Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Wednesday June 17, 2009

Carole’s Concoctions:
Concocted a Roasted Turnip Soup for These Cool June Days

The CSA's are turning out a fine crop of spring harukai turnips and swiss chard and I thought I would take a page out of my grandmother's book and concoct a recipe for turnip soup.  You can use the basic premises of this recipe to turn many veggies into soup. Give this one a try - my family gobbled it up and I need to make more!!

Roasted Turnip Soup with Swiss Chard
4 Harukai Turnips - the root part only, sliced
6 Shallots - diced
4 Cloves Garlic - minced
1-2 Teaspoons fresh thyme - minced
Salt and Pepper to Taste
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Cups chicken or Vegetable Broth
1/4 or so Half and Half or Heavy Cream - depends on how indulgent you want to be
1/2-1 Cup of Swiss Chard - chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine first six ingredients, place in roasting pan and roast for 25-30 minutes until tender and golden.  Transfer into saucepan, add broth.  Bring to a gentle boil, lower heat to a simmer and puree until smooth with an immersion blender if you have one. (Otherwise use a blender or a food processor.) Add in half and half and finish off with the chopped swiss chard. Simmer for another 5 minutes and serve.
Hint:  If you can resist not eating it immediately, the flavors really meld together nicely overnight for an ever tastier treat the next day!!  Make enough and freeze for cool fall day.

Sunday June 14, 2009

Ms Murky Mondays:
Broccoli Rabe and Bitter Greens - the Italian Way

Ever since I was a little kid, there was one aroma that suggested healthy. That aroma was the combination of olive oil, chopped garlic and broccoli rabe or bitter greens.  And believe you me, it smelled oh so good.  Sadly for a kid, the taste of bitter greens did not measure up to the tantalizing aromas that sent my olfactories into sensory overload.

Fast forward to adulthood -  I can now appreciate the double sensory pleasure of the aromas and the taste.  And 'tis the season for such indulgences.  I picked up beautiful bunches of broccoli rabe and bitter greens from both of the CSA's to which I belong (http://www.indianlinefarm.com and www.farmgirlfarm.com).
Here's a quick and easy way to whip up those flavors and aromas yourself:
Broccoli Rabe or Bitter Greens
1-2 T Olive Oil
2-3 Cloves of Chopped Garlic
Pinch Red Hot Pepper Flakes
2-3 Bunches of Broccoli Rabe or 1/2-3/4 lb Bitter Greens
For the Broccoli rabe, my Mom always stripped the leaves and flowers from the stem as she found it hastens the steaming time (and the stems are often tough.) 
Wash thoroughly but it is not necessary to dry. Place sauce pan on medium flame, heat the olive oil, add  garlic until lightly golden (watch not to burn the garlic), then add your pinch of red pepper flakes and then the greens (broccoli rabe or bitter greens). Stir gently and place lid on pan to steam for 15-20 minutes. If it looks too dry, add a little water so it steams nicely.
Serve with a couple of nice pieces of italian bread and enjoy!