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« Options to Eating Locally: Community Supported Agriculture & Non-Farm Delivery Services | Main | Options to Eating Local: Farmer’s Markets »

October 22, 2008

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Marianne

Wanted to share my minestrone secrets: For a thicker, rich minestrone broth I dice my cabbage very, very small and let it simmer in two jars of organic marinara sauce with a couple of Parmesan rinds and my seasonings. The cabbage basically dissolves into a thick, rich tomato base. I cook this for at least an hour adding water as necessary. it is no longer recognizable as cabbage! It creates the thickness (and adds nutrition). Then I add my canneli beans, sauteed celery, onions and garlic (lots of all three), shell pasta, green beans, carrots. When the soup seems/tastes ready to me, I add several cups of small spinach leaves on top and put a lid on it and turn off the heat. I let the spinach "steam" in the soup for about 15 minutes. Open it, stir spinach in, and serve! I know this isn't much of a recipe, but hey. C'mon. It's an art! Oh yeah. And sourdough. With lots of butter. And wine. And a yummy apple crisp warm with ice cream for dessert. mmmmmmm.

garys

Drool! Thanks for the great tip Marianne!

Marissa

My all-time favorite comfort food recipe: albondigas soup. This was the first "real" dish I ever learned to make (at the ripe ol' age of 11) and it's become a hit within my family. I'm sure you can get many of the ingredients locally.

for the base:
large stockpot (7 quarts, I think) filled 2/3 with water
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
chicken bouillon to taste (I usually use about 2.5 tbsp.)

for the meatballs:
1 lb. ground beef (I find the fattier variations work best, you can always skim the grease)
2/3 c. uncooked white rice
1 1/2 tbsp. dried oregano
about 2-3 tsp. garlic salt (to taste)
1 raw egg

miscellaneous chopped vegetables (uniformly sized works best)
potatoes
carrots
celery
I've used zucchini before too...it's okay. I'm too much of a fundamentalist to really enjoy it that way.

Put the base on to boil. In the meantime, combine all meatball ingredients. I usually form mine in 1.5" balls onto a plate and drop them in at the same time to ensure uniform cooking. If you're opting to include carrots, they should be the first vegetable to add. Do this once the meatballs float. Begin peeling and chopping the potatoes (and celery if you want it). After adding them, set the timer for 20 minutes. In the time that it takes you to prepare the potatoes, the carrots will have cooked enough so that all the veggies and meatballs are done at the same time.

My mom has served this with yerba buena, lemon wedges, cilantro, and sliced jalapenos on the side as individual toppings. I ALWAYS include a side of flour tortillas.

This recipe does NOT freeze well, so invite friends over to share it, or expect to be eating albondigas for about 3 days. Luckily, it's *that* good.

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