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Lots of tomatoes and a really long cucumber!

Lots of tomatoes and a really long cucumber!

CSA subscribers are enjoying lots of great cucumbers and tomatoes right now. Onions and garlic have also appeared in our boxes. Hmmm, how about some refreshing gazpacho (chilled tomato soup)? My Mom raved about this gazpacho recipe she found online. I finally tried it myself, it was easy and delicious. Next time I’ll use the blender, I made a bit of a mess using the Cuisinart (too much liquid).

Source: Ree at The Pioneer Woman Website
Check it out for her entertaining story and many photos illustrating the process (chopping and dicing included).

Serves: 8 (keeps pretty well in the fridge)

2 cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 whole Red Onion, Diced
1 whole Large Cucumber, Diced
5 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
1 whole Zucchini, Diced
2 stalks Celery, Diced
1 dash Salt To Taste
1/4 gallon Tomato Juice (or V8)
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/8 cup Red Wine Vinegar (to taste – I used more that 1/8 cup)
2 Tablespoons White Sugar
6 dashes Tabasco
1 dash Black Pepper To Taste

  • In the bowl of a food processor or in a blender, combine the minced garlic with half the red onion, half the cucumber, half the tomato, half the zucchini, half the celery, half the tomato juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, Tabasco, and a dash of salt.
  • Pulse until all ingredients are blended well; mixture will have a nice speckled, colorful texture.
  • Pour into a large bowl and add the rest of the tomato juice, and half of the remaining onion, cucumber, tomato, zucchini, and celery. (Reserve the rest of the diced vegetables for garnish.)
  • Stir mixture together and check seasonings, adding salt if needed. Chill soup for at least a couple of hours; soup needs to be very cold!
  • Remove the soup from the fridge and stir. Check seasonings one last time. Ladle into a bowl and garnish with remaining diced vegetables, a sliver of fresh avocado, sour cream, and cilantro.

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We’ll be giving our CSA subscribers plenty of green garlic and garlic scapes this season. We recommend you use it right away. We chose a couple of recent recipes from the NY Times we hope will let you enjoy the bounty.

Here’s one for green garlic Ceasar Salad with Anchovy Croutons.

And you may want to take a look at this one for Green Garlic and Asparagus Soup.


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A bounty of beautiful leeks were in subscriber’s boxes last Wednesday. Before becoming a subscriber last year I don’t recall ever having fresh leeks in our fridge. This year, I’ve vowed to be more ambitious with the veg, not just stir fries. With the wet, chilly weather we’ve been having it seemed appropriate to try making soup. I know, potato leek soup, that sounds like winter comfort food. Well, it’s spring in western washington, soup is on! So in the Central Market parking lot, a quick iPhone google turned up this winner:

Potato and Leek Soup by Emeril Lagasse
82 reviews, 5 stars, it must be good. And it was. I followed the recipe, but many reviewers made substitutions and still loved the results. We still have leeks left to stir fry, I think a quiche is too advanced for this cook. I must admit this is the first (but not the last) time I’ve made soup that didn’t involve opening a can.

~Leslie (CSA Subscriber)

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6 servings

2 medium leeks (about 1 1/2 lbs.)

4 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

4 cups homemade, or canned, low-sodium chicken stock, or golden vegetable stock

About 1 tps salt, less if using canned stock

1 medium head romaine lettuce, with the outer, deep green leaves

1/4 cup fresh French tarragon leaves

Freshly ground black pepper

Optional garnish: creme fraiche or sour cream, and heavy cream

1-Cut off and discard tops of leeks at point where they turn from light to dark green. Split rest lengthwise in half, keeping roots attached so the layers won’t fall apart. Wash thoroughly. Thinly slice into half circles and discard roots. Melt butter in a large (4 quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to turn golden, about 10 minutes.  Add stock and salt (omit if using canned stock) and simmer. Turn heat to low and cover, and cook at a bubbling simmer for 15 minutes to further soften leeks. (The soup may be made up to this point up to two days ahead and stored covered in refrigerator.)

2–Slice whole head of romaine lettuce crosswise into one-inch thick strips (you don’t need to separate the leaves first) and discard the base. Wash and drain the lettuce. Stir the lettuce into the soup, increase the heat to medium, and cook uncovered until the lettuce is wilted and softened, about 5 minutes.

3–Stir in the tarragon leaves. Put half of the soup in an electric blender (you can use a food processor but the soup won’t be as smooth). Holding down the lid, turn blender on to low, then gradually increase to high until soup is very smooth. Pour the pureed soup into a second saucepan and repeat with the remaining soup. Gently reheat all the soup, tasting and seasoning if needed with salt and pepper. Serve in warmed bowls.

4–If you wish to garnish with cream, vigerously stir the creme fraiche with a teaspoon and thin it with cream until it falls off the spoon in a thick stream. Hold a spoonful of the cream about 6 inches above the bowl and let it fall in a circular or zigzag pattern onto the soup.

(Herb substitutions–Use 1 cup chervil, gently packed, or two Tbs. lovage leaves in place of the tarragon.)

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