Eggplant Parmesan Soup

I found a fabulous soup book at the library!

New England Soup Factory Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Nation’s Best Purveyor of Fine Soup is written by a local woman who operates two restaurants in the Boston area. I’ve never heard of her restaurants, but the book looked interesting with gorgeous photos and glossy pages, so of course I borrowed it!

Now that the cooler weather is upon us in New England, I’m starting to crave soups & stews. I was thrilled to find a whole bunch of intriguing recipes to try in the book, but the Eggplant Parmesan Soup (pg 51) really caught my eye. I knew I’d be getting some eggplant in the CSA share this week, so I made a commitment to myself to make the soup!

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Freezing Raw Tomatoes

Maria, my Facebook buddy, informed me that you can indeed freeze raw whole tomatoes…awesome!

I wish I knew this BEFORE picking up my CSA veggie share this week, as there was a “take as many as you can use” box of free “seconds” tomatoes that were bruised or gouged! I didn’t take any because I didn’t want to overload myself with too many tomatoes, as there were several already in the share.

yes it's possible to freeze tomatoes raw

So, I googled, and it looks like you can freeze raw tomatoes either whole or in pieces.

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Fresh Roasted Tomatoes with Pasta

I had an amazing dinner tonight! I recently picked up the CSA share for the week and there was an abundance of wonderful tomatoes! I knew I had to roast some for pasta.

yummy fresh tomatoes from the CSA

I sliced the heirloom tomato we received, plus one roma and two slicing tomatoes, and I mixed them in a baking dish along with some chopped pepper, onion and basil leaves.

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Zucchini Onion Pecorino Gratin

zucchini onion pecorino gratin

I received some lovely zucchini in this week’s CSA share, and I wanted to make some more of the yummy zucchini onion pancakes, but didn’t have the time to sit and cook pancakes tonight. I needed something that could be thrown into the oven and easily baked with virtually no assistance.

So, hmm, I thought, how about a baked gratin? yum.

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First CSA Share Vegetables Pickup

My first CSA share produce pickup! It was exciting! We got a whole mess of good good veggies.

Here’s what we got (click photo for larger version)

first CSA share pickup

(clockwise from left)

  1. Tatsoi (back left) – similar to bok choy
  2. Romaine Lettuce – I have never seen such a huge head of lettuce. It was gorgeous
  3. Green Leaf Lettuce
  4. Radishes (far right) – I haven’t been a fan of radishes in the past, but these were mild and so delicious. I chopped them up and added them to our salad.
  5. Zucchini
  6. Kousa Squash (similar to zucchini)
  7. Green Peas (mixture of snap peas, more) – I couldn’t stop munching on the snap peas while making dinner. I was addicted!
  8. Garlic Scapes – this will be a cool new veggie for us
  9. Beets – looking forward to the yummy beet greens. Beets are one of my all time fave veggie.

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CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Starts this Week

Our local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) starts this week! So excited! It’ll be my year with a CSA and I am so looking forward to eating all the yummy veggies!

What is a CSA? Basically, during the “off season” a farmer offers a specific number of produce “shares” for the following season. The consumer purchases a share and the fee is paid before the season starts. In essence you are prepaying for your produce ahead of time, hoping that all goes well and it’s a good farming season! Once the farming season starts, every week, the consumer picks up their “share” of fresh produce.

It’s a simple way to support local farmers and let them know you care about local fresh food! It’s also a great way to find new vegetables that you perhaps have never eaten or even heard of!

To find a CSA in your area, check the Local Harvest web site. There are also listings for local “farmers markets” which is another wonderful way to show support for local farmers and eat locally grown fresh vegetables and fruit. Some farmer’s markets also offer meat, poultry, dairy and eggs, which is really fun!

This week, we’re expected to receive

  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Kousa Squash
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Beets
  • Radishes
  • Bok Choy

I’m really excited because I have never heard of garlic scapes, but they sound really really cool. Also, I have never been a big fan of radishes, so this will also be a good opportunity to expand outside the veggie box!

Found some interesting recipes:

  1. Roasted Radishes
  2. Garlic Scapes Pesto – also has a cute video about how scary garlic scapes look!