08 January 2011

Eating local in January...

Living in Michigan, eating locally grown vegetables can be a challenge in winter.  Thankfully, our area has some ingenious growers and life is tasty even in the snowing months!  I've stock piled a few veggies and fruits myself (root cellar) as well as a freezer full of vegetables, jams and herbs.  I've been contemplating throwing some lettuce leaves into an old copper fish poacher on my windowsill...5 day micro greens!

It's a good thing our family loves root vegetables!  Any which way is fine with us, but roasting is the preference.

This is a combination of Hubbard squash, red potatoes, parsnips, carrots, turnips, onions and thyme.  All local.
ROASTED VEGETABLES
Root vegetables, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Thyme, ground coriander 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place vegetables in a shallow pan and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  I love ground coriander and add about a teaspoon to a 9X13 size pan and stir together.  I throw in a few sprigs of thyme, but you can feel free to use rosemary or oregano.  I always add a few extra veggies so on a weekday night I can make this:
Winter Vegetable Soup

3 Tablespoons Butter
1 ½ cups thinly sliced onions
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced parsnip
1 cup diced turnips
½ cup diced celery-preferably with leaves
1 cup thinly sliced cabbage (I used brussel sprouts)
1 Tablespoon fresh, minced ginger root
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 clove minced garlic
13-14 ounce can Coconut Milk
2 cups chicken broth-more as needed
3 cups diced Butternut squash (about 2 lbs.)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Over medium heat, melt butter and add onions, carrot, parsnip, turnips and celery, stir occasionally until soft, about 8 minutes.  Stir in cabbage, ginger, thyme, garlic, salt & pepper and saut√© until cabbage softens.

If you would like to garnish your soup with coconut cream, do not shake can and reserve ¼ cup when opening.  Add coconut milk, broth and squash, scraping up any brown bits.  Reduce heat to low, cover and let barely simmer for 20 minutes until squash is tender.

Puree with immersion blender or traditional blender, adding more broth until desired consistency.  For a smoother soup, pour thru mesh strainer.  Season to taste.  Garnish with reserved cream and croutons.

BLUE CHEESE CROUTONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Oil baking sheet with EVOO.  Spread about a tablespoon blue cheese of choice on a ¼ inch slice of good quality bread.  Bake 10-15 minutes or until browned on bottom and cheese is bubbly.  Let cool and cut into ½ inch pieces.


I simply replace all the root vegetables it calls for and add the cabbage!  It's an awesome soup with the coconut milk but does need a bit of bite, therefore the blue cheese croutons!   

Enjoy!
   

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