This is the third post in the 2013 Eat Local America! Challenge series. Each year Minnesota co-ops celebrate the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables available August by promoting a month of local eating. Minnesota Locavore and readers around the state are taking the challenge to eat meals made from local ingredients. Stop back all month long for recipes, local products and tips for jump starting your month of local food.
Wait? How did it get to be Wednesday already?
I thought we just finished wrapping up the weekend, now I’m staring the next one in the face. Oye. I can’t keep up. This weekend Greg and I are gearing up for a major home construction project. The last time I checked, our basement looked like this:
By Sunday evening it’s going to look like this:
I can dream, right?
We’ll see. What we’re hoping for is a nice den space for me to focus on writing on with fewer distractions than our office, the kitchen, or the couch. I work hard helping kids with ASD to focus in busy environments but generally stink at it myself. After nudging me away from reruns of How I Met Your Mother and trolling through Pinterest all summer, Greg finally said a few weeks ago “I think you need to go write in the basement.”
A DIY project is born.
I picked out nifty gray paint, new white furniture, and some sunny yellow finishing touches. Hopefully together they will say “Do you really want to check Facebook one more time instead of working on your book?” You know you’re a writer when the coffee table guilts you back to work…
With all the prep for drywall and flooring, there hasn’t been much time for cooking. Fast and filling are what we look for when we’ve got a project started. That’s where this recipe for cream of cauliflower soup came into play this week. It’s ready in under 30 minutes and doesn’t need our constant attention. Chop the vegetables, add in the milk, simmer everything nice and slow until it’s soft. Then blend until it’s you find your perfect combination of chunky/smooth.
It’s rich and summery, without the calories of a typical ‘cream of ___’ soup. This week I had it as a side with a big bowl of BLT salad (the original soup recipe is vegetarian but I think it’d be even better with bacon!) and a big serving chilled in my lunch. Both meals kept me working on my DIY plans instead of spending tons of time in the kitchen. Best of all, the ingredients are easy to find locally now through the end of summer.
Cream of Cauliflower Soup
Adapted from James Peterson’s Kitchen Simple
2 pounds of baby red potatoes, quartered
2 cups onions, roughly chopped
4 cups cauliflower, roughly chopped
4 cups skim milk
salt and pepper to taste
heavy cream (optional)
1. Place potatoes, onions and cauliflower in a large stock pot. Pour in milk and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pot. Cook over very low heat so milk barely simmers. Do not boil or the texture will be grainy.
2. Simmer for 20 minute or until potatoes and cauliflower are soft. Using an immersion blender (or a blender with a tightly fitting lid) purée the soup to the desired consistency. If soup seems thin, add a few tablespoons of heavy cream and re-heat.
3. Serve warm topped with croutons or chilled the next day.