And Another Soup

It has been COLD here in the Boston area. Snow. Power outages (not at my homestead). Freezing trick-or-treaters. So today, when school was cancelled (no power there), I decided it was time for another soup. This one comes from yours truly’s brain, so forgive the lack of a recipe. Basically, you can make this soup with anything you want. It’s a great way to use up veggies that are about to turn (or just have turned). I’ve decided to call this version Super Soup because of the nice variety of veggies and vitamins (and because I have the sense of humor of a 10 year old…)

Start with equal parts butter and olive oil in the bottom of a large stock pot (I used about 1 tablespoon of each). Heat over medium. Add celery, leeks, and garlic (or onions, or shallots, or any combination thereof). Cook for about 5-8 minutes, until they start to caramelize.

Next, I added 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces. Cook a few more minutes, until the sweet potato starts to brown.

Cover the whole combo with broth (I used chicken because I had it on hand, but I’d prefer vegetable for this type of soup). I use a mixture of broth and water, because I think it’s a bit too potent otherwise. For this batch, I used 5 cups broth and 2 cups water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil.

When the soup is boiling, add beans (I used beautiful fresh cranberry beans). Leave uncovered and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add broccoli and simmer until the beans are soft (about 15 more minutes).

Aren’t they pretty?

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy with a nice piece of crusty bread, or if you’re like me and out of nice crusty bread, with a plate of crackers and goat Gouda.


Happy November, everyone! Stay warm!



A Little Something…

…to hold you over until tomorrow’s exciting experiment:

I made another round of garlic scape pesto, this time without the peas. This time, I used two bunches of garlic scapes (about 10), one bunch of fresh basil (also from the CSA), 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts, 1/3 cup of olive oil, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. I put this batch in the freezer so that I can enjoy the delightful taste of scapes later in the season!

…and a little something to hold me over: the perfect summer snack. I chopped up the little pickling cucumber, added a bit of feta and tossed them with some olive oil and chili powder. Such a nice little treat.

Happy snacking!


Hooray for Variety!

As you saw in my sneak preview, we got quite the variety today in our CSA share. It’s great to get farther into the summer and the growing season. When I went to pick up the share yesterday, the first thing I noticed was garlic scapes (!) in the swap box (!!!!) and I knew they would be mine! The only question was what I would give up to have them. I decided on Romaine lettuce since I have the hardest time taking down salad greens.

So, we got two bunches of scapes (!!) and a large bunch of fresh green onions.

That is one BIG fennel bulb and fronds!

Summer squash season has begun! We got zucchini, kousa squash, and pickling cucumbers.

We got another lovely bunch of beets!

That is some seriously rainbow rainbow chard!

Final tally: 2 bunches of garlic scapes, one giant fennel bulb w/ fronds, one bunch of rainbow chard, 4 beets w/ greens, one zucchini, 2 pickling cucumbers, 3 kousa squash, one bunch of fresh green onions, a bag of peas, and a partridge in a pear tree. (Okay, we didn’t get that last one…)

Looking forward to it cooling off a bit so I can do some more fun cooking!


Joining Forces…

I hope you are having a lovely holiday weekend! Currently, I’m sitting on the porch at my parents’ house in Maine enjoying the breeze and a view of the ocean after a morning of kayaking and laying out in the sun. Ahh, I am loving this whole summer vacation thing!

My mom and dad are getting a CSA share up here as well, and last night we combined our hauls to create a delicious and simple dinner. We both had good portions of rainbow chard and garlic scapes, so we decided to use all of them for dinner. My parents have not been thrilled with their CSA, because of the limited variety and the distance they have to go to pick it up, but one huge bonus was the incredible quantity of garlic scapes they got. They had 1/2 a pound in their last share!! Some of the scapes were about 3 feet long:

I added mine to the pile and we had quite the garlic scape bounty!

Speaking of abundant produce, check out the size of this chard!

Now that is a large leaf! The rainbow chard from my CSA was significantly larger and more colorful than that of my parents due to the difference in growing seasons. We are about 2-3 weeks ahead of them down in Boston. I was struck by how lovely and striped the stalks were.

Isn’t that striking? I chopped up the chard and tossed it all in to a large, high-walled skillet with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauteed it until it was tender. As noted before, the greens cook down an amazing amount, so the four of us were able to eat all this chard in one sitting!

While the chard was cooking down, I gave the bounty of scapes a rough chop and tossed them into a cast-iron skillet with 1/2 tablespoon of butter. They smelled delicious while cooking!

When we had gone to the store earlier, we also picked up some local steaks from Pineland Farms to toss on the grill. While the scapes and chard were cooking, my dad grilled up the steaks. Once everything was ready, we had a delightful, veggie-ful meal out on the porch.

What a satisfying meal! Featured in the foreground are my signature Dark & Stormies, my all time favorite summer cocktail (Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, Barritt’s Ginger Beer, and a wedge of fresh lime).

Happy Independence Day weekend!


Some Red With My Green!

This week, we are seeing a touch more color in our CSA share! That’s how you know that summer is getting into full swing here in the Northeast. I am going out of town for the holiday weekend tomorrow, but will be back with lots of catching up next week. Who knows, I might even post a bit from the road!

Today, when I picked up our share, I utilized a nifty feature of Farmer Dave’s CSA share that I hadn’t before: the swap box. Even though the shares come prepackaged, each week there is a box where you can swap things out of your share for something different. Since I still haven’t managed to use the Chinese cabbage or tatsoi (though I’m planning to tomorrow), I swapped out this week’s bok choy with an extra bag of spinach. I’m more used to cooking with spinach and it is so incredibly delicious at this time of year!

Here’s what our box looked like after the swap:

We got two bags of spinach, a head of Romaine lettuce, a bag of peas, and…

…radishes, more garlic scapes (!), and…

…a cippolini onion and rainbow chard.

I have some fun cooking in my future. I hope you have a wonderful long weekend!