Kale and Potato Soup with Parmesan and Olive Oil. From the Kitchen of Blackwell Smith

This truly savory soup is great for those cold winter days and nights. This dish does contain bacon and anchovies. If these ingredients don’t fit your diet, don’t fret. Just substitute mushrooms, a little more salt and some more garlic. Not all bacon is the same. Some is very smokey. Some is very salty. So taste as you season and always have ingredients prepped before you start cooking.

1 bunch of kale cut into 1/4 inch ribbons leaves and stems (any variety will do)
1 medium russet potato cut into 4 wedges then slice each wedge into 1/4 inch sliced
1 medium sweet potato, prepare same as russet potato
1 tablespoon anchovies chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 large shallot julienne sliced
3oz favorite bacon sliced into 1/4 inch bits
6 cup vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese and olive oil for garnish
Preheat 6 quart stock pot over medium high heat
Render bacon (cook over low to medium heat) or substitute mushroom and olive oil
Add garlic, shallot and anchovies, stir into pan and brown (this step will create one of my favorite smells in the world)
Add sweet and russet potatoes, saute for a minute
Add veggie stock and bring to boil then reduce to simmer until potatoes are tender
Add kale and simmer until tender, about ten minutes
Season to taste with salt and pepper
Remember all bacon and anchovies have different salt content so taste before you season.
Garnish with Parmesan and olive oil.
Serve with a grilled cheese or toasted bread. You could add grains, red pepper flakes or fresh sage if you like. I sometimes add a squeeze of fresh lemon. Enjoy!!

Green Coconut Soup Base


If you like Thai inspired food, you are going to love this soup base. I simply puree sauteed greens, 1 can of coconut milk and 1 can of water together to create a healthy base that you can add just about anything to. Thai food is traditionally a balance between spicy, sweet, savory and sour so your options are endless if you add a little of each element (I have plenty of suggestions below). The other element of Thai cooking I love is that certain items, such as garlic, ginger and hot peppers, aren’t necessarily cooked before they are added to the final dish. This results in lots of bright, fresh flavor.

We hope you experiment and find a combination that you love!

Green Coconut Soup Base
makes about 4 servings

Recipe note: the additional ingredients listed below are just what I used – you can alter them in any way to suit your tastes.

Green Soup Base Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 6 ounces (or one bunch) Summerfest Asian greens (or other greens of choice), stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 can water (just fill up the coconut milk can with water)

Additional Ingredients:

  • 1-1/3 pound sweet potatoes or winter squash (I love using the red Kuri squash from The Healthy Kitchen because you can eat the skin!), seeded and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 3 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (or substitute soy sauce if vegetarian)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Juice from one lime
  • Thinly sliced hot peppers
  • Chopped fresh cilantro

Green Soup Base Directions:

  • In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium until shimmering. Add the greens and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender along with the coconut milk and water. Blend on high speed until the greens are fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Transfer the liquid back into the Dutch oven.
  • To the coconut soup base, add the sweet potatoes or winter squash and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients, stirring to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with rice or rice noodles.

Mustard Greens Soup with Poblanos and Almonds


The combination of mustard greens, poblanos and almonds may seem like a strange mix at first but I urge you to give it a try. The toasty, roasty almonds and poblanos provide depth whereas the greens compliment with a bright, fresh flavor.

This recipe is lightly adapted from this one by Rick Bayless. He doesn’t puree all of the soup as I recommend below, but instead leaves about half of the ingredients roughly chopped and mixed into the rest. I like to puree all of the soup for simplicity and then get some textural contrast from the garnishes.


Mustard Greens Soup with Poblano and Almonds
makes about 6 cups / 4-6 servings

Recipe note: you can use other greens in place of mustard greens – arugula, kale, collards, Swiss chard or even chickweed, dead nettle or henbit.


  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds, plus a few extra for garnish if you wish
  • medium fresh poblano chiles
  • medium (about 1/2 pound) Yukon Gold potato, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • bunch (about 8 ounces) mustard greens, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 2-1/2 to 3 cups vegetable stock or water, plus a little more if needed
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Garnishes: I suggest a mix of something fatty (diced hard-boiled eggs, avocado) plus something crunchy (tortilla chips, extra almonds) but you could also use diced tofu, mushrooms, chicken or shrimp.


