Garden Vegetable Medley Stew

Around here, people get visibly uncomfortable when you mention how excited you are for cooler weather. Actually, uncomfortable may not be the right word. Disgusted is more like it.

The thing is, I have a secret. And it's that I kind of hate summer. I mean, I like it in the theoretical sense of "Beers on patios!" and "Jean shorts and flipflops!" just like everyone else does. But in actuality, I get fussy under the slightest bit of discomfort and sitting in a pool of my own sweat for two months is not even slightly appealing to me.

I am a fall girl. Through and through. Not winter. Absolutely not winter. It's a toss up with regard to what I hate more - the pool of sweat or the frostbitten toes. But those amazing couple of months in between the two...that's where the glory is at.

Fall is the perfect compromise - crisp air and warm hoodies, but still an abundance of fresh, local produce. Usually in the form of squash!

This is a sweet potato squash. I'd never tried one before, so when I saw a pile of them at Herrle's Market a few weeks ago I didn't hesitate to throw one in my basket.

A little googling has taught me that its more common name is delicata squash. Why do squash always have so many names? It's 2011, you'd think we could streamline this a little bit.

Anyway, it sat in my fruit and veggie basket for a solid week. I was excited, but unsure of how I wanted to prepare it. For this time, I played it safe and tossed it into a stew with lots of other earthy vegetables.

The verdict is - delicious! Sweet and mellow, delicata works perfectly in an autumn stew with potatoes and carrots. Now that I know that I like it, next time I think I'll try making a squash mash side dish with it.

The recipe is pretty self explanatory - onions, garlic, bell pepper, squash, potatoes, carrots and spices in a crushed tomato base. It comes from How it All Vegan, but you can also find it here. I used sweet potatoes instead of white (so it was extra fall-ish!), threw in a cup of peas in addition to the other ingredients and of course, I used the delicata in lieu of butternut squash.

It feels a bit strange posting about soup today. The temperature has decided to spike and apparently we're in for an unseasonably warm Thanksgiving this weekend. Everyone is very excited about the prospect of wearing shorts to Thanksgiving dinner. I am not. I want to wear the cute new slouchy boots I bought. Sigh.

There's that visible disgust again......


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