Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Farmers' Market

As I prepare to move away from my dearly-beloved city of Madison I am trying to cram as much Madison as I can into my last few weeks here. Hence my lack of recent posting - too much to do (paint the deck, work in the garden, pack boxes, eat asparagus) and so little time!

It doesn't get much more Madison than a Saturday morning at Farmers' Market on the square (where does that possessive apostrophe go anyway? There are multiple farmers at the market, so I'm putting it there).

To top off last Saturday's Farmers' Market it was also "Cows on the Concourse." Does it get any better than this? I don't think so. Fresh cheese curds, a cool morning, content cows, the crowded counter-clockwise shuffle, and bags of produce to take home.

Here's a recipe for my favorite spring market soup from the May 4, 2002 Harmony Valley Farm CSA newsletter:

"Simple Green Soup"
2 T. butter or veg oil
1 small, diced onion
1 lb. peeled and diced sunchokes (also known as a "jerusalem artichoke" thru some awkward and historic pronunciation language gap between Italian and English. You could use other root veggies like potatoes but I strongly recommend getting sunchokes if you can since their flavor is superior)
4 cups water or broth
1 bunch nettles (or you can use sorrel or watercress, but I absolutely prefer the nettles - just wash them well to get rid of the sting)

Saute your onions in the butter until translucent. Add sunchokes and broth. Bring to boil and simmer 15 min or until sunchokes are soft enough to yield to pressure from a fork or knife. Add the nettles and the heat of the broth should wilt them. Puree until smooth with an immersion stick blender or use a food processor (but go in small batches, trust me).

Option: add some cream or half 'n' half at the end for a creamy soup. And/or add a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper for a little extra warmth.

Serve with fresh bread and fresh cheese curds on the side and you've got a lovely spring market meal. So good.

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