  • Toast almonds in a 12″ traditional skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly brown, about 4-6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Adjust oven rack to the upper third of the oven and heat the broiler on high. Remove the stem end and seeds from the poblanos and cut into quarters lengthwise (you may need to cut them into smaller pieces to ensure they lay flat). Place on a foil lined sheet pan and broil until the skin is black and blistered, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool and peel skin from the peppers. Add to a blender jar and set aside.
  • Bring a large saucepan of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the almonds, potatoes, and garlic and boil for about 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the mustard greens and cook until wilted but still bright green, about 1-2 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, scoop almonds, potatoes, garlic and greens into a blender jar and set aside.
  • Add 2-1/2 cups of stock or water, salt and lime juice to the blender and puree on high until completely smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add more stock or water to reach desire consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • If you plan to serve immediately, transfer to an empty saucepan and heat gently over medium-low until warm. Top with garnish of choice and serve.


Weekly Farm Notes :: Dec 2nd, 2015


This is the last week of our “Falling into Greens” CSA session. We are offering three separate pickups this week – 1st at market tomorrow, 2nd at Brainard Market on Saturday and 3rd on Main Street on Saturday. Please make sure you have prearranged your pickup with Mark & Gina.

In case you missed it, we have a new preservation post this week on Stem Jam. We get a lot of greens and a lot of stems! Stash them away in the freezer and make this jam at the end of the week.


December 2nd Produce

Here are the items you can expect at Market (denoted by M) and/or in the CSA (denoted by CSA):

  • Tender Collards {M/CSA}: I have been interested in making West African Peanut Soup for a while, but it is definitely on my list now that I found a recipe with collard greens added in!
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard {M/CSA}: although the cold and rain makes us crave cooked, hearty food, don’t neglect getting a daily dose of raw greens! This article will give you lot of tips to make a Swiss chard smoothie taste great.
  • Red Russian & Toscano Kale {M/CSA}: noodles of any kind make for quick weeknight meals. Check out this Garlic Soba Noodles recipe and toss in any number of the greens suggested.
  • Spicy Large Leaf Arugula {M/CSA}: the spiciness of these greens is a great counterpoint to richer dishes. Add some to egg salad, pizza or mac’n’cheese!
  • Red & Green Mild Mustard {CSA}: check out our new Indian Inspired Green Sauce with Potatoes for a tasty way to use your mustard greens!
  • Beets {CSA}: have you tried beet kvass yet? I tried it for the first time a month ago and loved the results! I fermented mine a few days longer than is recommended in the link above so mine was probably a bit funkier. I used most of the juice and beets in smoothies but the juice is great straight, mixed with syrups or sparkling water or in a cocktail.
  • Daikon Radish {CSA}: although this Sweet Pickled Daikon Radish recipe was designed for canning, just store in the refrigerator to keep it easy.
  • Kohlrabi {CSA}: our Kohlrabi Hash Browns recipe is great for a quick weeknight meal or a lazy Sunday brunch.
  • Green Butterhead & Drunken Woman Frizzy Headed Lettuce {CSA}: looking for some salad inspiration? Take a look at The Essential Elements to a Satisfying Salad post and make a salad you’ll love.
  • Spicy Asian Mustard Greens {M}: check out our new Indian Inspired Green Sauce with Potatoes for a tasty way to use your mustard greens!
  • Jerusalem Artichokes {M}: have you tried these fried yet? I have made “chips” where they were thinly sliced and then fried but I haven’t tried them battered and fried. This recipe sounds great if you want to try your hand at it!
  • Awesome Asian Salad Mix {M}: sometimes, you just need to hard boil or fry and egg and call it dinner. Spice that idea up a bit and make this Mixed Green Salad with Egg, Avocado and Creamy Lemon-Dill Dressing.
  • Cilantro {M}: we all need quick, flavorful, make-ahead sauces that taste great on just about anything. Add this vegan Spicy Cilantro Sauce recipe to the list.


Alice O’Dea Article

Have you read Alice O’Dea’s recent article? This week, she explores the wonders of making a pan sauce…if you haven’t made one before, you need this information!

Carrot & Turmeric Soup


Making this soup is a lesson in balancing fresh and cooked flavor and seasoning based on taste. The base of the soup – onion, turmeric, carrots, coconut milk – would make a nice soup by itself, but it is definitely kicked up a notch by adding fresh flavors at the end. I like to incorporate fresh versions of ingredients cooked in the soup, like the carrots and turmeric. It helps to intensify both of those flavors and brightens up the dish. I then added two additional ingredients that I think almost every dish needs at the end – a little acidity and a little sweetness (a lot of dishes need extra salt too but I added plenty in the beginning). I chose apple cider vinegar and honey as I think they pair nicely with the other flavors but you can play around and try what you like (lemon juice or white wine vinegar in place of the apple cider vinegar and maple syrup or sorghum in place of the honey might be nice). Whichever route you decide to take, just taste, make small adjustments, and taste again. Enjoy!

