What’s in the box this week?
Standard Shares include
Green Peppers - You'll find that your bell pepper either has three or four points on the bottom. The three bump peppers are male and those with four are female. If you're planning on eating the pepper raw, choose the female variety. Although they contain more seeds, the flesh is sweeter in nature. The male variety includes less seeds but is slightly more-bitter in flavor and makes for a better pepper to cook with.
Dino Kale - Chiffonade a couple of kale leaves into your slaw for added color, crunch, and flavor!
Hot Peppers - Capsaicin is chemical found in fruits of the genus Capsicum, which includes peppers. It is present, usually in relatively high amounts, in the placental tissue that holds the seeds of the peppers, as well as in lower concentrations in other parts of the fruit. The capsaicin works as a deterrent to stop various animals, particularly mammals that would crunch the seeds, from eating the fruits or otherwise harming the plants or seeds. It also functions as an anti-fungal agent, which further protects the plants. Allyl isothiocyanate, on the other hand, is a colorless oil that can be found in things like mustard, radishes, and wasabi. Like capsaicin, it serves as a defense for the plant against various animals, as well as works as an anti-fungal agent. These chemicals end up not only causing a “hot” sensation on your tongue, but also irritate the mucous membranes in your nose, causing them to become inflamed. This triggers those membranes to produce extra amounts of mucous as a defense mechanism to try to keep out whatever unwanted substance or particles are causing the irritation. This same type of irritation is why your eyes may also become watery when you eat very spicy foods. The capsaicin or allyl isothiocyanate can irritate the membranes in your eyes, causing your tear ducts to kick into overdrive trying to wash the irritant away. This can make your nose even more runny as some of the tears drain into your sinuses. Capsaicin and allyl isothiocyanate also irritate various tissues inside your body, such as your intestines. This causes your body to react by trying to flush the irritant out.
Parsley - Add parsley to many of the soups you will make… a couple of sprigs are great during cooking, and then finely or coarsely chop its leaves on top of your bowl to add delicious flavor right before you eat.
Leeks - Refrigerate leeks up to one week, loosely wrapped in plastic. Wait to trim the tops and roots until just before using.
Sweet Potatoes - The star of this week’s recipe!
Egg Shares include eggs from our certified organic, pasture-raised, happy hens.
Kale and Sweet Potato Soup with Lemon and Cumin (Serves 6-8) A perfect dish for the turn in the weather, using mutliple items from this week’s box as we transition into autumnal produce. This soup will keep you warm and it is flavorful and quite easy to prepare. Thank you to The Splendid Table for the recipe!
2 large leeks, white and light green only, 6 oz. trimmed (180 g.)
1 large onion (250 g.)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt, more to taste
12 oz. sweet potatoes (350 g.)
1 small Yukon gold or white potato (100 g.)
12 oz. dino kale (350 g.)
4 green onions, sliced (75 g.)
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (45 g.)
2- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth, as needed (about ½ liter)
fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbs. cumin seed
1-2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
a pinch of hot pepper
garnish: additional fruity green olive oil
optional garnish: crumbled feta cheese
Thoroughly wash and coarsely chop the leeks, using only the white and light green part, and chop the onion. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan and start sauteing the onions, with a sprinkle of salt. When they are translucent and soft, add the leeks and keep cooking, stirring often, until all the vegetables are golden, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes, scrub the small Yukon gold or white potato, and cut them all in 1/2 inch dice. Trim the thick stems from the kale, and cut the greens into one-inch strips, or chop them very coarsely. Combine the sweet potatoes and kale in a soup pot with 5 cups (1 1/4 liter) cold water and a teaspoon of salt, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about fifteen minutes.
Add the sautéed leeks and onions to the pot, along with the sliced green onions, cilantro, and a lot of fresh ground black pepper. Add as much of the vegetable broth as you need to give the soup a nice consistency - this is a hearty soup, but not a stew, and it should pour easily from a ladle. Simmer the soup gently, covered, for about ten more minutes.
Lightly toast the cumin seed in a dry pan, just until it is fragrant, and grind it in a mortar or spice grinder. Stir the cumin seed and a spoonful of lemon juice into the soup, and taste. Add more salt, pepper or lemon juice as needed, and finish with a pinch of cayenne or any red pepper.
Ladle the soup into warm bowls, and garnish each bowl with a swirl of fruity olive oil. If you like cheese, a heaping spoonful of tangy crumbled feta cheese dropped on top of each serving is fantastic.
Pic of the Week: