Community Supported Agriculture, Farm Shares and Spring Soup - april 20, 2011

Spring is here again!  The plum trees have bloomed, asparagus is in the stores, the end of the school year is fast approaching and I am officially another year older. These are the usual markers of my favorite season beginning, or as is often the case, being halfway over by the time I get around to giving it my full attention.

With all the rebirth and new beginnings that come with spring I've done a little makeover on my blog. Like a good surgeon, I've added more, but not so much as to shock old friends.  This year I will focus on cooking from my (or your) CSA box or farm share. In case you don't know the jargon, a farm share is the produce delivery system more and more people are using these days, where you sign up ahead of time and support (that's the S in Community Supported Agriculture) a particular farm or group of farms by subscribing for a set amount of time. Paying ahead allows farmers access to funds for growing food in advance, locks in the price of that food and insures that there will be a market for it.

So what to do with all those cabbages, dandelion greens, collards, leeks, green garlic, celery roots, pomelos, dried peaches, eggs and various other goodies we get every week?  I haven't found too many cookbooks that offer up an unending supply of new and exciting ways to make delicious meals from leaves, eggs and roots, so I'm putting together an easily searchable collection. Plus, after more than a decade of CSA membership with Eatwell Farm, my husband and I have a few tricks for feeding ourselves and our kids healthfully, deliciously, and with the smallest amount of work possible.  So here it is - Eating Dirt 2.0, a lazy parent's guide to using up the produce.

There are some new tabs across the top - now you can keep up on the latest news in food and urban ag  by following my twitter feed, search for something to do in San Francisco on the urban ag calendar, see what's in my CSA box this week ( in case you don't get your own and need to know what to buy at the store), and follow what I'm making for dinner each week.  Soon you'll be able to read reviews of cookbooks and other food writing and access past recipes by searching the printable 4x6 card recipe box.

Seasonal, local, organic and delicious. Come on and join in the fun!

And now, a recipe.  I recently purchased Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking.  I love Heidi's blog, and I now I love her cookbook too.  This soup is quick, simple and delicious, especially if you use your own homemade chicken stock. I'll cover the lazy way to do that later. Maybe tomorrow. 

Spring Soup: (adapted from Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks)

2 T olive oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced

1 clove green garlic, minced

3/4 cup brown basmati rice

6 cups chicken stock (of course you can substitute veggie if necessary)

1 cup sugar snap or snow peas, cut into small pieces

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and diagonally sliced into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup green peas



Heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the shallots and sauté for a couple minutes. When the shallots are soft, add the garlic. Then add the rice and stir, cooking for a minute or two. Add the stock and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 35  to 45 minutes, until the rice is tender. Then, add the vegetables and simmer for just a few minutes. Add salt and pepper as needed.


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Susanne K.
April 25, 2011

I like the new updates very much and they are indeed as subtle as a good boob job should be (as you referenced in your blog) and I just hope that by reading your updates, I will learn to cook with the veggies that you use so regularly, that are a pure mystery to me! :)
April 21, 2011

The cookbook is vegetarian and I suspect many of the recipes are already or could be converted to vegan. Heidi focuses on cooking delicious food using whole foods - grains, beans, vegetables and fruits. She lives in San Francisco, and I think we might see her in amongst the bulk bins at Rainbow if we kept our eye out.


Yvonne Milham
April 21, 2011

Yum! Is the cookbook veganizable or does it have lots of meaty recipes?


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