The final few weeks of our summer CSA from Local Roots Farm

The final few weeks of our summer CSA from Local Roots Farm have held some real gems: fluorescent favorite romanesco, a beautiful, ultra-crinkly Savoy cabbage that demanded to be set out on the counter and admired before meeting the knife and pan, and crisp, delightfully bitter treviso. But the most memorable vegetable came, fittingly, in the last box of the season.The moment my boyfriend stepped through the front door late last Wednesday night carrying the veggie box, the bottom gave out and a large green squash landed on the floor with a startling thud, then rolled towards me on the couch. It’s good that it made such a dramatic entrance, because my preference would have been to ignore it (as I was successfully doing with the last two squashes that had arrived during the weeks before), because I stubbornly felt that giving into the squashes would be giving into fall (and gray. and rain. and an interminable chill.) But the squash made its point, as well as a real impact on us. The big squash–about eight inches around and at least four pounds–would not be ignored. We made a date to tackle it on Friday night, where it took both of us quite a bit of time and elbow grease to cut through its tough skin, tear out its tangle of soft flesh and seeds, then dice it into manageable pieces. We threw in the two Delicata squashes we had on hand for the hell of it, and ended up with about five cups of squash which, along with leeks and onions and garlic, easily filled up a five quart Dutch oven. This is when the fun really began. While the squash and leeks softened on the stove, the old noisy heater came on and we settled into the couch and talked excitedly about the storm that was approaching. Then we added homemade beef broth, a little wine, and spices to our soon-to-be soup: cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, cayenne, a little fresh ginger and fennel fronds. The smell, along with the toasty smell of the heater, infiltrated the whole apartment and suddenly the idea of fall was real. And it seemed, instead of something to resist, like the only thing in the world that made sense. An hour and a few whirls in the blender later, we sat under an afghan and slurped up bowls of soup the exact color of the leaves that were falling outside the window.