Vegetable Soup 

img_3086So, now that the weather is cooling down soup can be added to your menu planning rotation!  That’s great for me because I love soup.  On a cool crisp day, after being outside with your kids, or your animals, or even alone with nature it feels so satisfying to sit down to a steamy bowl of hearty soup.  As with most of my recipes, this is a guide to give you ideas and not a strict formula for soup success.  Although, with soup how could one go wrong?  Well, even though it’s hard to mess up soup, if you don’t add any salt, sometimes people complain, lol!  So, let me qualify…as long as it’s seasoned adequately, it’s hard to mess up soup.

This is a great way to use whatever is in season and whatever you have on hand.  In my bowl I used tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, onions and kale.  Oh, yeah…KALE!  It’s still a very fashionable vegetable and can boost your leafy green intake at any meal.  When chopped up small and cooked in the soup, the leaves just melt in your mouth.  I also added some rice to this vegetable soup to thicken it and make it more substantial for a stand alone meal.  You can start with a vegetable broth or just plain water, toss in your chopped vegetables and your dry rice.  Then bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender and the rice is nice and soft.  Then it’s time to add your favorite herbs (dry or fresh) and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for another 5 minutes or so and then remove from the heat.

This soup features onions, carrots and kale from my Sage Mountain Farm CSA box, however you can use just about any veggie from our farm to create a delicious and satisfying soup for your Autumn enjoyment!

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Juicing Celery

Sage Mountain Farm
Gather the goods..then juice ’em!

During this past January we had some very cold (for California, sorry East Coast!) overnight temps at the farm and I think that this stressed our celery.  When you open your CSA box and see celery listed on the packing slip you may or may not recognize it.  While celery should be long and tall, our celery turned out short and thin, possibly due to the stresses of winter weather.

No worries, when life gives you lemons…make celery juice!

The celery has a great flavor and loads of nutritional benefits.  Just Google the health benefits of celery and you will be amazed at all of the nutrients packed into this low calorie vegetable.  Most notably, celery is touted to lower blood-pressure.  So really, you can de-stress with our stressed-out celery, lol!

This juice turns out a lovely shade of light green, just perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any day you want the “luck-o-the-Irish”!  It is tangy and spicy from the ginger and lemon with a touch of sweetness from the apple.  It is refreshing, I love it!  I used the recipe called Fresh Apple-Celery Juice with Ginger and Parsley from Food & Wine and I tweaked it to take advantage of what I had on hand.

Sage Mountain Celery Juice

Sage Mountain Farm
Tangy and spicy with a touch of sweetness!

1 whole bunch of organic Sage Mountain juicing celery, ends trimmed

4 small gala apples, cut for your juicer (gala was what I had on hand, you could use any variety)

1 bunch organic parsley

2 inches of fresh ginger, let sit on counter to thaw for 5-10 minutes (if you’ve been listening to me and are storing it frozen)

3 T of lemon juice

Instructions

Follow the instructions for your juicer and juice the first four ingredients.  Once complete, stir in the lemon juice and enjoy!

If you don’t like juicing or don’t have a juicer, our celery is also perfect for use in soups.  The leaves and stalks can be chopped and used in a variety soups.  Basic vegetable, a chicken noodle, or even cream of celery could be made using this fresh organic (if ugly-duckling like) celery!

Let me know if you tried the juice down in the comments, I would love to know!