In your box:
- Baby bok choy
- Broccoli (full shares only)
- Cucumber or squash
- Ground Cherries
- Kale, “Curly Roja”
- Sweet pepper
I did give one final look at the beans over the weekend, just in case they had one more week in them, but it looks like bean season is finally over. During their harvest window I spend about 8 hours a week picking and bagging beans, so it was bittersweet when I mowed down our bean beds and said goodbye to hunching over beans until next August. But then on Saturday I realized that I wouldn’t spend much of the afternoon picking beans, and that bittersweet feeling was quickly replaced with euphoria.
Autumn does seem to be settling in early this year, which is ok with me. I’m not quite ready for a frost, so hopefully we can hang on for a couple more weeks before our peppers and basil die off for the winter. But not seeing any 90 degree temperatures in the 10 day forecast is a great relief.
Thanks to everyone for continuing to return your boxes! Our backup stack of boxes is still in good shape and I expect to make it through the year just fine. Please keep returning them the rest of the way. Thanks so much!
This week’s box
This week we introduce a couple of new crops. Arugula is the bunch of small, rounded green leaves. It has a sharp, peppery taste and is great mixed into a salad or lightly wilted down as a side dish or stir fry. If the taste is too strong, it’s great as the main ingredient in pesto.
Our celery is running a little smaller than most years, but its strong flavor is always a welcome addition to our fall boxes. Our celery isn’t the over-watered stuff you get from California–it’s got a strong flavor and is perfect for adding to any stew or soup this time of year. Keep celery in the fridge in a bag or hydrator drawer and it should last well for two weeks.
Pureed Broccoli and Celery Soup
from New York Times Cooking
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 2 to 4 garlic cloves, to taste, minced
- 2 pounds broccoli, mostly crowns, chopped; stems, if using, peeled and diced
- 6 ounces potatoes, peeled and diced, or 1/2 cup medium grain rice
- 2 quarts water or vegetable stock
- A bouquet garni made with a bay leaf, a Parmesan rind, and a couple of sprigs each thyme and parsley
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 ½ ounces arugula or spinach leaves (1 cup, tightly packed)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, chives, for garnish
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven and add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Do not allow these ingredients to brown. Add a generous pinch of salt to prevent this from happening (the salt draws out liquid from the vegetables). Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic smells fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add the broccoli, potatoes or rice, water or stock, bouquet garni, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni. Stir in the spinach and let sit for a minute off the heat. Add freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt.
- Using a hand blender, or in batches in a regular blender, purée the soup. If using a regular blender fill only half way and cover the top with a towel pulled down tight, rather than airtight with the lid, because hot soup will jump and push the top off if the blender is closed airtight. Return to the pot and heat through, stirring. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, topping each bowl with a sprinkle of chopped herbs and with other garnishes of your choice.
Next week should bring cucumber or summer squash, tomatoes, beets, bok choy, cherry tomatoes, peppers, parsley, arugula, salad mix and red onion.