What's for Dinner? Soup!

Photo credit: Kate SommersPhoto credit: Kate SommersThese days, I'm actually kind of grateful that the Minnesota Twins play in a dome. You see, I'm originally from New York, and the members of my family who have not (yet) moved here are going to get another look at our fair city this week during the American League Division Series (go Twins!). And although the cold weather is a great way to keep people from visiting most of the year, I wouldn't mind seeing my friends and family occasionally - I actually like them! (I know, sue me!) What I don't need right now is for my mom (in Florida!) to know that it's hovering around 40 degrees outside as I write this. (Mom, if you're reading this, I'm just kidding about the outside temperature. It's actually 75 degrees and sunny. And you don't need to read the rest of this post, really.)

When I'm not thinking about how to hide Minnesota's climate from my family, I'm thinking about soup. Every time a new box comes from my Harmony Valley cropshare, I start thinking about which of its ingredients can be turned into something warm and delicious. I've made corn soup, potato leek soup, celeriac soup, and squash soup, and I'm just getting started. I'll admit to being at a bit of a loss regarding pepper soup - I've never seen so many peppers in my life, and I'm struggling to turn them into something I love. If you've got a great recipe, please share it with us.

Meanwhile, here's a list of what arrived in this week's farmshare bounty, with descriptions directly from Harmony Valley's email newsletter:

  • Porcelain garlic: The deep, rich flavor of roasted garlic is a great complement to round out sweeter or earthier flavors of fall foods such as squash, spinach, carrots and other roots.
  • Yellow & Red onions: We are entering soup season! Remember to save yourself a few carrots, onions, and a celeriac for soup days.
  • Potatoes: Don't forget potato's good friend, the leek. Fried, grilled, mashed, or roasted, potatoes and leeks make a tasty duo. And of course there's always cheese.
  • Carrots: Tasty in a stew, soup, or simmered with a roast.
  • Peppers: Ukraine: Thick fleshed and sweet, sliced Ukraine is good on a sandwich raw or roasted. UW Roaster: Roasted, peeled, seeded, and pureed, peppers make a bold sauce mixed with a little cream and seasoning. Serve over pasta with sausage, mushrooms, and spinach. Jalapeños: Dice jalapeños and mix into a batch of cornbread topped with cheddar cheese. Cheddar jalapeño cornbread is a great accompaniment to a hot bowl of chili! Mini-sweet: Stuffed with your favorite filling, such as hummus or herbed cream cheese, these little peppers make a fabulous snack or hors d' oeuvres. Sure to impress your friends!
  • Butternut & Delicata squash
  • Leeks: Slice into thin ribbons and fry until brown and crispy. Sprinkle over soup as a crunchy garnish right before serving.
  • Beauty heart radish: Big, brightly colored radish makes beautiful slices for a salad, raw, veggie platter, or topped with cheese.
  • Arugula or salad: Try a cool salad topped with warm veggies, like roasted rings of delicata squash, roasted squash seeds, roasted peppers or leeks, and a spoonful of soft goat cheese or brebis.
  • Rainbow chard: Chard's colorful, crunchy stalks need not be discarded; stripped from the leaf and chopped up, they can be cooked much like celery. Add to a stir fry or soup to get the chard's full nutritional benefit. The leaf portion can be used like any other cooking green; add closer to the end of cooking time.
  • Broccoli: How about a chunky broccoli cheese soup!
  • Spinach: Tasty, vitamin-rich wilted spinach adds lovely dark green color to soups and pasta sauces. Be careful to add spinach shortly before serving time so it does not overcook.