Pumpkin and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup- ELC #6

pumpkin and jerusalem artichoke soup || cityhippyfarmgirlOn a weekend out of the city recently, there was talk of visiting a local farmers market. I quite like talk like that, even if I’m the one who initiates the talk (ahem).

So to market we went. Buying up on some lovely locally grown organic vegetables, a succulent for $2, and a chopping board. Now I’d been on the look out for a little board quite awhile now. Time was passing, calendar pages were changing their years and still, I hadn’t found quite the ‘right’ board. I knew they were easy enough to make, but I just didn’t have access to any decent wood.

Then I came across ‘The Man at the Markets’, a man who who knew his chopping boards, and every tiny piece of the different woods behind them. After a general chit chat about the weather and the local area, we started talking about the boards he had for sale. Giving each one a run down on the type of wood it was and how to look after them, and what I was going to do with it.

It was this little one that caught my eye though, asking him about it, it turns out it was from an old skirting board from an equally old house just a short distance away from the markets. You can still see the nail holes if you look closely.

It seems I had found my board. It was locally made, recycled, looked good and seemed to fit pretty well with the pumpkin soup I had planned to serve with it. (What type of wood it is, I’m embarrassed to say I have no idea. The man did tell me, but it seems I forgot as soon as I stepped out of the market area….lovely wood I think it’s called now.)

pumpkin and jerusalem artichoke soup || cityhippyfarmgirl

Where is my food coming from?

Pumpkin- Red Bank, Eurobodalla

Jerusalem Artichoke- (Crave Natural, Apple Tree Flat)

Creme Fraiche- (Pepe Saya, Sydney)

 Interested in taking the challenge?

Just how local is local? Well this depends entirely on you. Only you know how you and your family eat. Raise the bar just a little from what you already do. If making sure the majority of your meal includes solely food produced in your country, than make that your challenge. If you want to make it a little trickier, go for produced in the same state…trickier still within 160km.

My aim is to really know where my food is coming from for at least one meal a month, (where I will be posting here in the last week of the month).

Eat Local Challenge #5

Eat Local Challenge #4

Eat Local Challenge #3

Eat Local Challenge #2

Eat Local Challenge #1

eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

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Cauliflower, Leek and Potato soup- Frugal Friday

cauliflower leek and potato soup

If I had opened our vegetable box as a kid, and seen cauliflower looking right back at me- I may well have wept a little.

At the very least I probably would have silently gagged.

Not now though. Now, when I see a little cauliflower peeking from a corner, in the Foodconnect box I do a little happy dance. I can’t get enough of it. Teamed up with some leek and potatoes also from the box, (and locally grown) you have yourself an easy peasy seasonal dinner. 

Cauliflower, Leek and Potato Soup

one chopped large leek

3 chopped large potatoes

half a head of a large cauliflower

1 vegetable stock cube

about 500mls water

salt and pepper to taste

Saute leeks in a couple of good slugs of olive oil, then the rest of the ingredients and cook until soft. Then blitz, with a hand held mixer.

Serve with pangritata and capsicum chilli sauce.

cauliflower, leek and potato soup

(Remarkably similar to last years cauliflower and potato soup…that’s seasonal eating for you!)

Smoky Roasted- Frugal Friday

cityhippyfarmgirl The last of the seasons locally grown hot house capsicums, were to be roasted and blitzed. Then teamed up with some smoked paprika and pretty much anything else I threw at it.

I’ve made this a few times now. Thick and chunky, teamed up with some crumbled fetta as a soup. Drizzled over pasta, added chilli and some other steamed vegetables worked through with it. Or lastly slow cooked with a chunk of pork neck. The sauce slowly gets cooked into the meat over a couple of hours and then gently pulls apart ready to be eaten with rice, entwined in a wrap, spread over the base of a ripper of a pizza. Or as my favourite so far, with a mix of sauteed beetroot leaves and stems, mushrooms, sprouted buckwheat, chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, kalimata olives, crumbled fetta and a squeeze of lemon juice, (quite the bowl full doesn’t it.)

