Chunky Potato and Leek Soup

This is my new favourite crew lunch soup recipe.  The chunkiness allows each vegetable to speak for itself while the overall flavour is gorgeous. Ingredients 300 gm sweet potato - scrubbed not peeled and cut into 1 cm rounds (if they are the finger sweet potatoes) 500 gm potato - scrubbed not peeled and cut into large bite size pieces 3 carrots - halved and cut into 1/2cm semi rounds 1 leek halved and sliced into 1/2cm semi circles 250ml white wine 200 gm of pumpkin peeled and cut into 2 cm squares a large knob of butter...about 80 grams 1.5L vegetable stock 1/2 cup chopped parsley 3/4 cup chopped stinging nettles

Method 1. Place the butter and leeks into a large heavy bottom stock pot on medium heat.  Caramelise the leeks...stirring occasionally until they begin to brown. 2. Add carrots, potato, pumpkin, sweet potato and wine and turn the heat up burning the alcohol from the wine. 3. Turn heat back to medium and add stock.  Ensure that there is ample stock to cover vegetables.  Simmer until pumpkin begins to break down.  The pumpkin can completely disintegrate adding flavour to the stock. Add stock if needed. 4.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Once the stock is well flavoured, add the parsley and nettles and remove from heat.  Let rest for five minutes before serving.

Photo Credit Belinda Sheekey at Dyeing Trade

 

Spaghetti Vongole with Fresh Mussels

Ingredients30 grams butter 6 cloves of garlic 1 onion (Brown onion,red onion or shallotts) 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley 4 stems of thyme 1.5 teaspoons lemon zest mussels (quantity depends on the catch but let's say this is around 1kg) 1 cup white wine 1 cup cherry tomatoes

Method (If you want to eat the mussels with spaghetti, cook the pasta just before beginning cooking the mussels. Drain the spaghetti in a colander and place a lid on top to keep it warm) 1. In a large heavy based pot with a lid, melt butter over medium heat and saute onion and garlic til onion is soft. 2. Add in wine, tomatoes, thyme and mussels, turn heat up to high and place lid on. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer until mussel shells open (about 6-8 minutes), discard any that don't open. 3. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the parsley and lemon zest. 4. If you want to reduce the liquid you can remove the mussels once they open and turn the heat up to reduce the 'soup'. 5. To serve put the spaghetti in bowls, place mussels on top and then pour the mussel soup over the top of the spaghetti.

Photo: Nikki Fisher at Wholefood Mama

Broad Bean Pasta

This is very simple recipe with a few ingredients.  I love recipes like this as they allow each ingredient to be tasted.  We have found that children like this as well.  If you want to be extra decadent, you can double pod the broad beans.  The broad beans we are harvesting are very fresh and young and we have not needed to do this extra step. Ingredients 500grams Broad Beans, podded zest from a lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon 2 green garlic cloves diced finely small bunch of mint or parsley, finely sliced Feta to crumble salt and pepper to taste olive oil 500 grams fettuccine

Method 1. Heat water and follow instructions for cooking the pasta. 2. Lightly steam podded broad beans for 3-5 minutes. Run under cool water and set aside. 3. Make a dressing with the lemon zest, lemon juice, green garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. 4. Drain pasta.  Mix with broad beans, dressing and herbs.  Adjust seasoning. Crumble feta over the top and serve.

Broad Bean and Quinoa Salad

I love quinoa salads.  Quinoa is a high protein seed, more closely related to the spinach and beet root family then other grains.  It contains contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron. It is also delicious, light and easy to accessorize.

Ingredients 1 cup quinoa 1 lemon 800 grams broad beans, podded 200 grams feta 1/2 cup parsley finely chopped 1 Spring garlic clove finely diced (This is an immature garlic clove with its greens still green) 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsps white balsamic vinegar salt and pepper

Method 1. Rinse quinoa in a fine strainer until water runs clear.  Place in medium saucepan with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until almost all of the water has been absorbed.  Remove from heat. 2. Break feta into 1cm*1cm pieces.  Zest the lemon over it and add olive oil, vinegar, juice from 1/2 the lemon, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.  Allow to marinate. 3. Steam podded broad beans for about two minutes - until the beans are just tender.  Transfer to a bowl of iced water. Pop the beans from their inner pods. 4.  Add the cooled quinoa to the feta and broad beans.  Adjust seasonings to taste. Add extra olive oil if necessary.

