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Browsing Tag

CSA

2 In business/ local/ salads/ Seasons/ Sides/ summer/ vegan/ Vegetarian

You say tomato, I say let’s eat

tomato, tomatoes

You say tomato…

Every year my now 88 year old grandfather grows tons of his favorite vegetables (and fruits) in his garden in Philadelphia.  You can always find a tomato, tons of lima beans, string beans, cabbage or collards.   He was raised on a farm in North Carolina during the 1930s & 1940s a time when many families had to grow their own food to survive. 

Today the farm to table movement is booming with a whole new generation leading the charge. 

Tomatoes have long been considered as a beginner gardeners friend, especially grape and cherry tomatoes.  In fact, when I was in the 3rd grade one of our projects was to grow cherry tomatoes (luckily, my grandfather was able to revive my almost dead plant before it was due).  And even though my gardening skills leave much to be desired, there are numerous farmers around the country with tons of tomatoes this time of year. 

And such a versatile fruit that is treated like a vegetable deserves a box.

Eating them raw in salads and gazpacho or roasted in a hot soup or tomato sauce, tomatoes are great for large dishes that you can freeze or can.

All the recipes this month may call for a specific type of tomatoes but feel free to swap out your favorites or what is abundant at the markets.  Maybe even branch out and try the many heirloom varieties easily found these days.

0 In business/ fall/ local/ pasta/ Seasons/ winter

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s January!  The best month out of the year.  The first month, my birthday month. 

But one of the other great things about January is the cold weather that we finally get in this hot southern state.  And cold weather means SOUP!  I’m not a huge soup eater but sometimes I crave it.  And today was one of those days.

 

And nothing beats a homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.  I tend to go all out using homemade chicken broth I keep frozen in my freezer but if you don’t have any substitute your favorite store bought brother.  And if you want to save even more time, grab a rotisserie chicken from the deli section as well.  Just keep an eye on the salt levels.  

My kid prefers alphabet noodles so she can spell out her name, the rest of us prefer wide egg noodles.  But this is also great with orzo, rice, couscous or even barley.  Cook the pasta separately (but in chicken broth) so it doesn’t soak up all the delicious broth from the soup.  

You can also add some last minute spinach for an extra boost of green veggies.  The thing about Chicken Noodle Soup is, it’s so basic you can make it what you want.  I love thyme, lemon and leeks added to mine.  If you don’t like any of those flavors grab your favorites.  This soup is so forgiving.

 

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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
A lovely rustic homemade soup filled with chicken flavor, noodles, and vegetables
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Noodles
  1. 3 quarts chicken broth or water (homemade or store bought)
  2. 1/2lb wide egg noodles
Soup
  1. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1/2 cup onions, roughly chopped
  3. 1/2 cup leeks, roughly chopped
  4. 1/2 cup carrots, roughly chopped
  5. 1/2 cup celery, roughly chopped
  6. 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  7. 1/2 cup of white wine (optional)
  8. 1 bay leaf
  9. 6 qts chicken broth (homemade or store bought)
  10. 1 cup cooked chicken torn to pieces
  11. 1 lemon, plus zest
  12. 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  13. salt
  14. course ground pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large stock pot of dutch oven, heat oil over med-low heat
  2. Sweat onions, celery, carrots and leeks until soft (season with a tsp of salt and pepper) and they begin to release their own juice
  3. Stir in garlic and lemon zest and cook for 2 minutes
  4. Add white wine if using allow it to reduce for 5 minutes
  5. Add broth and bay leaf, simmer for 1 hour
  6. Add chicken simmer for another 15 minutes
  7. Add juice of 1 lemon
  8. *If you are going to eat soup immediately you can cook the noodles in the soup now*
  9. Finish with fresh thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Remove bay leaf before serving
For Noodles
  1. Cook noodles according to the package, omitting additional salt
Tasty Tin http://tastytin.com/
0 In local/ salads/ spring/ vegan/ Vegetarian

GMYLF (Go Meet Your Local Farmers)

basil

March is such a wonderful month that gets lost in the shuffle of the ending of the holiday season and the start of warmer weather.  But so many great things happen in March like daylight savings time (I know, I know we lose an hour but think of all the sunlight you get to embrace!), spring officially begins and, my favorite, my farmer’s market starts back up.
From March to December I talk and learn from any and every farmer I can find.  As passionate as they are about what they grow and how they grow it, they are just as passionate about cooking their fare.  And like me, they love to talk about it.

You can find a wide variety of lettuces, herbs and other produce and some really great simple recipes to try at home.  I’ve never gotten a recipe from a farmer that had more than 5 ingredients.  Usually all 5 ingredients can be found at the farmer’s market which makes it an ideal place to try something new.
My favorite part of local farms are farm shares otherwise known as Community Supported Agriculture or CSAs.  A farmer will sell shares of their farms harvest for a year to a set number of locals.  Some times they will accept a person working on the farm in place of money but regardless of which a person does its the support that makes it what it is.
Search around your neighborhood, ask friends or family or visit the farmers market and ask the vendors there to point you in the direction of a CSA.  They fill up fast but are so worth it.  And if you miss your chance this year there is always next year and just shop weekly at your local farmer’s market.