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Easy Homemade Vegetable Soup

My third CSA share from Richfield Farms in Clifton, New Jersey did not disappoint. Torpedo onions, Swiss chard and organic bok choy were among the “don’t usually buy” selections. My first dish? An easy vegetable soup. What I learned? That all celery is not created equal.

Homemade Vegetable Soup

July Bounty

Our third CSA share from Richfield Farms in Clifton, New Jersey

The Basics:

  • 1 quart all-natural chicken stock
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes in tomato juice (organic or other tasty canned tomato)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium bunch bok choy, white ends diced and greens cut into strips
  • 1/2 bunch scallions, roots discarded and green and ends sliced into bit-sized pieces
  • 1 or 2 stalks of sliced celery
  • 1 large handful parsley, stems discarded and roughly chopped
  • 4 or 5 large basil leaves
  • 1 15 ounce can small white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 large bay leaf

Wash the vegetables very well, using a clean sink or a large container. The easiest way to clean vegetables is to immerse them in cold water, moving them around with your hand to loosen any dirt or debris, both of which will settle to the bottom in about 15 minutes or so. Lift gently into a colander. I double-check with my fingers to make sure anything unwanted is gone.

Bring everything to a boil except the beans and boil covered about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Add beans and cook for another 30 minutes.

Serve with rice and a hearty bread.

Not all celery is created equal  

The organic celery in the share was almost all dark green, so I decided to taste it. I was surprised at how bitter the leaves were. Not really distasteful, I knew that their peppery quality could be overwhelming. I also recognized the fact that I would never use up the celery in a timely fashion. Many fellow bloggers offered similar advice: wash, dry and freeze the celery leaves in a container or bag that allows no headroom. I will let you know how it works out.

Btw, the “fresh” basil was from the freezer, a product of my first CSA basket. It was quite good and even smelled lovely when frozen. I tossed it in without thawing or chopping.

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