Artichoke Hearts and Fennel

This is a wonderful base for a risotto and great as a side dish.  You can use other herbs, such as fresh thyme or tarragon – to taste, in place of the parsley. There are many internet sites explaining with pictures how to expose the heart of the artichoke.  I have described it below but pictures are helpful. Ingredients 3 to 4 prepared artichoke hearts 1 lemon bowl of cold water 1 to 2 baby fennel sliced about 2 tablespoons butter 3 green garlic "cloves" and stems, sliced like green onions freshly ground black pepper and salt 60 ml dry white wine 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice zest from one lemon 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Method 1. Trim the tops and stems from the fennel. You can save some of the fronds for garnish. Cut fennel bulbs into 1cm-thick slices, cutting lengthwise through the root end to keep slices intact. 2. Preparing Artichokes - Pour the water into a deep bowl. Halve the lemon and squeeze the juice into the water, then add the lemon half to the water. 3. Cut most of the stem off an artichoke, leaving about 3/4-inch (2 cm.).  Cut off most of the crown or leaves of the artichoke, about an inch (3 cm) from where the stem meets the base of the artichoke. 4. Pull off the tough leaves. Run a paring knife around the edge of the artichoke to remove any tough bits of skin and leaves. 5. Take a spoon and scoop out the fuzzy “choke” of the artichoke, inside. 6. Then use the paring knife to trim any last bits of skin on the stem. (If you’re not sure if something should be trimmed away or not – it will likely be tough, so get rid of it.) 7. Slide the trimmed artichoke into the lemon water, then repeat with the remaining artichokes. Artichokes turn brown immediately so do put them into the lemon water. 8. To cook - Put butter into an unheated sauté pan that has a cover. Heat the olive oil slowly. 9. At the same time, working relatively quickly, drain the artichokes, towel dry them, and slice them about 1 cm thick. 10. Add the artichoke and fennel slices to the heated butter, tossing them a few times to coat. Season with salt and  freshly ground black pepper. 11.Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add wine and lemon juice, and cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 12 minutes or so, removing the lid and stirring a few times, until the artichokes are tender. They’re done when you can poke a paring knife into one and it meets no resistance. 12. Remove lid, turn up the heat and stir in the parsley and lemon zest. Cook for another minute or so to get rid of any excess liquid and allow the fennel and artichoke to brown.  You may need to add a bit more butter or olive oil.  When just about done, add the green garlic and cook for one minute more. Garnish with fennel fronds.

Chlorophyll Paste

Thank you to Ceila Lairba, one of our CSA members and a Thermomix consultant for sending through this recipe Taken from "in the mix - Great Thermomix Recipes" by Dani Valent

 Chlorophyll Paste

Time: 25minutes, plus overnight draining. Makes about 1/2cup.

 Ingredients
500g ice cubes
250g baby spinach leaves (any green leaves - kale, bok choy, braising greens, perpetual gator etc)
80-150g soft herbs (parsley, coriander, mint, dill or chives) leaves only, amount depends on how much flavour you want
Method 1. Weigh the ice into the TM Bowl. Set to Closed Lid position, press Turbo serval times. Tip the crushed ice into a large mixing bowl. 2. Weigh 750g of water and heat for 6mins/70 degrees/speed 1, bringing it to exactly 70 degrees. While that's happening, prepare a large sieve or colander lined with muslin or a clean kitchen cloth. 3. Add the baby spinach (or any other greens as above) and herbs into TM Bowl. Blitz for 6 mins/70 degrees/speed 10, then immediately pour the green mush into the bowl of crushed ice. NOTE if the lid is leaking STOP. You need a new seal. Otherwise you will make a huge mess. Be careful opening the lid - allow a 2-3 second delay before opening to allow for the green mixture to settle. I learnt the hard way and immediately opened the lid and had green everywhere on white walls and me. 4. Pour the contents of the bowl into the lined sieve. Leave to drain for 4 hours, ideally overnight. 5. The resulting paste left in the muslin is the chlorophyll. Scrape it into a container. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Discard the remaining green juice into a smoothie, on the garden - don't let it go to waste.
Ways to use it
  • Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of paste to scrambled eggs to create bright green eggs
  • Mix it into pasta dough for green noodles
  • Add a tablespoon to a fresh juice or smoothie

Parsley, Fennel and Spinach Soup

Ingredients125g parsley 1tbsp olive oil 2 Fennel bulbs, chopped (fronds reserved) 1 onion, chopped sea salt and freshly ground pepper 2 garlic cloves. crushed 3 cups chicken stock 200g spinach leaves grated zest of 1 lemon and a squeeze of its juice 4 tbsp ricotta crushed dried chillies to serve

Method 1. Separate parsley leaves from the stalks.  Chop half the parsley stalks and discard the rest. 2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the chopped fennel, onion and parsley stalks and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8 minutes, until softened, then add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes. 3. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil then add parsley leaves and spinach.  Stir until wilted. 4. Blend with a hand held blender or bench top food processor. 5.  Return to pan and add the squeeze of lemon juice.  Adjust seasoning to taste. 6.  Ladle into bowls and top each with 1 tbsp ricotta, a grating of the lemon zest, reserved fennel fronds and a little dried chilli.

