Our lives are so convenient now, and I mean that in the best possible way. We have easy and inexpensive access to food and comforts that just 50 years ago would have been shocking. But we’ve become so separated from our food supply that there are people who not only have no idea where their food comes from, but have never even seen a cow or chicken and don’t know what some basic foods are, as evidenced by this clip from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.
Yes, those were kids in that clip but it doesn’t make it any less shocking and it drives home how much difference one generation can make. If we start teaching kids now where their food comes from and how food relates to health, by the time they have children we may finally be on the road to a healthier population.
Over the last few years I’ve been trying to get closer to where my food comes from, both to support local businesses and to eat healthier, properly-raised meats and organically grown produce. I buy 90% of our produce at the farmer’s market now and no longer buy meat from the supermarket. Instead, I found farms that raise cows, chickens, and hogs for meat and purchased shares of the herd. When the animals are slaughtered, we get a large amount of meat at once that we make use of for the next 9-12 months. (I’ll do a post in the future about how to find farms that you can buy direct from and what to look for to ensure you are getting quality meat.)
Our chickens come from a fairly new operation called Primal Pastures that is just over an hour away from where we live. They raise chickens naturally using no soy or genetically modified feed and allow the birds to eat bugs and worms right from the ground as they were meant to.
Last weekend Primal Pastures invited their customers to come to their farm and see first hand how the chickens live and we jumped at the chance. The event was a potluck for which everyone was asked to bring a gluten-free dish to share. The local Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader also took a few minutes to speak about WAPF for those who were unfamiliar with the organization. We all ate and chatted while sitting right next to the chicken coops which were separated into one for the baby chicks, one for the meat birds, and one for the egg-laying hens.
I brought a butternut squash soup that I adapted from a recipe I found in Delta Sky Magazine of all places. The original recipe called for canned chipotle peppers in adobo, which taste fantastic but all contain vegetable oil. Since we don’t eat vegetable oil, that wasn’t going to work so I used some chipotle powder and all-natural chipotle salsa instead. I was worried about people not eating the soup because they had to carry the soup bowl, plus their plate of food, and their beverage back to their table. But, by the end of the potluck there wasn’t a drop left, which I was actually a bit disappointed about because it was so good I was looking forward to leftovers!
The recipe is below. I forgot to take a picture of the final product in all of the potluck craziness so I’ll just have to make it again to get a photo. 🙂
Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup
8 slices bacon, diced
1 large or 2 small yellow onions, diced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2-4 cups homemade stock
2 pounds frozen, diced butternut squash
1 12-16 ounce can organic sweet corn*, drained
2-3 tbsp chipotle salsa
2-3 tsp chipotle powder or to taste (less for less heat, more for more)
salt and pepper to taste
*omit if you can’t find organic to avoid GMO corn or if you do not tolerate grains
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels or a paper bag to drain. Cook the onion in the bacon grease until just soft. Add the garlic and cook for about one minute until fragrant. Add the butternut squash, corn, salsa, chipotle powder, and enough stock to just cover everything. Bring to a low boil for a couple of minutes, stirring periodically.
Blend about 3/4 of the soup in a blender or food processor until creamy then mix with the unblended potion for a slightly chunky chowder. Generously salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the crispy bacon pieces on top.Lifestyle, Nutrition, Recipes