Health Soup

So a little more complicated, a recipe from the New York Times. Delicious and worth pulling together. I’m finding lots of dried shiitakes these days at local farmers markets – a great way for the farmer to add value to shiitakes he/she might not have been able to sell fresh.

If you prefer, use instant dashi for the whole kombu/bonita flake thing. All available at Sevananda or wherever you buy such things.

Fresh Tomato Soup 2

Fresh tomato soup recipes abound. A few years ago I suggested a similar one to this, but it wasn’t heated and used sugar instead of honey. This one has more peppers in it ( you could use a jalapeno or two if you like) and just a tiny bit of cream. Serve it with a grilled cheese and caramelized onion sandwich ?

Roasted Beets, Fennel, and Carrots with Blackberry Vinaigrette

Tyler Williams of Woodfire Grill demonstrated this recipe at Morningside Farmers Market earlier this month. It’s a perfect use of several things in your box (substitute more beets if you don’t have carrots around). Blackberries are in season right this minute and available at most local farmers markets this weekend, so stock up! No faro on hand? Substitute Israeli couscous, orzo or even rice.

Fusilli Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and “Hidden” Squash

And all those gorgeous tomatoes! So here’s my favorite tomato sandwich. You might want to try this if you’re over your fixation with white bread and mayo. You’ll need a crusty loaf of bread like a ciabatta. Split the bread in half and layer on sliced tomatoes, olive oil, sliced fresh garlic, capers, anchovy (optional as always) and basil. Throw on a splash of red wine vinegar. Close up the loaf and let the ingredients sit for at least an hour. Eat it outside.

Your basil, like mine, probably looked pretty wilted. Do not throw it out! It’s still perfectly wonderful for a sandwich like the one above, or you can do what I did last week with mine – make ice cream. There’s a wonderful new book out, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. She makes a vanilla ice cream base and then suggests adding a bunch of basil to the ice cream mixture as it cools. Strain out the ice cream before freezing. Amazing. Then, to make it even more wonderful, she suggests caramelizing some pine nuts in honey with just a bit of butter, salting the mixture, and then stirring it into the finished ice cream for storage. Salty-sweet-buttery nuts, basil ice cream. Fabulous. I saved a little money and used half pine nuts/half pumpkin seeds. Perfect.

Don’t want to make ice cream? Try the minestrone recipe below, with its bonus recipe for a basil pistou made with almonds and tomato. Or throw the basil in the freezer (yes, well wrapped please) and pull it out when you want to make a big pot of pasta fagioli this fall. Tie the basil into a bunch and then you can just fish it out of the finished soup. Or chop it up and throw it into your next batch of spaghetti sauce. Wilted, slightly browned, none of that will matter.

And if you need another idea for tomatoes and squash, how about this pasta?

Our box held a mix of tomatoes today. Use the smaller, meatier ones for this recipe, which means leaving the big juicier specimens for your favorite sandwich. Serves 4.