It’s time for soup – Winter Farm Share Week 12
It’s time for soup with fresh warm wheat bread for dipping in Winter Farm Share Week 12. I couldn’t think of anything else with a refrigerator full of root vegetables and this week’s share of potatoes, carrots, corn, chopped tomatoes and spinach. They all landed in a big bowl of Vegetables and Beef Soup for dinner and in the freezer for another day.
Week 12 our small Vegetarian farm share included (featured photo at the top of this post is full vegetarian share)…
Spinach – 1 bunch
Eggs – 1 dozen
Whole Wheat Bread
Dried Black Beans – 1 lb
Apples – 6
Potatoes – 3 lbs
Canned Sloppy Joe Mix
Frozen Chopped Tomatoes – 1 quart
Frozen Green Beans – 1 quart
Frozen Corn – 1 pint
My half of the Vegetarian small share Week 11 (above photo) and what’s left since Wednesday, March 23…
Spinach – 1/2 bunch – 1/4 bunch left – part of this was used in the Vegetable beef soup and more as a topping for sirloin burgers.
Eggs – 1/2 dozen – 4 left
Whole Wheat Bread – 1/2 loaf – 1/4 loaf left – this is so delicious. It crumbles when you slice it because it’s so fresh.
Dried Black Beans – 1/2 lb – stored in pantry
Carrots – stored in refrigerator
Apples – 3 – 2 left
Potatoes – 1.5 lbs – 1 lb left – 1/2 lb went into the Vegetable Beef Soup
Canned Sloppy Joe Mix – to share with my parents in the future
Frozen Chopped Tomatoes – 1/2 quart – went into the Vegetable Beef Soup
Frozen Green Beans – 1/2 quart – stored in freezer
Frozen Corn – 1/2 pint – went into the Vegetable Beef Soup
Unfortunately, we did have some losses this week. I stored some vegetables from this winter’s farm share in the refrigerator and had to throw a few away. The turnips were the biggest loss because they didn’t store well with the tops left on them in a baggie refrigerated. I’ll have to try something different next time. Even with the losses, I still have a drawer full of vegetables yet to be used and more on the shelves. That was after the big pot of soup that I made to use up a lot of the vegetables I had been stockpiling.
We had a lot of fun with that soup. I must have put in 10-15 different vegetables with Mr. Carnivore’s help, including beets and a Watermelon radish. The radish added a bit of spiciness. I seared the beef in a bit of olive oil first, then added water, 2 bay leaves and some other seasoning and simmered it for about an hour. Then I added the vegetables and simmered until the carrots were soft. Another trick is to stir-fry some garlic, onions and mushrooms, then set them aside to add in with the other vegetables after simmering the beef. I also added in the chopped tomatoes because I really like the combination of mushrooms, beef and tomatoes to form a rich, flavorful broth. Soup is a wonderful way to use up a variety of vegetables. I’ll share my complicated and simple recipes soon — I vary this recipe every time I make this soup depending on what we have in the house. It’s a recipe that you can’t mess up and we use very little beef in it, just some for flavoring, then add beans to bump up the protein.
Since it was Easter week and spring break, we had our son and granddaughters here for breakfast one day before a playdate. I made French toast and used up a dozen eggs. The best part of that Fresh toast was the maple syrup we got in Week 11. Wow. I had no idea that fresh Maple Syrup was that good. I’ll be buying more of that. One other thing I realized is that I should have ordered more eggs. We’re down to a couple so we won’t be having scrambles this week. I refuse to buy eggs at the grocery after tasting these pasture raised ones. Makes me yearn to have my own chickens.
Another way that we used up more of the root vegetables was with the veggie tray I prepared for Easter Day for our family dinner. The carrots in the farm share are tastier than the ones in the grocery. We also added some broccoli, celery and peppers that were bought at the fresh market. The organic celery was really tough — I’m not sure why but it certainly wasn’t as good as fresh in the farm share.
I also made oatmeal from scratch with the oatmeal we got similar to week 11. These oats are thick so they make an oatmeal that is much easier to eat because its texture isn’t the same inside your mouth. For those who have a tough time with the texture of oatmeal, these organic rolled oats might be a good kind to try. I made them with a combination of water and milk, then added honey to sweeten as well as some raisins and blueberries. I defrost the frozen blueberries in the microwave, then added them after the oatmeal is cooked. I drizzle a small amount of honey, then taste before adding more. It was pretty good. I especially liked the texture. I’m still not sure if it will keep me from my habit of instant oatmeal, but I’m going to keep trying. I bought some dried cranberries to add to it to see if that’s a good substitute for the dried peach version I like.
This year of experimenting with the farm share has proven to me how much fresher everything is this way. I don’t think I can ever go back to buying all my vegetables at the grocery or fresh market. It’s just not as fresh or as much fun!