What I like most about the basic smoky roasted capsicums, is that I can pin point exactly where everything that’s gone in there, has come from. Plus, there are hardly any ingredients.

cityhippyfarmgirl

cityhippyfarmgirl

Smoky Roasted Capsicums

roughly 8 large red capsicums halved and seeds taken out (farmers markets- grown just out of Sydney)

a couple of tomatoes, quartered (again from the same local market stall)

a couple of slugs of olive oil (grown and made in NSW)

roast it all down (210C) until they are soft

(if garlic is in season and locally grown I’d be throwing that in too.)

Add some water, about 500-750mls (or stock if you have it) if you want it as a soup and blitz with a hand held mixer (or blender.)

Add a teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika (the only non local product)

If adding meat, I have used a pork neck (from a happy pig) and cooked on slow in the sauce for about two hours. Cool it down and gently pull apart.

Salt to taste, and using River Murray Salt

***********

Not really a recipe today, more of a suggestion of what to do. Basically, just roast and blitz!

the vegetable that everyone forgot- Frugal Friday

Cauliflower.

Remember that one? It’s got a bad rep, as the tastless tree like cousin of broccoli. It’s not though.

In season now, it’s cheap, tasty and adaptable to oodles of dishes… just right for Frugal Friday.

Cauliflower and Potato Soup

A splash of olive oil

Half a head of cauliflower

One large zucchini

Six small dutch cream or kipfler potatoes (the waxy kind)*

One cube vegetable stock (or your own if you have it)

water

Cook it up until soft. Then blitz it up with a hand held blender. Serve with a scattering of lightly fried sourdough breadcrumbs, for some textural crunch.

* Remember all potatoes are not created equal. A good potato can be the making of your dish.

Frugal Friday #2

Its the end of the week again, and the fridge is looking a bit slim. I actually don’t mind when it comes to Frugal Friday, as it’s a bit more of a challenge to make something tasty out of not much.

I have a few different breads on my brain this week. Flicking through the lovely ‘Bourke Street Bakery ‘ cookbook there is much to be inspired by. Each recipe makes my heart swell. If there is any cookbook to lay under my pillow at night this would be the one I would choose.

I have been toying with the idea of making a sourdough starter, but have been holding back as it just seems so much work for something I’m not sure of what I am doing- lazy I know. Also lack of space in this little kitchen. Also lack of time, the monkeys they take a lot of it. Excuses, excuses I know. Who knows maybe next week I will change my mind.

I ever entered a bread phase. All I feel like doing is surrounding myself with beautifully risen doughs. There is something quite soul uplifting in kneading, proving, baking, and then eating a food that has been around for ever. I love the science of it and the fact that one tiny little change can completely change the end result.

I grew up with the smell of fresh bread in the air. My mother would make it every third day for the majority of my child hood. When I think of bread, I think of huge rising mounds of proving doughs, rising on the same table that I made pasta on 2 weeks ago. Filtered winter sun coming through the windows, and the kitchen already warm from loaves already baked. It’s such a feeling of comfort to eat bread still warm from the oven.

So I settled on a olive oil bread recipe in the cook book. A little different to any bread that I had made before, but timing it with a monkey nap I could actually put in the mindful attention that it needed and ‘voila‘. Some happy little bread rolls. Sure they didn’t look exactly like the picture- but thats a only a guide right?… and I reckon the next time they just might though.

So budget meal- yes indeed. Resourcefully using a few ingredients that are floating around the fridge with mutterings of”eat me, please eat me”.

Leek and Potato Soup– In a pot put a lovely dollop of olive oil, 2x sliced leeks, 4x potatoes, some vegetable stock, a little  seasoning- and whizz it up. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

Serve with some delicious warm bread.