Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week 12: Happy September

With the beginning of September has come a grey sky over yellow fields of goldenrod...

At least that's what today looks like at our place.
...and a share packed with fall vegetables.

Just like early September, this week's share is a lovely mix of summer and fall. It includes: Kale, Potatoes, Leeks, Rutabaga, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Broccoli, and Fresh Herbs.

The rutabagas are our usual variety, a lumpier than average heirloom called gilfeather's turnip (though they are true 'bagas and not turnips). I know some members find rutabagas especially challenging. Check out our rutabaga pinterest board for several ideas if you need some inspiration. My favorite is the baked rutabaga fries. I made some seasoned with oregano a while back, they were heavenly.

Or you can make some soup with your 'baga, like this:

Potato and Rutabaga Soup with Kale and Bacon Crumbles 

For the soup:
  • 3 strips of bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 Leek, well cleaned, white and light green parts only, chopped small
  • 1-3 cloves garlic, minced, or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 pound potatoes, chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 rutabaga, chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 5-6 Kale Leaves, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 4-6 (or possibly even more) cups of milk
For the kale crumbles:
  • 3 strips of bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 5-6 kale leaves, stemmed and chopped into bite sized pieces
In a large pot over medium heat, cook the first three strips of chopped bacon, the chopped leek, garlic and nutmeg until the bacon is cooked but not crisp and the leek is softened.

If you weren't sure, the leek should look like this
before cooking.
Add the chopped potato, rutabaga, and first six leaves of kale to the soup pot, then add milk to cover. For me that was just over four cups of milk. Bring the milk to a simmer, turn the heat to low and simmer until the rutabaga and potato are very soft, about 30-45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make kale crumbles. In a small saute pan over medium heat, cook the second three strips of bacon and the second six kale leaves until both are crisp.

Once the rutabaga and potato are tender, blend until the soup is smooth. Add milk as you blend until the soup is as thin as you like it, this took about two cups of milk for me. Taste and add salt if needed.

Sprinkle a bit of kale and bacon crumbles over each serving of soup, along with some grated cheese if you like. We used smoked Gruyere on ours, Parmesan would be good too. 

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