Fall Weather Gets Me Cooking and Baking

Its hard for me to get into baking  and cooking when it is warm outside.  But once the weather turns cold, I can’t wait to get into the kitchen.  What motivated me even more is that I have signed up to receive a fall Community Supported Agriculture or CSA box once a week for the next eight weeks.  That box I received this week really got me thinking I need to cook and eat these vegetables!  Thanks Sharkar Farm for wonderful fall vegetables.

I knew I would be running errands, going to Dr. appointments and I needed something to cook that didn’t need a lot of attention.  So I had to get my creative juices flowing – just kidding!  This was probably one of the easiest things to do is to make a vegetable soup.  I used to get really intimidated to make a soup that had flavor and tasted good!  My mom would make chicken noodle soup and it always tasted so good – but when I tried to make it as an adult it was very watery.  I have tried to find ways to add more flavor – like oven roasting the vegetables or the chicken legs; adding herbs and adding my own homemade chicken or vegetable stock.  But we do buy boxes of chicken broth or vegetable broth whenever we find it on sale!

I was given a lot of kale (thanks Farmer Sharon for that beautiful kale) and I haven’t used it in very many recipes.  My husband isn’t crazy about it since I used way too much last year when I tried making some soup.  He told me as long as I didn’t use too much kale and if I could chop it really fine he would try it!  I decided to make a chicken soup with the vegetables and kale in my CSA box.  I had 5 chicken thighs in the freezer that I had thawed in the refrigerator the day before.

I roasted the chicken legs with olive oil and S&P (salt and pepper) for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.  I washed the vegetables – 4 carrots, 6 potatoes, 6 stalks celery, 2 turnips (yep!), 2 large leaves of kale, 2 onions, and 3 cloves of garlic – all from my CSA box!  Once the veggies were washed, I cut them up small – I did peel the turnip so no one would notice the color but I left the skins on the potatoes and carrots.  I tore the kale up into small pieces.  I sauteed the onion first, then added the carrot, celery, turnip, potato and kale.  I did find that sauteing the kale did help to break it down and not be so tough.  I added the garlic last so not to burn it.  I have started using coconut oil in cooking – so I used about 2 tablespoons mixed with olive oil and 1-2 Tablespoons butter.

Once the vegetables were cooking for 5-10 minutes, I added the chicken I tore off the leg bones, and 1 box of vegetable broth and one box of chicken broth and then I let this come to a boil and turned it down on very low for about 4 hours.  My husband helped with this recipe by adding a can of great northern white beans.  During the last hour I added some fresh thyme from my potted herb garden – about 4 sprigs.

This soup tasted so good!  The flavor was fantastic and my husband had two bowls full!  Now if I can just find another recipe to use for the kohlrabi in my CSA!

Perfect fall weather meal - soup, crusty bread and a glass of white!

Perfect fall weather meal – soup, crusty bread and a glass of white!


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