Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fall CSA Week 2 and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

I felt a bit sluggish when I got up today, and after the fog cleared from my head I remembered about my dying chicken.

This would be the day I would bury her.

I lost another girl just a week ago, and then yesterday this pretty girl was definitely not well. I separated her from the rest of the flock, dosed her water with antibiotic powder and hoped for the best.

When I passed along Mollie's toast crusts from breakfast she seemed to perk up. But alas. That was short lived. Last night before I went to bed I checked and she was breathing...but just barely.

I love my chickens, I really do, so this makes me quite sad. I love their chicken-ness, the clucking and squawking, scratching and the way they run when they believe I have a treat for them. I think they are far more clever than people give them credit for, and much more social too.

So bless you my dear soul. You will be missed.

The fall baskets still have a whole lot of summer in them because we haven't had a frost yet. Most of the tomatoes in the basket, including the gorgeous fluted "Gezhante Buhrurkeel" are from one of the hoophouses. The plants producing these tomatoes haven't been watered for quite a while, so they are sweet and delicious.

In addition to tomatoes, the peppers and eggplants have continued to produce, so they were in the baskets today as well. Broccoli florets, cape gooseberries, kales, basils, rosemary, carrots and jerusalem artichokes made an appearance as well.

I know that most of you will recognize the wonderfully knobby 'chokes, but I also know they are new for some of you. It is a bumper crop of them this year, thanks to all the rain we have had. They aren't actually artichokes or from Jerusalem, but are in fact in the sunflower family. In some jurisdictions they are considered noxious weeds, such is their growing habit. If you have grown them once, you probably will grow them for life.

They can be eaten raw, but cooking them may be a good idea, especially if you have company. Cooking reduces how gas-ey they can make you. Just a warning. (Fartichokes-tee hee!)

They do have a pleasant nutty taste, and are pretty versatile in the kitchen. They can be stir fried, roasted or mashed  but also make a great soup.

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

2 celery stalks chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 large onion chopped
2 TBSP olive oil
2 lbs Jerusalem artichokes
4 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste

Saute celery stalks and onion in the olive oil in a soup pot until they are tender, but not browned. Add garlic and cook for an addition minute.
Add veg stock, then sliced chokes, and cook until the chokes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Blend until smooth with an immersion blender, salt and pepper to taste.

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