Sogn Valley Farm CSA Newsletter Fall Week 5 | Nov 6-7, 2018
What's In The Box
Spinach: Harvested just before temperatures plummet this week, this spinach is frost-sweetened and good to eat both fresh and cooked. Try making a salad topped with beets - the recipe is linked below.
Beets: We love adding roasted beets to green salads with walnuts and goat cheese, such as the one described in this recipe. We also ate beets last weekend using an out-of-the-box idea from farm crew member Elyssa - on pizza! Simply sauté or roast beets (1 large or 2 medium) until tender, then puree with a little tomato sauce. Be liberal with the olive oil when cooking the beets. Use this as the sauce for your pizza. It should do two medium crusts. We topped ours with carmelized onions and some hard cheese.
Delicata squash: This sweet winter squash is one of my favorites for cubing and roasting and sautéing. Its tender skin is edible, but they are also easy to peel should you desire to remove it. We have a market customer who eats sautéed delicata squash in her scrambled egges each morning. We actually ate this for breakfast this morning.
Sweet potatoes: This week's recipe also calls for sweet potatoes, this time in a simple puréed soup, perfect for this chilly fall weather. This variety is 'Bayou Belle,' a specialty variety with purplish skin and nice orange flesh. These tubers tend to be more elongated than others, and you may find a few small sprouts here and there. Just scuff or peel them off.
Carrots: These are at their peak right now. Sweet, crunchy, and perfect for fall cuisine. Use in this week's recipe.
Gold potatoes: As usual, these potatoes were grown by Driftless Organics in western Wisconsin. Members usually have plenty of go-to potato dishes, but we've been enjoying them in hashbrowns with some onion and garlic, in soups, or—predictably—roasted in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Onions: Weekly members received a good helping of onions last week, but we wanted to make sure every-other-weekers had some in their pantry, as well. Use in this week's recipe.
Garlic: I've mentioned this in a newletter before, but did you know that by mincing up garlic and allowing it to sit on the cutting board for about 15 minutes before cooking, an enzymatic reaction takes place which increases healthy compounds?
Each week, we’ll give some hints about what new items may show up CSA shares in the next 1 -2 weeks. Please note, this is not a guarantee, but our attempt to give you an idea of what’s coming up.
Butternut squash — Daikon radish — Red potatoes
Well, in keeping with this year's tradition of truncated transition seasons (remember our snowy April that turned qiuckly to a steamy May?) we enjoyed about a week or two of autumn, as well.
The forecast for the next week is pretty dismal. It's looking like we won't get above freezing for a solid week, with lows dropping into the teens multiple nights. Temperatures that low are enough to damage even the cold- hardiest crop we grow.
And we have a few planted out there that we were hoping to include in the last couple of boxes. We have a planting of spinach that is too small to harvest and now likely won't ever get to maturity. So, too, with some head lettuce, which admittedly was transplanted later than it should have been, but with an average or warmer- than-average year should have sized up by mid-November.
Our best hopes for some fresh greens before the end of the CSA season are salad mix and microgreens. We currently have a lot of salad mix planted in our high tunnel, and while it's still on the small side right now, the tunnel provides warm daytime temps with just a little bit of sunshine. Plus, we can seal the structure up tightly for cold nights and cover the lettuce with additional frost blankets to retain some of the heat gained during the day. With any luck, it should be big enough to harvest for the final box.
We also just seeded a round of microgreens for the last week of CSA.
Barring a heater failure or some other unforeseen production challenge, they should be ready to go in two weeks for your Thanksgiving box.
Extending the growing season into the fall can be such a gamble, as the weather will do what it wants to do. The safest best is to plant winter greens (we're talking lettuce, spinach, kale) early enough so they size up when weather is reliably warm, and then can hunker down in stasis under row cover once it gets cold. The challenge for us is we use our greenhouse space for warm season crops (tomatoes, cucumbers) during the summer. And since the harvest season for tomatoes can extend weeks beyond the ideal planting date for winter greens, the tunnel is usually occupied.
The good news is we have loads of beautiful storage crops stowed safely in our coolers, so there'll be plenty of good food coming your way over the next two weeks.
Autumn Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder, plus a bit more for serving
1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 small), peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
8 cups chicken broth
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tart yet sweet apple (such as Honeycrisp or Fuji), peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons honey
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Do not brown. Add the curry powder and cook a minute more.
Add the carrots, sweet potatoes, chicken broth and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the apples and honey. Using a stick blender, puree the soup until smooth and creamy. (Alternatively, cool the soup slightly, then puree in a blender in batches. Be sure to leave the hole in the lid open, and cover with a kitchen towel, to allow the steam to escape.) Season to taste with salt, pepper and more honey if necessary. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with more curry powder if desired. (Note: As the soup sits, it will thicken up so you may need to add a bit of water to thin it out.)
Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.
Recipe by Jennifer Segal: https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/autumn-carrot-and-sweet-potato-soup.html