The first is a BUTTERNUT SQUASH RISOTTO from The Barefoot Contessa. It is a bit time consuming for a weeknight and does require your attention, but the creaminess and comfort foodiness of it are so worth it. I did use the saffron, but if you don’t want to make that investment, I think it would be good with other herbs. Morgan loved this; Audrey wouldn’t touch it. Nice enough for company!
Next is an old favorite, AUTUMN VEGETABLE SOUP, from Molly Katzen. This recipe is great because it is a great base to work from and while there’s lots of chopping, not too much skill is required. It’s a good choice for a lunch for a bunch of women (I get requests for it whenever I serve it to gals), and Morgan likes it. James and Audrey, not so much, but they’ll come round eventually.
Finally, BLACK EYED PEAS WITH TOMATOES & ONIONS is great for those ugly pink or white and black pods of peas you see at the market in the late summer and early fall (I forget the name of the pink ones, just ask the farmer). The kids love to shell the peas and as usual, liked the “broth” part the best. I adapted this from the “Santa Monica Farmer's Market Cookbook” and used canned tomatoes instead of fresh - b/c canned is a hell of a lot easier and there aren't good tomatoes in the fall. Serve over rice, or with crusty bread for dipping OR, enjoy on New Year’s Day with greens and cornbread for good luck – an old Southern tradition!