All-in-the-Pot Root Vegetable Soup

Updated October 2021

The last day of our CSA was sad but at this time of the year, by the time I get to the pick-up location, it's dark and we're selecting veggies by flashlight phone apps. I'm not worried that I'm going to get old or rotten veggies but it is a bit of a surprise when I'm finally in my kitchen and able to inspect our haul for the week.

All-in-the-Pot Root Vegetable Soup

When your CSA gives you vegetables, you make soup

As I do each Thursday when new veggies come in, I inspect the fridge for anything I've let go too long that I just couldn't get to. This is the sad part of the CSA - veggies that go bad. I hate wasting food so when it happens it's just awful. But on that cool October night I decided to make what I called All-in-the-Pot Root Vegetable Soup - basically use whatever makes sense and cook it up. Loosely based on a recipe for Farmers' Root Vegetable Soup from the New England Soup Factory Cookbook, the soup consisted of sweet potatoes, celeriac, fennel, carrots, turnips, kohlrabi, onions, leeks, and thyme.

The beauty of this recipe is it didn't require anything more than putting all the veggies into a pot with enough chicken broth (and water if necessary) to cover. The soup is simmered for 45-50 minutes, until the veggies are tender. After removing the thyme stems the soup was puréed in batches, put it back in the pot, and adjusted for seasoning. It was perfect on a cool autumn night. Except for the chicken broth, salt, and pepper, everything else came from the CSA.

A grilled cheese sandwich was the perfect accompaniment

What made my meal even better was the sandwich I made to go along with my soup - a grilled cheese sandwich with pepper jack, sharp cheddar, and peach jalapeño jam on sourdough. I could never make a grilled cheese sandwich as good as my favorite Roxy's food truck but I was definitely inspired by it.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Peach Jalapeno Jam

Still more CSA veggies

A couple of days later I watched an episode of Symon's Suppers where Michael Symon prepare a one pot meal of Chicken Thighs with Kale. It was a straight forward and delicious looking dish and the nice thing was, I had all the ingredients I needed except for the chicken. Yes, I even had Marcona almonds in the freezer. The best thing was I could use the two large bunches of CSA kale that I had in my fridge.

I love the recipe and highly recommend it but I would up the "pinch of paprika" to maybe 1/2 - 1 teaspoon. I think it really added to the dish. One other observation is, red jalapeñoes are NOT the same as Fresno chiles. I knew this but it's what I had on hand (thanks to the CSA). I could take the heat but I know many of my friends would not have been able to eat that dish.

All that I have left of CSA 2012 are a number of beets waiting to be roasted, a head of romaine, some carrots (for carrot soup, of course), half a head of an enormous cabbage, and a couple of apples. Not too bad. I'm looking forward to next year.