turnip lentil soup

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The names have been entered, the results are in, and the press is gettin’ hot. That’s right, y’all. It’s time to announce the winner of Heed the Feed’s very first giveaway! Enter crowd applause sound bite here. Wait. I just have to say that I’m so pumped that so many of you wanted to participate and so pumped that you’ve shown so much love to Loveland Coffee. Cheers to you guys.

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Clears throat. And now, without any further hesitation, the winner of a pound of whole bean espresso and a pound of whole bean Ethiopian Yirgacheffe AND the title of HTF’s first ever giveaway winner goooes tooooo:

Gwynne Middleton! And check out her own personal food blog at The Crafty Cook Nook!

Super crowd applause sound bite! Congratulations! I know you will enjoy your new roasts.

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I figured before I skedaddled on out of here, I’d leave you guys with a recipe (this is a food blog, non?). My momma-in-law recently joined a CSA (community-supported agriculture) and invited my husband and me to join in the fun. We used to be a part of one, but for some reason could never keep up with the very large amounts of produce we were receiving each week and ended up composting a lot of it. But this CSA has half baskets, allowing smaller families to participate and helping them to not drown in the season’s finest.

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If you’re not familiar with CSAs, they are super cool. It’s basically a weekly share from a local farm (or farms) that includes fruits and vegetables that change fairly often. For example, if you received a basket of goodies from a farmer during a South Carolina summer, you’d probably receive corn, peaches, and squash. A winter basket may include kale, broccoli, or carrots. Our CSA is cool and usually throws in something that will make your head tilt for a few seconds. This past week was turnips. I like turnips. Turnips are cool. But I’ve only ever done one thing with turnips: roasted them. Tasty, but a bit boring this go around. I needed something new. I found a recipe online utilizing turnips in my favorite food group: soup. Hehh. And turnips are kind of nutritionally neutral. They are certainly not bad for you, though, and, in fact, have a good amount of vitamin C in them. So there. I just argued with myself. But you guys also know from a previous post that lentils love humans. They are the bomb powerhouse food. So…there.

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turnip lentil soup
prep time: 10 minutes cook time: 40 minutes yield: 8 servings
adapted from Whole Living’s Red Lentil Soup with Turnip and Parsley

ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 celery stalks, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
3 turnips, peeled and diced
8 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar (optional)
Coarse salt and pepper

create:
In a pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Increase heat to high and add tomatoes. Cook for 1 minute. Add lentils, turnip, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, 30 or so minutes. Stir in parsley and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

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And, YES, you CAN cook those greens growing on that turnip root! And those babies really do have lots of good nutrients in them. They have a boatload of vitamins and no saturated fat. That is, until you add butter and bacon grease. Wink, American Southeast, wink, wink.

 

P.S. Loveland Coffee is now open at 7001 St. Andrews Road in Columbia, SC.

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field pea soup

Y’all, today’s high is 73. Seventy-three. I think people around the world are saying, “Argh, curse you South Carolina!” as they put on their coats and go to work in the nine degree weather. I have to say that I envy you a little. I’m a wintery, bundle-up, build a fire girl at heart. There’s something about winter’s silence that is beautiful to me, snow gently placing itself on the trees, forcing you to bundle up and make one pot meals that you can eat while your hands and arms are still wrapped in a fleece blanket. Man! That sounds so glorious. That’s it. I’m making some soup.

The last time I was at the farmers’ market I bought a bag of dried peas from a lovely family who does their own organic farming. They were really sweet, knew everything about each veggie and how to prepare it. I even had to go back because I thought I had lost my phone (my goodness, you’d think it were a child) and they helped me follow my tracks around the market. Anyway, they were just good faces to put with the food I’d be bringing home with me. Nice people stories!

They recommended boiling the peas with a ham hock, but I’m a lame southerner and didn’t have one, so for my recipe I used, you guessed it, bacon. This hearty soup is also filled with potatoes, carrots, and, most importantly, those pretty little peas.

field pea soup
ingredients
3 strips minimally processed bacon
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a sprinkle of cayenne
3 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups dried field peas, soaked overnight, rinsed, and drained
2 yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into cubes
touch of cream

create
Soak the peas in a bowl of water overnight (this creates a shorter cooking time) and rinse well. Set aside.
In a large Dutch oven on medium heat, add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove bacon and allow to dry on paper towels. Chop into small pieces when cool enough to handle.
To the Dutch oven (which still holds the bacon grease) add the butter and melt. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook until onions are translucent and vegetables are soft. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne and cook for a minute longer. Sprinkle the flour in and stir constantly for a minute longer or until the flour is cooked, turning a blonde color. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the peas and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Add the potatoes and reserved chopped bacon and simmer for 30 minutes longer until the potatoes are tender. You may need to cook longer (or shorter) depending on how soft you like your peas. Just before serving, stir in the cream. I think I used about 1/8 of a cup, just to make it a little richer.


Just so you know, I’m not complaining about our strange, unpredictable, “I’ll do what I want” weather. If God wants it like that, well, He is certainly better than I am. And I really do consider it a blessing to be raised in the good ol’ sunny south. Butttt…if we can fool that 73 into thinking he’s seven below because this soup is just so doggone cold-weather, wintry picturesque, well…then that’s just the bee’s knees.