I’ve been remiss in posting, but I’ve been volunteering at the Zilker Festival this past weekend. And, for the first time in my life, I entered an arrangement in a flower show. Very interesting experience. The over all show is broken into a dozen or so categories, all relating in this instance to the “Austin Experience”. So, there was a category of arrangements involving bats, one about the hike and bike trail, one for Barton Springs, and so on.
What, you may ask, does this have to do with soup or anything else blog-relevant? Well, the theme for the novice category was “The Farmers Market” and the rules stated “a design incorporating some fruits or vegetables”. How could I *not* enter? Here’s my piece:
No guitars were harmed in the making of this arrangement. I asked my local freecycle list if anyone had a broken guitar that could be used for a “craft project” and someone in my neighborhood offered up this one. It had a pretty good sized hole in the side which I covered with “Support Organic Growers” and “Support Local Farms/Eat in Season” bumper stickers, and I put a bag of sand in the bottom to keep it upright.
The rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’) twining out the the sound hole is from my garden. I planted 3 little 4-inchers about 10 years ago and they have since formed a happy mound roughly the size of a baby hippo. All the vegetables are from Farmers Markets here in Austin. I thought the whole thing looked pretty yummy!
It really was fun, and I didn’t take it very seriously, but I ended up with second place in my category. The best part, though, is that tomorrow morning I get to bring it all home and cook the vegetables. You didn’t think I was going to waste them, did you?
Does anyone have a good kohlrabi recipe? I’m not worried about using the leeks, spring onions, or green garlic, and I love beets, but I’ve never eaten or prepared kohlrabi before. Hmmm… suggestions welcome!
Expect photos of vichyssoise next time, or maybe I’ll just enjoy it and tell you about it. Here’s my basic recipe:
2 T olive oil
4 or 5 leeks, well cleaned and rough chopped
1 onion, peeled and rough chopped
4 or 5 medium-sized potatoes, rough chopped (I like Yukon Gold and I don’t peel mine)
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken stock or water
1/2 cup half and half
In a large stock pot warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and onion and a pinch of salt, stir well, cover, reduce heat, and cook for 10 minutes. The leeks and onions should be thoroughly wilted and translucent but not browned.
Add the potatoes, thyme and bay leaf and stir well.
Add the chicken stock or water (which should cover the vegetables by about an inch – add water or more stock if necessary) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes or until the potatoes and very “mashable”. Remove the thyme and the bay leaf.
Puree the soup in a blender or food processor or with a stick blender. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
Prior to reheating add the half and half and do not let it boil (if you are serving it cold, no worries, just add the half and half before serving). This soup is delicious warm or cold, and is better the next day.
That’s it for now… more soon, I promise!