I love a good bowl of steaming soup on a cold winter evening, do you? One of my favorites is Witch's Stew. You make it like this:
1/2 bone-in picnic ham (or any ham, I've even used cut up ham steaks)
a large butternut squash, cubed [as much as you can cube a squash :) ]
4-6 parsnips, sliced
1 onion, sliced
6 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1/2lb bacon (1lb for a large pot of soup or bacon lover)
Put your ham in a large pot, along with the butternut squash*. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, cook your bacon in a frypan, and set it aside once it is done. Cook your sliced onion in the bacon fat. Back to the pot - add in the parsnips and celery. Keep that pot simmering - you want the squash to become mush and make a thick orange broth of sorts, instead of having chunks of squash in your bowl. add your onion and crumbled bacon to the pot to heat through. I plan on this soup being on my stovetop, simmering away, for 2 hours or more.
*peeling and seeding a squash is easier if you stab it with a knife (carefully, don't go all psycho here) and put it directly on your oven rack at 350 F until it starts to soften. Take it out and let it cool before you proceed.
Orange is such a great color, especially for a steaming bowl of soup. It makes me happy just looking at it.