Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What to Do With Your Share---Week 31

Last week of the season. Thanks for sticking with us this year. We hope that the extended season has provided a bounty to you, as we feel the high tunnel has performed well and produced a generous amount of nutritious veggies.

We will be down at the Bad Seed Holiday Market on Friday (4-9pm), so come by and stock up for Thanksgiving week with some fine ferments from the farm, and the many goodies that other vendors will have. One such item, which compliments the share quite well, is chestnuts.

Back in the 1990's I bought an excellent cookbook---Cooking at the Academy, from the California Culinary Academy. One recipe I was especially interested in was the Chestnut and Carrot Soup. I modified it a bit to fit what I had at hand and you can too. You can't go wrong with a creamy soup with chestnuts, carrots, onion, potato and/or sweet potatoes. Quite elegant.

1 lb carrots
2 medium onions
1 lb chestnuts
1 lb sweet potato or white potato
1-1/2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup half & half
salt to taste
3 tbsp. olive oil
Dill or parsley for garnish

1. To peel the chestnuts first cut an "x" in them and place them on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the shell starts to "peel open." Peel the chestnuts and chop them into quarters.

2. Clean and coarsely chop the other vegetables. For a more refined soup you should peel the potatoes.
3. Heat oil in a heavy 3 quart saucepan over moderate heat. Add onions and carrots and sweat for 1 to 2 minutes or until onions are transparent.
4. Add the potato and chestnuts and sauté for 2 minutes.
5. Add stock and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

6. Puree mixture with an immersion blender or in a food processor.  Lightly whisk the half & half into the soup to lighten the texture and extend the volume. You can also add water or stock to thin out the soup if desired.

7.  Top with sour cream, yogurt or crème fraiche and garnish with fresh chopped herbs.

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