My Dad gave me a TON of fresh potatoes from his garden and I have been trying to incorporate them in dishes I have been making over the past couple of weeks. I enjoy the challenge of using as many local and seasonal ingredients in my cooking as possible. Today Scarlett and I made fresh Lentil Soup using his potatoes. Look how yummy it turned out and read top 5 reasons to buy local food. Oh and did I mention that the potatoes are from Colton's Corner, my parents farm in Cheshire Connecticut? Yes, Mom and Dad that was a plug for you...heheheh
Sauteing the veggies...
Mom's little helper!!
The final product
1/2 bag of lentils- wash and sort through to make sure there are no stones mixed in
2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-2 medium carrots chopped
1-2 stalks of celery chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1-2 T minced garlic
1-2 medium red potato
1 QT or Organic Vegetable Broth
Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Place 2 T of olive oil in a medium pot or 6 qt Dutch oven over medium heat. Wait until the pan is hot then add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and saute' for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked 1/2 way. Add vegetable broth and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, cut the potato in equal size cubes and add to the pot. Add water to reach desired thickness. Let soup simmer until the potatoes are soft then serve. Makes about 6-8 servings depending on how big your soup bowls are. I also added baby spinach at the end because I love my vegetables.
Top 5 reasons to buy local:
1. Local produce tastes better-
If the produce is picked that day, it is rich in color and flavor. Food that has to travel from California, Mexico, and Canada, may have no flavor left at all. Have you ever eaten a strawberry in the winter that has been shipped from Mexico? It doesn't even taste like a strawberry that was picked at a local farm that morning in the middle of the summer.
2. Local produce is more nutritious-
Once harvested produce loses its nutrients quick so if it has been sitting on a truck, train, boat or at a warehouse, by the time it gets to the supermarket shelves then into your home, cooked then onto your plate, how much nutritional value is left. Local produce that is picked that morning arrives on your plate that night or perhaps the next day. Can you say nutritious!
3. Local food supports local farmers-
Need I say more. Just google "farms in your state" (I would do "farms in Massachusetts) and you may find dozens of locations selling seasonal produce ready for you to pick and prepare
4. Local food provides education to you and your family-
Bring the kids to the local farm and teach them about seasonal produce. You will find that they may even eat their broccoli now
5. Local food is about the future-
Instead of supporting those huge conglomerate farms, send your $$ to your local farmer to ensure you have access to nourishing, flavorful and abundant food.
Now get out there and find those farms!!