Carrot Soup

Heat a 5 quart pot or casserole. Melt 1/2 stick butter (4 T) and 1/4 C olive oil. Throw into casserole 3 large onions, chopped roughly; 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. carrots (12 large carrots, or so), peeled and chopped.
Add salt, pepper, some herbs if wanted. Cover and simmer slowly for l5 to 30 minutes.
Add 3 quarts water, or chicken or vegetable stock.. Bring to boil, then simmer for 15 to 30 minutes. Pass soup through a strainer or Mouli, or put through a blender.
Add 2 Cups Hard Cider. Correct seasoning. Add more water or stock as desired, and spice as wished: parsley, sage, oregano, even curry work well. This makes arich, flavorful, seasonal soup of autumn and winter.

Squash Soup

Same as above, except use squash. Start by washing and cutting winter squash into quarters. Clean squash of seeds. The easiest way is to first boil squash in water, then peel it, using squash water as stock.
Then add cooked squash to onions and simmer, as in Carrot Soup recipe. Or you can peel it raw, chop it up and cook it with onions until the squash is cooked.

Caramelized Apple Pizza
from Margo's Bistro, Shelburne Falls, Mass.
Margaret Fitzpatrick, chef

1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
2 T diced prosciutto ham
1 T Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 T diced sharp cheddar
1/2 C hard cider
2 sage leaves,
finely chopped proofed 8 " pizza dough or focaccia dough (recipe follows) Sear onions in hot dry pan, stirring as the onions brown then caramelize. Deglaze with cider. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Spread pizza dough with onions then arrange sliced apples pinwheel fashion to cover.
Top with prosciutto and cheeses and sprinkle on the sage. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Makes one 8" pizza.

Focaccia Dough

1/4 C warm water
2 1/2 tsp. dry yeast
2 1/3 C water
2 T olive oil
1 T salt
1 sprig fresh rosemary(chopped) Stir 1/4 C warm water with yeast and let stand 10 minutes. Blend oil with 2 1/3 C water, add to yeast mixture with remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add more flour (about 4 cups) one cup at a time until the dough comes together. Let dough rise until doubled, then punch down. Cut into 6 pieces and shape into 8" rounds. Makes 6 crusts.