The down comforter is on the bed, the slippers are on the feet, and we’re starting to drink a lot of hot tea and crave hearty soups. But not just yet! Our local weatherman warned of temperatures up north of the Capital District in the 32-42 degree range tonight, which frightened me a little, but around here it should stay in the forties. This is what a lot of farmers in the area are talking about now, and we need to keep an eye on the last of those frost-sensitive crops still in the ground and producing, however slowly. Frost usually comes around mid-October, but who knows what this crazy year will bring.
We planted a fall crop of sugar snap peas, which although delicate, we hope will make it to at least one distribution. We will see how much longer our eggplants, peppers, beans and tomatoes will be able to hang out before their fatal wilt. We are including the cilantro and hot peppers this week to make sure you get an opportunity to make salsa, if you haven’t already!
A bit of exciting news — as some of you know, Wes and I are going away for a week-and-a-half to California for Wes’ brother’s wedding (hopefully the leaves won’t all turn and fall off before we get back). So, while we’re gone, we’re so happy that Erin and Sam – Second Wind CSA managers from the past three years – will be taking care of the farm. You’ll be seeing one or the other or both of them at next week’s distribution. Thanks, guys, you’re the best!
This week’s share:
- Tomatoes (maybe the last)
- Cherry Tomatoes (those Sungolds are champs!)
- Tri-color beans
- Hot Peppers (habanero, jalapeno, thai hot)
You’ve all been getting kale just about every other week, and we figured it’s a good time to add a few new ideas to the mix. In general, it can be simply sauteed with onions and garlic and splashed with a little vinegar, or lemon juice and soy sauce, or chicken broth. You can also boil it briefly in salted water until it’s tender, and then add it to the pan with onions, garlic and/or other veggies for a less chewy version.
CALDO VERDE – PORTUGUESE KALE SOUP (FOUND HERE) (NON-VEGETARIAN VERSION)
Absolutely, utterly delicious.
Considered by many to be Portugal’s national dish, caldo verde is found everywhere — in the dining rooms of Lisbon’s most luxurious hotels to the humblest of country homes. It’s a versatile dish: Serve it as a one-course meal at lunch or as a light supper in the evening. What’s crucial when preparing it is that the kale is cut into extremely fine slices; that’s what creates the soup’s distinctive character.—John Villa
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
10 ounces chouriço (aka chorizo), diced
6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups cold water
1 pound kale or collard greens, cut into very fine julienne
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Add the garlic and half the chouriço and cook for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, cover everything with the water, bring to a boil and lower the heat, simmering until the potatoes are almost done, about 15 minutes.
2. When the soup is cool enough to handle, purée it in the food processor and return to the pot. Add the greens, bring everything back to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls, and garnish with the remaining cubes of chouriço.
VEGETARIAN CALDO VERDE – PORTUGUESE KALE AND POTATO SOUP (HERE)
1 large onion, chopped
5 large cloves garlic, minced
pinch of crushed chilies (or to taste – we like it HOT!)
4 medium potatoes – abt. a pound – cubed (I leave skin on)
4 or 5 cups low sodium vegetable stock (or mix of water and stock)
1 small carrot, very finely chopped
6 ounces kale, washed, tough stems removed
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
Dash of tabasco
salt and pepper if needed
Garnish – your choice (parsley, green onion, etc.)
Use a large pan. Over medium-high heat, ‘saute’ the onion in a little water until translucent. add garlic and chilies and cook a minute or two longer. Add potatoes and carrots to soup pot and add the water or water and stock. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer until potatoes are soft. Mash the potatoes very very slightly (just crushing them, not turning them into mashed potatoes!). Roll the washed and de-stemmed kale up into tight bundles and slice as thinly as you can with a sharp knife. Add kale to soup pot and add in the reduced sodium soy sauce. Bring back to the boil, then lower heat to simmer to cook the kale. When the kale IS soft, add tabasco and freshly ground pepper and taste for seasoning, correcting if needed. (Note, depending on the size and shape of your pan and the heat you use to cook the soup, you may need to add a little more liquid to bring it to the desired consistency.) Garnish, if you like, and serve.
SIMPLY DELICIOUS SAUTEED GREENS (FROM NOURISHING WISDOM NUTRITION)
1 bunch kale
1 small onion sliced into half moons
1 apple diced
2 cloves garlic diced
2 t olive or sesame oil
1 T soy sauce
½ C chicken or vegetable stock
½ can chick peas or other favorite beans (drained)
Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until fragrant (7-10 min). Add kale, stock, and soy sauce and simmer until greens are almost tender, but not too soft. Add chopped apple and beans and continue to simmer 10 minutes. Taste and adjust, adding more soy sauce if desired. Serve over rice for a perfect dinner.