Thursday, August 28, 2008

New broom [RECIPES]

ATTENTION FARM SHARE: I don't want anymore kale or chard or beet greens. Spinach is OK.

Seriously now, our share last week was just wrong. Look at all these fucking greens. How can two regular people with lives and a taste for (PETA'rs, look away) animal flesh, get through so many greens in 6 days time?


I am considering using all future leafy green farm share inclusions (save for spinach. Wuv you, spinach!) as bouquets rather than food. I mean, they keep forever if you trim their stalks and put them in water, and with the red, yellow, white, purple and green veins - they are sorta pretty.

And they're freer than flowers, which is to say that they are free and cut flowers from TJ's (as cheap as they may be) are not. Anyway, this is my new approach for dealing with the overabundance of Greens We Can't Possibly Eat in the weekly farm share.

The greens become our new Flower Share. Yay!

I've also been really jealous of Lynn's farm share because they give her flowers, so this is my way of saying, "Me too!"

Also, as an aside, if company's coming and I don't have cut flowers, all that chard in the garden is up for grabs, too. Be warned, chard. You're marked.

So, even though these greens got all bundled up like a centerpiece, I didn't use them as a centerpiece. I actually found a recipe in which to use all the insistent kale and chard from this week's share and when I say found I mean Thimbleanna took mercy on my poor fiber-rich soul and sent me a recipe for Portuguese Kale and Sausage Soup from her Williams Sonoma Soup cookbook.

Now, I will say that the idea of making soup in summer seemed unlikely, but for some blessed reason it was in the 70s on Saturday and I made this without stroking out in my overheated kitchen. If I were to make it today, on the other hand, I doubt I'd make it past peeling the potatoes since it's 100 degrees (REALLY? 100 DEGREES? I do not live in Phoenix. This is not right.) outside and my brain melts down at 109. For the record.

But for one blissful SUMMER evening last Saturday, I made soup and did not die. And also - it was really good and did an effective job of brooming. You can pretend this isn't important, but you'd be lying.

AND PLUS - I got to use my mandolin, which I was *so sure* was necessary and then I got it and realized what a hot fresh pain in my ass it is to use/clean/keep my fingers safe from. I mean, I did use it for this recipe, because there's a buttload of prep that has to be done, but if I'm not chopping/dicing/waffle cutting more than half a dozen things, that mandolin stays safely stowed in the drawer where it can't slice off my arm.

The fact that CI thinks this is the best mandolin on the market just reaffirms in my mind the unnecessariness of this object in my cupboard. If The Best One sucks like this one, then I will go happily back to my sharp ass knives and forget I ever spent $40 or whatever on this de-limber.


On Thimble's suggestion, and because I changed things, I'm renaming this recipe to suit my needs.

Finny's Broom Soup w/ Sausage
Adapted from William Sonoma Soup's
Portuguese Kale and Sausage Soup
1/4 c extra virgins
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 lbs of the potatoes you have on hand (in our case fingerling, russet and gold) peeled and sliced thin-ish
32 oz chicken stock
16 oz water
3/4 lb polish sausage, cut on the diagonal into slices 1/2 inch thick
1 bunch kale, thick stems and ribs removed, sliced into ribbons
1 bunch chard, sliced into ribbons
Salt and pepper as you like
More extra virgins for serving

To make
In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and saute until lightly browned, 5 - 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the potatoes, toss to coat, and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the stock and water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Using an immersion blender, coarsely puree the soup, making sure to leave some of the potato intact. Add the sausage, cover, return to medium heat, and simmer until the sausage is heated through, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and cook, uncovered, until it is wilted but still bright green, 3 - 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls, dress lightly with some extra virgins and serve it up. Warn your eaters that it is MOLTEN LAVA and ask that they first distract their tongues with some tomato salad while it cools a bit...

Finny's Tomato Salad
Recipe of my own devising.
Which is obvious because it's not very technical.

4 homegrown or otherwise delicious tomatoes, sliced into bite sized wedges
A handful of homegrown or otherwise very fresh and delicious sweet basil, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, sliced in half
2 T Extra virgins
2 T Balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
Pepperoncino fino or cayenne pepper to taste

To make
In a clean glass bowl, rub the cut sides of the garlic on the bowl until suitably coated. Toss in your tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic, salt and red pepper. You can also throw in the now semi-squished garlic, it's fine.

Stir this up really well, making sure to drag those tomatoes along the entire surface of the bowl's interior to get all that garlic juice mixed in. Let it sit for about 15 minutes (it's good to get this prepped and sitting while the potatoes are boiling for the soup. Just an FYI.) and then add the basil, stir it up and let it sit for a few more minutes or however long before you feed it to your guests (or self) as a primer for the MOLTEN LAVA soup broom detailed above so that hopefully you don't starve waiting for that shit to cool off, or worse, scorch your tongue off thus rendering your tasting abilities null and ruining your love affair with the tomatoes.

Or whatever.


  1. Good thing you gave it a new name--I don't think you can call it Portugese if you use Polish sausage. But that's very multi-cultural and inclusive of you.

  2. Oh my god I LOVE that soup. It's called Caldo Verde and it's a good way to give my kids some verde.

    BTW, have a FAB birthday! The
    30's are great!

  3. Ha! You made it. Sorry it was summer which is kind of the ironic thing about this recipe. You want soup in the winter but the kale isn't in full bloom in your garden in the winter. Hmmm. Maybe you could freeze your kale for later???

  4. The last couple of years I would collect all that swiss chard overgrowing in the garden, slice it up small, and blanche first the stalks, and then for less time the leaves, and drain them. LOOOOOTS of blanching! Then pack it all away in small baggies and stash them in the freezer. (Yes, I know, the freezers are all probably maxxed out by now - but at least the swiss chard-filled bags are super thin)

    And then in the winter, when it's time to make soup (extra easy with the pressure cooker, I just dump a bag (or a chunk from a bag) of the swiss chard in. It thaws and finishes cooking right there in the soup, sometimes cooking down so much so that it disappears, but 1) I know it's in there and 2) Brett doesn't. And since he thinks he doesn't like, I get him eating it! ;-)

    I seriously need to start storing swiss chard NOW - and maybe finally making some big batches of pesto to freeze as well. It's time to start hoarding all the summer goodies for later...

    Wow - 100!? We were in the 60s yesterday!


  5. Yum. I've been trying to find something to use kale. While I don't have "Too much", I have enough for this! Thanks.

  6. Did you read that article in a recent Cooks Illustrated about mandolins?

  7. Hmm... I think I tried something like this, and I didn't like it. But maybe I'll try it again if I get more kale. This week for leafy veggies, I got chard and lettuce. Not too bad, so not leafy centerpieces for me.

    I actually stopped getting the flowers in my share, they were 5 bucks extra so $25 total, but they didn't change much from week to week so i got bored of them.

    I am thinking of switching to your csa next year because you guys get a lot more fruit than we do!

  8. Ugh. You've brought back memories of the only thing I didn't like about my CSA the first year I joined - endless quantities of chard, all spring and summer long. There was more variety the next year, thank goodness.
    It's way too hot to think about soup now, but I'll try to remember this recipe in the fall.

  9. Could you explain the "broom" thing? Thanks!


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