It's that time of year when we wake to the sounds of gunfire from the woods across the river or the wetland on the edge of town. After 18 years, these sounds are no longer unnerving to me, but part of the natural sounds of the season.
Meanwhile, the juncos are back from their summer retreat, and the other morning I saw a nuthatch darting up and down one of the cedar trees. A red-headed woodpecker was drilling away at the Indian corn that hangs on the old carriage house.
I love these seasonal markings. Another is the availability of Brussels sprouts at local markets (although I dawdled at home one morning and missed the chance to buy some very fresh ones).
I have two favorite Brussels sprouts recipes that are worth repeating. Both are among the most popular recipes on this blog.
Creamy Brussels Sprouts Soup with Shallots and Roasted Potatoes
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cups Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed, outer leaves removed, sliced in half
- 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup previously roasted potatoes
- 1 small onion, peel and chopped
- dash freshly ground pepper
- dash fleur de sel
- dash nutmeg
- 1/3 cup half-and-half or cream
Add one cup of broth, bring to a boil and cover, lowering heat.
Add onions. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes until broth is reduced. Carefully transfer to stockpot, adding potatoes and remainder of broth. Cook under low heat for another 10 minutes, adding nutmeg and salt and pepper (taste frequently; I used about 8 spoons).
Turn off heat and allow to cool 15 minutes. Then transfer soup to food process or blender. Puree. (I pureed one half, set it aside and then pureed the other half). Return to stock pot and add cream, re-heating under low heat.
Serve with grated cheese and croutons. It's a meal in itself! Pair it with Croque Monsieur.