Saturday, September 20, 2014

Black Rock Farmer's Market Demo: Apple & Broccoli Soup

Hi Black Rock Farmers Market Visitors,

Welcome to autumn!  Today I prepared an Apple & Broccoli Soup.
A few of you were iffy about the combination, so I appreciate your willingness to trust me and try! One person in particular mentioned, "Well I like apple and I like broccoli, so let's see!"  Needless to say I was happy (and relieved) that the combo was well received.  The first spoonful was followed by "yums" "delicious" and "wows" by even the toughest of skeptics!

For those of you who don't know, every Saturday is like an an episode of Chopped.  I get to see all the beautiful ingredients that Patti of Sport Hill Farm brings from her farm and then think of something yummy to make out of it.  When thinking of what to make I think of simplicity.  I want to highlight and not mask the freshness of the veggies and fruits.  I also think of simplicity for the home cook as well.  I want people to feel confident in recreating these recipes.

Below I share with you the recipe of the strangely, delicious soup.  Remember soup is very forgiving so feel free to play with the measurements based on your preference.

Look forward to feeding you in the weeks to follow,

Chef/Owner of A Pinch of Salt

Apple-Broccoli Soup 
Serves: 6-8

1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, diced into relatively small pieces
2-3 stalks of celery, sliced thin
1 apple, McIntosh, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
few sprigs of fresh thyme
1-2 heads of broccoli, about four cups total, (if fresh blanched first, if frozen then thawed)
cold water or 1 box of vegetable stock (or broth)
salt & pepper as needed
1/4 cup of heavy cream or 2 tbs. of unsalted butter, optional

1. In a stock pot drizzle in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add onions and cook until translucent.    
Approximately 5 minutes over medium low heat.

2. Add carrots, celery, apples, bay leaf and thyme.  Cook until softened, about 15-20 minutes

3. Add in broccoli, mix through and cook for another 10 minutes to combine flavors.

4. Next add liquid (water or stock) just enough to meet the level of vegetables in pot.

5. Cook over medium heat until broccoli is softened and mixture seems to come together,
approximately 15-20 minutes.

6. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly.  Next pour ingredients into a blender or food processor. An immersion blender is even simpler!  The soup will thicken, if too thick add more water or stock. Return soup to heat if necessary.  Otherwise proceed.

7. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Add a drizzle of cream or butter to add some richness,
serve warm and enjoy!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Black Rock Farmer's Market Demo Recipe: Eggplant-Cranberry Bean "Hummus"

Hi Black Rock Residents,

A lot of you inquired about the recipe for today's Eggplant-Cranberry Beans "Hummus" so here it goes:

Eggplant-Cranberry Bean "Hummus"
Makes 1 quart, but can easily be halved

1 small Eggplant, peeled and diced 
2 pounds of Cranberry beans, shelled 
2-3 cloves Garlic, more if desired 
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parsley, chopped, garnish
Lemon zest, garnish 

1. In a pot add cranberry beans and cover with at least 2 inches of water.  Bring beans to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes.  Drain and allow to cool. 

2. Meanwhile in a sauté pan over medium-high heat add olive oil.  Add eggplant and sauté until softened, approx 15-20 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  You can also roast the eggplant.  Allow to cool.  

3.  In a food processor add cranberry beans, eggplant, garlic.  Drizzle in olive oil until you obtain consistency desired.   Adjust seasoning.  Garnish with parsley and lemon zest. Enjoy!