Crunchy Kickoff Mozzarella Sticks: Game-Day Goodness
Vegan Maple Sesame Game Day Cauliflower “Wings”
You’ve Gotta Try this in February 2024
Choosing Connection: A BC Family Day Pledge to Prioritize Presence Over Plans
Embracing Plant-Based Living this Veganuary and Beyond
Heal Your Gut, Naturally
Inviting the Steller’s Jay to Your Garden
6 Budget-friendly Holiday Decor Pieces
Dream Home: $8 Million for a Modern Surprise
The People’s Open Just One Reason to Visit Some Classic Scottsdale Golf Courses
Scottsdale In the Fast Lane
Why You Need to Make Penticton Your Next Winter Getaway
10 Places to See Holiday Lights in Metro Vancouver
Vancouver Adventures: Our Picks for December
What to Watch This Week: December 3 to 8
Are you getting the most from your expertly cultivated and perfectly aged wine collection?
The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Him
The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Her
This butternut squash soup recipe from Christine Allen's new book A Year at Killara Farm will leave your tastebuds delighted
Including 50 of Christine Allen’s best recipes, and strewn with flowers plucked and dried from her own garden, A Year at Killara Farm is illustrated front to back with the delightful watercolour paintings of Michael Kluckner, acclaimed artist and author of the bestselling Vanishing Vancouver books
This past spring I had a delicious editing and eating experience while giving author Christine Allen a hand with the final touches on her new book, A Year at Killara Farm.
A celebrated plantswoman, Christine is a regular contributor to BC Home & Garden among other magazines, and author of several books including Roses for the Pacific Northwest and Growing Up: A Gardener’s Guide to Climbing Plants.
In her newest book Christine shares garden secrets drawn from decades, such as the elusively scented Primula altaica that can bring you to your knees, and the delights of Cyclamen hederifolium with its tightly coiled new stems the pink of mice feet.
And amongst her abundant month-by-month observations are many from her edible garden: red-tinted lettuce is favoured for its surprising resistance to slugs, French sorrel is snipped down for a second season, potatoes are chitted, apples espaliered, and ‘Darki’ parsley lines the mixed potager of lettuce, spinach, rapini and arugula in anticipation of her Glad Green Salad.
And from the garden beds, A Year at Killara Farm also pulls us monthly into Christine’s kitchen, with more than 50 of her best recipes.
The tidying of the vegetable garden on chilly afternoons leads to silky soups of carrots and parsnips with orange or tarragon, or fortifying Soupe au Pistou served with Seedy Bread.
Nettle Quiche, Pesto-asparagus Pizza and Sorrel Soup are meals of the month when perennial edibles send up their welcome green shoots. Tomatoes are packed into jars to be served with goat’s cheese and French bread. Fall hips as big as crabapples on rugosa ‘Fru Dagmar Hartopp’ are turned into Rosehip Loaf. And orchard fruit becomes French Apple Galette or is dried on the woodstove, shrivelling into candy-sweet crescents.
As you can imagine, editing Christine’s book last spring, I was ravenous a good deal of the time, and dinnertime inevitably led to trying many of her recipes. Never has my family eaten so well, and many of these meals have become part of our seasonal rituals now, including this unforgettable fall-harvest soup that has us picking up every butternut squash we come across at our local farm market.
Join Christine and Michael and garden editor Carol Pope at their book launch at VanDusen Garden at the BMO Great Hall at VanDusen Garden on Thursday, November 8 at 4 pm.
Creamy butter nut squash soup (Image: Flickr / Sholeh)
We usually harvest our winter squash just before Halloween: a half dozen round, green-and-silver-speckled ‘Delicata’, and a similar number of ‘Waltham Butternut’. The former will be baked in their skins while the latter will make delicious soups for cold winter nights.
Serves two to four.