I don’t know about the weather elsewhere, but the weather here in Connecticut seems to be very bi-polar. One day it is in the 50s and sunny, and I am getting cabin fever and want to plant everything in the seed catalog immediately, the next day we get almost a foot of snow dumped on us overnight. What’s going on here?
I am so thankful that CT has some amazing farmers who have hoop houses, green houses, store rooms, and other ways of extending our crazy growing season, so that we are already getting some of the first tender crops of the springtime. Though not quite yet asparagus season, we have access to several root crops (beets, parsnips, onions, potatoes, leeks…), winter squash, eggs & meats, and tender fresh greens (grown inside of course).
Usually I plan the week’s meals before going to the store, but I decided to get crazy this week, and let the market make my meal plan. Whatever was fresh and available, I will form the week’s meals around that. This is one small step on my lifelong journey to be a locavore (to eat whole seasonal foods grown as close to me as possible as often as possible).
A big bag of fresh microgreens, spinach, and head lettuce means tons of fresh salads. Healthy brown eggs means breakfasts, frittatas, and quiches. CT grown oyster mushrooms may be grilled, sauteed, added to soups, or stir fried. The fingerling potatoes will complement just about anything, and the beets too have many many options.
The first dish I decided to make (after a giant fresh greens salad, because I couldn’t wait and helped myself almost as soon as I got home) was a slow cooker soup. I had obtained leeks, parsnips, and fingerling potatoes. Combined with onions I had over-wintered, fresh ground spices, and canned turkey broth (from Thanksgiving!) it would be the perfect thing on a chilly snow-covered day.
- 1 large parsnip (or carrot)
- 1 large leek
- 3-5 small potatoes
- 1/2 medium onion
- 2-3 cups bone broth, vegetable broth, or water
- Optional spices: black pepper, fennel, cumin, sea salt, garlic
Step 1: If using fresh whole spices, grind them up in a coffee or spice grinder. In a crock pot or small soup pot, add the broth. Wash the outside of the produce, but leave the skin on. Dice up the potatoes, parsnip, onion, and leek and add to the pot. Add water to cover.
Step 2: Cook in crock pot on “high” for 4 hours or “low” for 6-8 hours, or bring to a boil on the stove, and simmer for 1-2 hours. Serve fresh with a drizzle of olive oil and maybe some thick bread or rolls.