September 16, 2010

Good Earth Gardens and Zucchini Soup

Last year, a bunch of my coworkers were offered the opportunity to take part in a kind of mini farmer's market through a company called Good Earth Gardens. The company is run by a Master Gardener (Leslie), and every week, she brought in deliveries of all kinds of vegetables for a monthly fee. You could sign up for different packages (for a single person, couple, or family) and she would bring in all kinds of variety for everyone to enjoy. Well, immediately after this started I got veggie envy, but I never participated since I would have never been able to go through all of the veggies and was afraid it would be a waste of money.

Well this year, when the opportunity came up again, I immediately jumped on it! One of my teammates and I split a "single" delivery every week, and it is still way more than enough veggies to the point where Allen and I can't finish them all! (My Mom and Dad have lucked out with the extras though) It has seriously been such a cool thing to have this summer at work, and we always look forward to our Wednesday veggie deliveries.

The other nice thing is that it has forced us to eat a ton of different kinds of veggies that we would have never bought for ourselves normally. It has also been pretty educational since there are a lot of veggies I've never even heard of that we end up receiving (i.e. kohlrabi - what the heck?!)

Kohlrabi (kind of tastes like cabbage - not my fav, but interesting!)

So this has been a whole new fun thing for us, and we are completely spoiled now by all of the fresh onion, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli (ohhh the broccoli), sugar peas, green beans, fresh herbs, a few different kinds of squash, carrots, swiss chard, spinach, cucumbers, eggplant...the list goes on and on. Plus, it's really nice to support the local produce, a local company, and Leslie is as nice as can be. So now we've gotten in the habit of incorporating all of these veggies into more and more meals, and it has also allowed us the opportunity to get a little bit more creative with our dinners. Which brings me to my next creation: Zucchini soup. Don't be discouraged if you don't like zucchini, (it has been taste tested and approved by Allen and a few of my coworkers) and this is one that I made up on my own (yay!) so please enjoy:

(I didn't take a photo of our soup so I borrowed one from Simply Recipes - it should look similar when you're done!)

Zucchini Soup
Olive oil - about 2 tbsp
2 small yellow onion, chopped
3 gloves garlic (of course), minced
3-4 lbs zucchini (this is an estimate - the zucchini we got from Leslie was HUGE and would be at least 4 lbs, which was plenty), skin taken off and chopped into bite size pieces (if the skin is hard to take off, you can bake it for 10-15 minutes and it will loosen it up - little trick from my friend Jill :))
4 cups chicken stock (can also use vegetable)
Red pepper
Lemon pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional - I added it, but it could be creamy enough without it)
Salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large pot on medium-high heat. Once heated, add the chopped onion and minced garlic for about 3-4 minutes until translucent and fragrant. Add a dash of the red pepper (more if you like the spice) and a tablespoon of lemon pepper, stir until fragrant - about a minute. Reduce to medium heat and add all of the zucchini. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes or so. Add the stock, bring everything to a boil, and then bring the heat down to medium and let everything cook for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and use a hand immersion blender (or food processor) to blend everything until the soup is smooth. Return the soup back to the heat and add the cream if necessary (it helps to smooth it out, but the squash makes the soup pretty creamy anyway). Add salt and pepper to taste, as well as any additional red or lemon pepper if you want to kick it up a notch ;) We topped the soup with some crispy fried onion salad toppers and some yummy crusty bread. Enjoy!!

1 comment:

  1. Next summer, I am definitely getting a share of a local CSA. I'm jealous of everyone who gets veggies every week. I think it'd be fun to find recipes for vegetables I've never cooked or tried before. A culinary adventure of sorts.