Fall is upon us, and it’s time to start thinking about ways to use our CSA bounty in creative ways while keeping the chill that’s creeping in at bay. My favorite thing to make in the fall is soup, and though it’s the same basic recipe, it’s never the same soup twice because of what we get week-to-week!
I can’t give you a real recipe because it’s so versatile, but I assure you, swap in your own ideas and preferences and you will have a winning soup every week, simmering on your stove, catered to just your tastes!
Start with a bit of meat (if you’re vegetarian, skip this part): bacon lardons, crumbled and uncased sausage meat, ground pork or beef or even turkey. Just note that if you start with plain ground meats, you’ll need to season it more than you would bacon or sausage meat. Brown in the bottom of a soup pot.
Add minced onion, garlic, chopped carrots, red pepper flakes (if I’m feeling under the weather – a cold coming on, for example – I add a little more red pepper flakes than are comfortable for me to help me fight off the cold; I’m not a doctor, but it seems to work for me!). Let them all mingle happily. Your kitchen should start to smell amazing at this step.
Once the meat is cooked through, add a box of chicken (or vegetable) stock, water if needed (depending on size of pot and how much soup you’re making). Allow to come to a simmer, then add potatoes if you’re using them. If not, add your greens here: shredded cabbage(s), chopped kale, collards, spinach, whatever hardy greens you have on hand that arrived in this week’s CSA – even the salad turnips will add a bit of sweetness to the soup!
Let simmer until veggies are as soft as you like them, salt/pepper as you like, and enjoy!
Optionally, add other carbs after the vegetables are cooked: half a cup will add a nice thickness to your soup as it continues to absorb liquid while you cook, or a bit of small pasta shapes, even beans. Sometimes, I’ll add a dollop of sour cream or a pat of butter on top of a bowl of soup I’m serving for a bit of richness (or if I’ve made the soup too spicy, the sour cream helps temper it a bit) as well.
Play with the method until you find one that works for your tastes- I find myself making the same soup over and over again, but it’s yet to be exactly the same twice!
Aside from being a member of the Forest Hills CSA, Yvo Sin is also the founder and head writer of The Feisty Foodie. When she’s not writing about food, she’s thinking about food: cooking it, eating it, dreaming about it. And a small part of the time, she’s thinking about how to eat all of this food without gaining all of the weight….