the bottom, about ¼ inch deep.
- Roast 30-35 minutes until soft and scoopable. Scoop out seeds into compost and scoop squash flesh into a bowl.
- Remove scary hairy outside layer of celeriac root and dice into ½ inch cubes, dice onions into ¼ inch, dice celery ¼ inch, and roughly chop garlic.
- Over medium-low heat with the pot top on sweat onions, celeriac, garlic, and pinch of salt for 5-10 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add broth, sage, and thyme. If necessary add water to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until celeriac is soft and cooked through.
- Blend until smooth. If too thick add milk or water till you reach your desired texture.
- Add salt, pepper, and honey to your heart’s desire.
Our fall, now winter, movie series continued last Thursday with a screening of Damnation. A rousing discussion followed the film lead by Chris Brick, PhD. Science Director from The Clark Fork Coalition. We covered topics including: the expression of activism, the importance of watersheds to ecological vitality, and awareness of our Montana watersheds and damn influences such as the Milltown damn site. No mention was made of the potential FLAT moat and hydroelectric damn project scheduled for spring of 2024.
If you didn’t have the chance to join us, don’t sweat it. The film can be viewed at home on Netflix; of course we would be unable to provide warm tea and the rousing discussion with friends. Don’t miss our next movie at “The Studio Auditorium” on December 4th. This edition of our environmental film series will feature Momenta a film addressing the coal industry’s action in the Pacific Northwest. Join us in our non-coal headed studio for an evening of film, tea, snacks, and a lively discussion.