 

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients1/4 cup (60ml) butter 2 leek 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 red birdseye chilli, finely chopped (optional) 1 cinnamon stick 3cm piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds 1 apple 2 carrots 1.5kg pumpkin (Buttercup varieties work well for soups.  They have a richer flavour) 1/3 cup (70g) red split peas (optional) Fresh thyme, coriander and/or parsley Salt, Pepper and Cream

Method 1. Peel, seed and cut the pumpkin into 3cm pieces.  Lightly coat with olive oil and roast in a 220 oven for about 45 minutes or until golden.  Take care to turn the pumpkin a few times while roasting. 2. Thinly slice the white of the leek. Peel and coarsely chop the carrots. 3. Put butter, leeks, carrots, garlic and thyme into a large soup pan and lightly saute for about 5-10 minutes. 5. Place a cast iron fry pan on high heat and roast the cumin seeds.  Then grind them in a mortar and pestle. 4. Peel, core and slice into 1 1/2 cm cubes the apple.  Add apple, cinnamon, cumin and ginger to the leeks. Saute for another few minutes to release the flavour of the spices. 5. Add stock and split peas and gently simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils and carrots are tender. 6. Add in the roasted pumpkin and simmer for another five minutes. 7.  Blend.  Adjust seasonings for taste.  You can add more cinnamon, more chillies, more salt and pepper, or even a dollop of honey. 8.  Serve with a dollop of double cream and a sprinkle of coriander or parsley.

Lentils, Monastery Style

This is a hearty soup which, when served with some corn bread, makes a complete meal!  It comes from my well loved copy of Frances Moore Lappe's  Diet for a Small Planet. Ingredients 1/4 cup olive oil 2 large onions 2 large garlic cloves 1 carrot, chopped 1/2 tsp thyme and marjoram 3 cups seasoned stock 1 cup brown or green lentils salt to taste 1/4 cup parsley, chopped 1 500g jar of tomatoes 2 cups chopped spinach or silver beet 1/4 cup dry sherry 2/3 cup grated Swiss cheese

Method 1.  Heat oil in a large pot and saute onions, garlic and carrots for 3 to 5 minutes. 2.  Add herbs and saute for another minute to release the flavours. 3. Add stock, lentils, salt and tomatoes and cook, covered until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. 4. Add sherry, parsley and silver beet and continue to simmer until silver beet is tender. 5.  To serve, put 2 tbsps of cheese in each bowl and fill with soup.  Serve with corn bread or muffins.

Cleansing Green Drink

This week we have a recipe donation from Baxter at Palate EarthYoga in the Park has begun all over the Mornington Peninsula...and has spread to Silver Sands, SA as well!  Baxter will be leading yoga classes in the Sorrento park, behind the Hotham Police station each morning from 8-9 and then starting 27 December 7.30-8.30 + 9-10am.  Yoga in the Park is also happening in Mt Martha, Somers, Flinders, and Mornington.  Free range, organic yoga for all ages and stages! For an achievable cleanse when you don't want to commit to days of 'deprivation', or simply have too many christmas parties that would interfere with your programme...

Green drink: 1 garlic clove or ginger (opt) 2 cups lettuce (or silver beet or spinach) 2 cups parsley leaves 1 celery rib 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed 4 cups spring water 1 fresh orange or grapefruit, peeled 1 tablespoon olive oil

Swiss Chard Fritter from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem

"There's something pure about these fritters – they're all about the chard and herbs" - Yotam Ottolenghi Ingredients 400g /14oz Swiss chard leaves, stalks removed 30g / 1oz flat leaf parsley 20g / 3/4oz coriander 20g / 3/4oz dill 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated 1/2 tsp sugar 3 tbsp all-purpose flour 2 cloves garlic, crushed 2 eggs 80g / 3oz feta, crumbled 60ml olive oil Lemon wedges, for serving

Method 1. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, and simmer the chard for five minutes. Drain, squeeze dry, then whizz in a food processor with the herbs, nutmeg, sugar, flour, garlic, eggs, a third of a teaspoon of salt and some pepper. Fold in the feta by hand. 2. Pour a tablespoon of oil into a frying pan over medium-high heat and spoon in three heaped tablespoons of the mix, one per fritter. Press down gently to shape into 7cm wide, 1cm thick fritters, and cook for three to four minutes, turning once, until they take on some colour. Transfer to kitchen paper and repeat with the remaining fritter mix and oil. Serve hot with a wedge of lemon.

