Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Week 14 Fall/Winter CSA and Mustard Green Soup

It's been a pleasant few days picking greens for today's baskets.
Not exactly balmy, but that little bit of sun that came along makes a huge difference to the temperature in my hoophouses.

Last night and again tonight I haven't bothered to cover up the greens inside the hoophouses because of the nice little January thaw we are having.

I love it. I do.

With a nice little bit of arthritis settling into my hard working hands, the increased temperatures mean a bit of pain relief. I don't say this to complain at all, but I can see I am developing my mom's knobby hands.  That's okay.  Sometimes it even makes me smile, as I can picture her hands doing something. Like knitting, washing dishes and gardening. Just like me.

It was tough getting a snap of my baskets before I made the trek into town today. Chicken pressure.
I popped a basket down, raised my camera and the chickens came running, trying to pull the greens out of it as fast as they could.

I had to set it up on a table to get an okay shot.

This time of year I am happy for weeds and the chickens are too. During the good weather they would spurn the weeds they now gobble up without a thought. Fittingly there is chickweed and grass in my hoophouses, and they get the not quite fit to eat mustard chard and kale leaves with holes and yellow edges.

I know they appreciate it and they are thanking me with eggs. I eat their eggs with gratitude, but they are the only eggs I'll eat.  Most chickens lives are not quite so pleasant and it is a cruel industry I don't support.

Greens, greens and a bit of purple. Garlic too. I think there are 8 different type of greens in the baskets today.

Next week will be the last week of this round of my CSA. I'll post the new 2013 CSA info on my website by next Tuesday Feb 15. There are still lots of greens too, and I'll talk about how they'll be distributed. My most sincere thanks to everyone for eating from my gardens and greenhouses this past year.

And just when you thought you'd seen it all, how about Mustard Green Soup? I make tons of soup this time of year and I like to use what's on hand. What's on hand now, of course, is mustard greens!

Mustard Green and Potato Soup ( from Bon Apetit)

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 cups (or more) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch mustard greens (about 12 ounces), stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 10-ounce package fresh spinach, stems trimmed


Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add potatoes; sauté 3 minutes. Add 8 cups water and crushed red pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in another heavy large pot over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add mustard greens and all but 1 cup spinach leaves; sauté until wilted, about 3 minutes.
Add sautéed greens to potato mixture. Working in batches, purée soup in blender until smooth. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool. Cover and refrigerate.) Return soup to pot. Bring to simmer, thinning with more water, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
Cut remaining 1 cup spinach leaves into 1/3-inch-wide slices. Ladle soup into bowls. Add dollop of sour cream to each bowl. Garnish soup with sliced spinach leaves and serve.

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