Saturday, September 20, 2003

Farm Shares

Sorry for the long absence. I'm hoping for more regularity now that Fall is settling into its frantic rhythm.

We are moving to the fall crops – hardy greens, the last of the tomatoes, winter squash. I think the potatoes are done and, after a brief glorious abundance, the sweet little watermelons. This week we got

Mizuna, or purple mustard or arugula
Delicata squash
Tomatoes
Rainbow chard
Beets with beet greens attached
Onions
Cucumber
Basil


Here’s a recipe for all of you out there puzzled about what to do with beets or overwhelmed by too many of them. It was in the Sunday New York Times Magazine, September 2, 2001.

Beet and Ginger Soup with Cucumber

1-1/2 lbs. small beets, trimmed and scrubbed
3 Tbl. olive oil
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt
1 small leek, trimmed and chopped
1 clove garlic, smashed
3 Tbl. chopped ginger
3 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
Juice of 1 lemon
½ English cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/8 inch cubes

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the beets in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of oil and season with salt. Toss to coat. Place the beets on half of a large sheet of aluminum foil and fold over to make a pouch. Seal tightly. Place in the overn and roast until a fork easily pierces the beets, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Peel off skin and cut beets in quarters.

2. In a soup pot, warm the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek and cook until it begins to soften, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger; cook 2 minutes more. Season lightly with salt. Add the beets chicken broth and 3 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Transfer the soup in batches to a food processor and process until smooth. Then return the soup to the pot and place over medium heat. Taste and adjust seasoning, add more salt, the lemon juice to taste and more ginger if you wish. Just before serving (the soup should not be served too hot; it could even be served chilled or at room temperature), add the cucumber to the soup and stir. Then ladle into bowls and serve immediately. You may serve this with a dollop of crème fraiche. Serves four.

We like this soup very much.

For those of you who care, Mercury went direct today, so come out from under the bed... oh wait, Mars is still retrograde so maybe we should all stay there with the dust bunnies for another week.

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