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Here I go again, rushing to publish my seasonal foods list for November before December takes over. I’ve been putting it off as I don’t want to be reminded that my weekly CSA delivery of locally grown produce is about to come to an abrupt stop. I don’t even want to think about it. Seriously. Those of you who have been following my blog for the last 24 weeks know how much I love having my big red tub of Grant Family Farms seasonal fruits and veggies delivered every Thursday. I have two more weeks left and then I will be in mourning. Deep, dark mourning.

In the meantime, I’ll get right to the point. No whining or complaining as this is supposed to be a time of expressing gratitude. No feeling sorry for myself. At least not openly. Well, maybe a little bit. Sniff, sniff.

Cranberries — are a rich source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. High in antioxidants, they are also thought to protect against urinary tract infections and prevent kidney stones. Cranberries also help promote gastrointestinal health and protect against cardiovascular disease.

Winter Squash — there are lots of varieties of winter squash, including acorn, kabocha, butternut, Hubbard and even pumpkin. Each one is an excellent source of vitamins A and C and most are also rich in dietary fiber, potassium, and folate. Winter squash also provide anti-inflammatory protection, so enjoy often!

Sweet Potatoes — are available year round, but November and December are peak harvest times. You can get 265% of your daily value of vitamin A in one small sweet potato! And for only 95 calories. They are also high in vitamin C, manganese, fiber, B6, potassium and iron. Don’t save sweet potatoes just for Thanksgiving, eat them year round. They are over-the-top healthy.

Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup
what you need

• 3 medium sized sweet potatoes (about 3-4 cups peeled and cut in 1 inch squares)
• 1 cup peeled and chopped carrots
• 4 cups chicken broth
• 1 cup coconut milk
• 1/2 cup diced onions
• 1 teaspoon minced ginger
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (or eliminate if you don’t have it)
• sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
• small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil, butter, or ghee

There’s no right or wrong way to make soup. The whole point of soup is to use what you have on hand. Play with the ingredients and try different combinations. Other seasonings to try in sweet potato soup include 1 teaspoon of mild Indian curry paste, 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, a pinch of cayenne or turmeric.

what you do
• Sauté onions in oil or butter in large soup pot over medium heat until lightly browned.
• Add minced ginger, cumin, coriander, or whatever spices you’re using. Stir and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
• Add chicken broth, coconut milk, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Bring to a light boil, turn heat down to a simmer, cover and cook until veggies are tender and can be easily pierced with a fork (about 30 minutes).
• Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes or so. Puree with a handheld immersion blender or puree in batches in a regular blender. Be REALLY careful if you use a conventional blender as the hot soup can blow the top of the blender off. Trust me, it’s not a pleasant experience. Pour back into soup pan and warm thoroughly.

Go forth and make soup!

In good health,
Melissa

6 Responses to “seasonal foods for November, recipe included”

  1. Miles says:

    Melissa,
    Another great post, it’s fantastic to be able to get a quick, no-nonsense guide to seasonal food and what effects they have on the human body. This soup sounds great and perfect for the time of year.

    Miles

  2. I love this time of year, since some of my favorite foods (like the ones you listed) are suddenly readily available. . . . Of course, I could say that nearly any time of year.

    No winter CSA at all where you live? Even a different one than your usual one?

  3. Cid says:

    Melissa,

    I love soup and this one sounds perfect for the season. Sweet potatoes are available in my corner shop grocer. All I do is take a large basket and fill it with fruit and vegetables that look fresh, not that I always know what I’m going to do with them at first! The wooden crates of carrots with their green tops and traces of mud still clinging look so appealing. Nothing beats being able to choose your own. The lady that runs it supplies local restaurants so all kinds of things are available including locally grown. Having such a sweet tooth I never imagined when I was younger that I would get such a thrill from visiting a shop like this but I realise how lucky I am to have it so close by.

    Cid

  4. Melissa says:

    Miles — hope you’re feeling better. Soups are so good for whatever ails you.

    Sally — It’s snowing here right now, so we don’t have many winter farmer’s market options, but I’m going to look into it. Someone’s got to be growing something around here.

    Cid — wow, that sounds wonderful. You are lucky, indeed! And here’s to “ripailles” over here on this side of the pond! Did I spell it right? That’s my new favorite word. I might have to do a post on it, a variation of what Miles did. It’s such a good word. And quite appropriate for the “community” we are all creating.

    :-)

    Cheers to all,
    Melissa

  5. I love sweet potato soup, and with carrots, it’s even better. The color is lovely.

  6. Alisa says:

    I was way behind on my blog reading, but glad I spotted this post, that soup sounds awesome! I am definitely putting it on the menu. Thanks!

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Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
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