Saturday, July 25, 2009

Farm share soup

Squirrel Queen at The Road to Here has posted a challenge to encourage people to buy produce locally from a farmer's market or a local farm stand. The farmer's market down the street from us is regrettably small, last week they only had six stands and only two of them were selling produce. And what they had for sale was mostly what I had already picked up the previous Tuesday at Green Meadows Farm for our weekly CSA farm share, my love of which I shared with you all last month. So for SQ's Farmer's Market Challenge I'm going to focus on what I did with my farm share, and what I do with it almost every week: I make soup.

I LOVE soup. I could eat it every day, even in the summer when it's hot. The first summer my husband and I did a farm share was in 2006 and I was sadly too sick to eat all the produce. I've lived with Crohn's Disease since I was 14 ( lived, I will not say suffered, because if you suffer it's only because you let it get to you) So it's been about 19 years that I haven't been able to indulge in a bowl of popcorn, or smear crunchy peanut butter on a lap full of celery. A salad is often something I gaze at in wonder as other people with "healthy" guts shovel it in their mouths.

Generally I've been healthy for the past 19 years, I've never had surgery, I currently don't treat my illness with anything except acupuncture (the side effects of Crohn's meds are often worse than the disease). But I'm still left with the problem of getting my veggies. So I blend them.

The first time we came home with two full shopping bags of local organic produce from Green Meadows in 2006 I thought, "How on earth am I going to help Brian eat this?" I was having a relapse and had already lost 10 pounds. After experimenting we came up with this recipe for what we call Farm Share Soup. Or sometimes just Green Soup, since it usually comes out some shade of green.Basically the recipe is put in whatever you can or want. My rule is to have a variety of colors, different colors generally mean different vitamins and minerals. This week here's what I did:

-one kohlrabi
-one turnip
-one shallot
-one garlic scape (the curly thing in the photo)
-one sweet potato (not actually part of this week's share, it was purchased)
-a bunch of radishes
-two frozen blocks of spinach from previous weeks.
-a summer squash
-a box of Trader Joe's chicken broth (you can also use veggie, but I like the extra protein)
-about a half cup plain yogurt
-I usually like to add a whole fennel bulb and carrots but I didn't have any on hand.
-pinch of salt
-pinch of pepper
-pinch of coriander

Chop up all veggies and add to pot with broth and spices, boil into submission (to aid in my digestion). Then blend in a blender. Add more broth to thin if you'd desire. Add the yogurt, stir and eat! Yummy! This batch came out a pale shade of green, sometimes it's more orange, sometimes not.

The recipe changes according to the season. In the fall I add more potatoes, turnips and pumpkin. Late in the summer more squash. Sometimes I put in coconut milk since there's evidence it's beneficial for Crohn's disease (and tastes yummy!) There are no rules except trying to add lots of color and coming up with flavors you like. And the best part is I'm getting an insane amount of veggie goodness without the Crohn's-related issues and I freeze a jar from every batch so we can have farm share soup all winter too!

Bon apetite!


  1. Getting enough veggies are my downfall. I really need all the nutrients since I had the small blip on the health horizon - breast cancer. I like this soup recipe. After it is done, it is quick to grab and quick to heat. I'm copying. :D

    I love the way you are treating your disease - as naturally as humanly possible!

  2. It looks delicious. I am with you on eating soup. I can eat it anytime of year. I love all the fresh produce that is available right now. I have never tried the sweet potato addition to soup but I will now. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. I was just reading an interview on the NY Times with the Dalai Lama, and he was just saying that happiness is something we can choose, no matter what we are given to deal with. I think your approach to Crohn's is ideal -- and gosh you not only get to eat your veggies, you get to have them in soup! Great story and, I suspect, recipe.

  4. I agree, soup is good eatin' - everyday! I've been opting for salads; we ate soup almost everyday through the winter and fall and into spring when I made lighter soups. I'd like to try a cold soup now. Enjoy!

  5. I can't get enough fresh veggies, I could easily be a vegan but I'm married to a meat and potatoes guy. One of the few ways I get him to eat vegetables is with soups. This is good recipe, like Rae, I had never thought of adding sweet potato.

    I admire your approach to Crohn's, naturally with no meds. A great story and recipe. Thanks for taking part in the challenge this is perfect.

    Have a wonderful weekend,

  6. I love your positive attitude, my friend! Living with Crohn's and still counting your blessings each and every day!

    I also love the photo of your soup. It looks delicious and something I know I will try.

    Thanks for sharing a little about yourself. You have helped others probably without even knowing it.

    Great and insightful post as always!

  7. Lynn: You are a survivor! My mother AND grandmother both had breast cancer, so it is inevitable I will have it some day too. Eating veggies is one thing you can definitely do to keep yourself healthy.

    Rae: I've never put a sweet potato in before, but I was lacking in anything orange so I threw it in, pretty tasty!

    DJan: I got so sick of "western" approaches to my illness that I sought out acupuncture, meditation and diet and it seems to really help...for now :)

    Honeygo: I had a cold garlic cream soup recipe somewhere...I should dig it out.

    SQ: Friends of ours throw sausage in to their version of farm share soup. you could hide your veggies that way!

    Susan: I try not to dwell on the fact that my insides aren't always healthy, sometimes it does get to you. But I did a mind-set change, a diet change, some acupuncture and married an extremely supportive guy. Now four years after my first batch of farm share soup I have no problem gaining weight (unfortunately!), I have a beautiful baby girl, get to actually enjoy salad and still haven't had to have any surgery!

    thanks for visiting everyone! if you have issues making soup shoot me a note. happy veggie eating :)

  8. Hi Kate,

    Your soup looks very healthy and you won't feel guilty taking more than a bowl! Like you I always like veggie soup much more if everything is organically grown. I am glad that people nowadays are eating healthy, I'm gonna try that soup recipe and maybe add some chicken meat or perhaps mushroom cream soup.


  9. Yum! People don't realize that things taste good ground up too! My mom made vegetable soup and then squished it through a sieve so my dad could eat it. It was almost thick as gravy, but no chunks of anything. I love your color method! It must be tough trying to meet your dietary needs without the soup. Thanks for sharing.

  10. We're big soup fans down here too, it's one of our favourite meals. I love the idea of whizzing up all your fresh veggies into a weekly soup :)

    My 18-year old daughter and I both liked what you said about "living" with your disease, too, rather than "suffering". She has Type 1 Diabetes, and it often feels like suffering - a good reminder to check her mental attitude to the challenges it brings up daily.

  11. AL: sometimes I make it thick and pour it over meat as a sauce, sometimes I add ground meat on top and can do whatever you want with it that's the best part!

    MzzLily: sometimes I squish it through a sieve too when I'm not feeling well to get out the extra chunks. Fortunately if I'm healthy I can eat whatever I want if I don't overdo it, but we still eat farm share soup regardless since we love it so much!

    Jejune: I hope your daughter is doing well with her diabetes, half of staying healthy I swear is a staying positive. Although it's really hard to do sometimes, I have my moments of feeling doomed trust me. and it's especially hard as a teenager. Being diagnosed at 14 was super tough, but I made it!

    thanks for visiting everyone! especially the new names, I love seeing a new name pop up in the comment block! :)


  12. I'm sorry to hear you have had to deal with Crohn's all these years but your attitude is fantastic and it hasn't gotten you down. Your soup looks very tasty. It would be wonderful on a cold day.


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