Carrot & Turmeric Soup
makes about 4 servings for a main dish, 6 for a side dish

Recipe notes: 1) I found fresh turmeric at the farmers market a couple of weeks ago so have been using that over dried. If you don’t have access to fresh, use 1 teaspoon dried turmeric instead and add it all in the beginning with the garlic; 2) I preferred this soup the day after making it as the flavors had time to really blend and smooth out, but it was still very good the day of.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 teaspoons grated fresh turmeric, divided
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (from about 2 medium cloves)
  • 1-1/8 pound (about 6 medium) trimmed carrots, chopped into 1/2″ pieces, divided
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3-4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • To serve: croutons and/or chives


  • Heat oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan until shimmering. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and just starting to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons turmeric and garlic and stir frequently for 1 minute. Add 1 pound of carrots, water and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a blender and add the remaining turmeric and carrots, 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar and honey and puree until completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Barley and Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard


I found the soup below here, and although I made a few small tweaks, it’s pretty close to the original. I considered swapping out or adding to the only spice used, cumin, but I am so glad I didn’t. Cumin and Swiss chard is now one of my favorite flavor combinations! It might not sound like they go together well but you really should try it.

I love the combination here of barley and lentils as it provides substance and protein. It’s really a one pot meal. If you don’t have any of the vegetables listed below, try it with whatever you have on hand. This is a soup that can be altered in so many ways. Check out our Essential Steps to Vegetable Based Soups for inspiration!

Barley and Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard
makes about 6 servings

Recipes notes: the amount of time it takes to cook both the barley and lentils is close to the same but it really depends on the age of the lentils. Older beans take longer to cook. Start with fresh lentils for best results.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 5 small carrots, cut into quarters lengthwise and sliced 1/2″ thick
  • 12 large Swiss chard leaves, leaves and stems separated with the leaves cut into rough 1″ pieces and the stems sliced 1/2″ thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup pearled barley
  • 2/3 cup French lentils or other lentils that hold their shape
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/2 to 1 cup roughly chopped drained whole canned tomatoes (substitute canned diced tomatoes)


  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrots, and Swiss chard stems. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cumin and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute. Add broth, barley, lentils, bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the barley and lentils are tender, about 40 minutes (start checking after 30 minutes). Add the Swiss chard leaves and tomatoes and cook until the greens have wilted, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve immediately or cool and store in an air-tight container for up to 7 days.

Charred Vegetable Stock


The “Fall into Greens” CSA session starts next week and we couldn’t be more excited! We look forward to providing you and your loved ones with healthy, nutrient dense food. Contact us if you haven’t signed up yet!

We plan on making a lot more soup now that the weather will be cooling down a bit. One may think of ingredients first when building a soup but we suggest starting with the stock. A great stock is one of the most important (if not THE most important) elements to a great soup. Many think that a great stock means hours and hours of simmering on the stove but you can get great flavor with minimal ingredients in just over 30 minutes.

I made this stock for an egg drop soup but it can be altered in so many ways – use different vegetables (onion, leeks, carrots, fennel, etc), add whole spices (cinnamon sticks, coriander seeds, star anise, cumin seeds, whole cloves, etc), or char the vegetables on the grill instead of under the broiler (which would also give the stock a nice smoky flavor). Play around with it but I think you will agree that the small amount of time it takes will give you a big payoff in flavor.

Charred Vegetable Stock
makes 1 quart


  • 3-1/4 ounces scallions (white and light green parts only), from about 8 scallions
  • 2″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and quartered
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4-1/2 cups water (to account for water that evaporates so you are left with a quart of stock)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Salt to taste


  • Place oven rack in the middle-upper position and heat the broiler to high.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and evenly space scallions, ginger and garlic around the sheet. Place in oven and cook until first side is blackened, about 5 minutes (check every couple of minutes as broilers vary greatly). Remove from oven and flip everything over. Return to oven and cook until second side is blackened, about another 5 minutes.
  • Transfer cooked vegetables to a medium saucepan and add water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes. Strain the vegetables, pressing on the solids to extract as much flavor as possible. Once cool enough, taste and adjust seasoning as needed (I added soy sauce and some additional salt).