This month in Michigan, the deciduous trees are flaming with an array of fall colors that get more vibrant as you travel north through the state. Honey Crisp apples abound.
Local farmers are being featured in the cafeteria at the Munson Medical Center in Traverse City. I had the privilege to spend some time with an inspired and committed dietician/chef of theirs, who is creating ways to share the bounty of the local, small family farmers with the staff and visitors at her hospital.
Several times a month, Laura McCain invites a farmer to talk to people at the front of the cafeteria line about the ingredients he or she contributed to the special of the day. Bags of the farmer’s fruits or vegetables are also available for purchase. Featured the day I visited were Asian pears composed in a salad with gorgonzola and walnuts.
Laura really understands the vital connection between good food, good health, and the role of a major health care facility in the overall health of a community, whether patients or not.
Further south, the busy Ann Arbor Farmers' Market has more organic vendors than in the past. I was lucky to find one selling baking pumpkins. The only time I had ever taken a knife to a pumpkin was to carve a smile with poor dentition, scary eyes, and a triangular nose. This time I wanted to make a pumpkin and apple soup based on a recipe from Laura McCain's hospital cafeteria.
A 4 1/2 pound pumpkin is somewhere between a softball and a soccer ball in diameter. It provides about 5 cups of roasted pumpkin used in this recipe.
Roasting the pumpkin one day in advance made life easier on "Thanksgiving practice day".
This soup is thick and really good.
Servings: A whole bunch of people