This week we have a special guest post by Mi Ae Lipe, author of Bounty from the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook. She shares a great recipe with us, and we will have two more upcoming posts featuring delicious dishes you will want to try.
Be sure to visit her website www.bountyfromthebox.com and give her page a “like” on Facebook
Ah, July … that time of year when we’re over the gratification of the first spring radishes, rosy rhubarb, and delicate greens. Now we’re into Serious Vegetable Tackling. These weeks of abundance can be overwhelming if we’re not keeping up with our CSA boxes, a hint of things to come in August when goodies from the farm and garden overrun our kitchens and challenge our culinary imaginations.
There are many strategies for dealing with this abundance. Sometimes the best way to enjoy all this fresh produce is to do nothing at all—just a quick rinse and enjoy them raw, perhaps with simple dips, dressings, oils, and vinegars to dunk them into or sprinkle over them. Savor fruits and vegetables for their own distinctive flavors that are so pronounced in this brief time of year, thanks to the great soils in which they grow and warm temperatures. Simply nothing beats a sweet handful of raspberries, cherries, strawberries, or freshly shelled peas.
Another way of tackling the bountiful harvest is to make a great vegetable soup that you can freeze and enjoy during the long winter months, each mouthful a luscious taste of summer. This recipe, from my book Bounty from the Box, is courtesy of Terhune Orchards in Princeton, New Jersey. The beauty of this soup is that it is as simple as can be to make, and you can throw in just about any vegetable or herb you have on hand, including those carrot tops. Feel free to experiment!
Terhune Orchards Vegetable Soup
¼ cup barley, uncooked
1 large onion, chopped
1 bunch celery, plus leaves
4 tomatoes, peeled and quartered, or 1 (15-ounce) can stewed whole tomatoes
1 pound carrots
2 zucchinis, sliced
1 green bell pepper, cleaned and chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped (including enough fronds to make 2 tablespoons)
4 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 4 cups water
4 cups chicken broth (or replace 2 cups of the broth with 2 cups of tomato juice)
1 bunch fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped
1. Cook the barley by putting it in a small saucepot along with 1½ cups of lightly salted water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 40 minutes, or until the barley is cooked through but still a little chewy. You may discard any extra water or use it as part of the liquid in the soup.
2. Put all of the ingredients in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the vegetables are cooked but not too soft.
More recipes are available in my book, Bounty from the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook, available from www.bountyfromthebox.com. (And don’t forget, as a Forsythe Farms CSA member, to enter the promo code FSY15 when ordering to get 15% off the book!) While you’re on the website, check out our recipe section, read our blog, and browse our extensive resource directory, which has links to everything from gardening resources to our favorite kitchen products.