YIELD  About 14 fritters, 4 appetizer servings

Taken from The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/jul/01/pickled-bream-chard-fritter-recipe-roti

Steamed Baby Potatoes with Parsley

This may seem so simple...that it can not possibly be tasty.  And you may be questioning whether you can steam potatoes! Trust! If you have lovely, spring potatoes, they steam to perfection and all they need is some butter, salt, cracked pepper and parsley!

Ingredients
Baby Potatoes
Real butter
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
Fresh parsley

Method
1. Gently clean potatoes with running water and your hands.
2. Steam in a stove top steamer for about 7 minutes (check after 4 - If your fork goes in without a problem, they are ready!)
3. Toss with butter, chopped fresh parsley, salt and cracked pepper.

Ratatouille

Ingredients2*1/2 kilo eggplants, cut into cubes 1 ¾ teaspoons plus ¾ teaspoon salt, divided 1 kilo tomatoes, diced 5 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 1/3 cup loosely packed, chopped fresh basil ¾ cup loosely packed, chopped flat-leaf parsley 700 grams onions, thinly sliced 3 bell peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped 1 kilo of zucchini, cut lengthwise and then into ½-inch slices 1/3 cup dry white wine

Method 1. Place a single layer of paper towels on 2 large plates. Place the cubed eggplant onto the plates and sprinkle with 1 ¾ teaspoon salt. Allow the eggplant to sit for 20 minutes. 2. In a large saucepan, cook the tomatoes, garlic, black pepper, basil, and parsley, uncovered, over medium heat. 3. In a large skillet, sauté the onions and bell peppers in a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very lightly browned. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the browned vegetables to the tomato mixture. 4. Pat the eggplant dry with a fresh paper towel and add it, along with the zucchini to the tomato mixture. Cover the pot and cook the stew over low-medium heat for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. 5. Add the white wine and ¾ teaspoon salt and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Ministrone

I have been told that every region in Italy has its own ministrone.  Keep that in mind when you are making this, substituting and adding anything you feel works. I have written the straight recipe from Slow Cooking by Joanne Glynn.
Ingredients
220 gms dried borlotti beans
50 gms butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
15 gms parsley, finely chopped
2 sage leaves
100 gms pancetta, cubed
2 celery stalks, halved then sliced
2 carrots, sliced
3 potatoes, peeled
1 tsp tomato paste
3 roma tomatoes chopped or 400 gm tin chopped tomatoes
8 basil leaves
3 litres chicken or vegetable stock
2 zucchinis, sliced
220 gms shelled peas
120 gms green beans, cut into bite sized lengths
1/4 cabbage shredded
150 g small pasta
6 tablespoons pesto
grated parmesian cheese
Method
1. Put the borlotti beans in a large bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak overnight.
2. Next morning, drain and rinse thoroughly under water.
3. Melt butter in a large saucepan and add the onion, garlic, parsley, sage and pancetta.  Cook over a low heat, stirring once or twice, for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and golden.
4. Add the celery, carrot and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes, basil, and borlotti beans. Season with plenty of freshly ground pepper.
5.  Add stock and bring slowly to a boil.  Cover and leave to simmer for 2 hours stirring once or twice.
6.  If the potatoes have not broken up, roughly break them up with a fork against the side of the pan.  Taste for seasoning and add zucchini, peas, beans, cabbage and pasta.  Simmer until the pasta is al dente.
7.  Serve with a dollup of pesto and Parmesan.
Source - Slow Cooking by Joanne Glynn

Vegetable Pesto Pasta

This recipe works well with broccoli, carrots, green beans, peas and zucchini.  The carrots, zucchini and green beans can be pan fried in a little olive oil or butter or steamed and then added to the pasta when done.  The broccoli can either be steamed separately or added to the pasta when it is cooking.  If the peas are fresh, you can add them to the carrots right before removing from heat or add to the pasta water right before it is done. Ingredients 3 packed cups fresh basil leaves (removed from stems) 2 large cloves fresh garlic ½ cup pine nuts, walnuts, almonds or a combination ¾ cup (packed) fresh chopped parsley ¾ cup fresh-grated parmesan ½ cup olive oil ¼ cup melted butter salt to taste

Method 1. Begin cooking pasta of your choice. All pastas work well with pesto. 2. Combine all ingredients except cheese in a blender on low, then medium speed. Thoroughly work everything into smooth paste. You can also do this in a mortar and pestle. 3. At this stage, you can put portions into containers and freeze for the winter.  Add cheese, mixing gently to combine. 4. Combine cooked pasta, cooked vegetables, pesto and extra cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

Source: Moosewood Cookbook – Mollie Katzen