Our winter CSA (community supported agriculture) pickup was on Thursday. We decided to join a Winter CSA to supplement our diets with organic locally grown vegetables. I knew Andy would initially be hesitant to join the CSA if it would be a lot of money for very little food, or one that supplemented their veggies with out of state food. It was important to me too to find a CSA that was grown within 25 miles of our home, and had convenient pick up. I knew it would be the basic root veggies for the winter, and I was hoping to get challenged with some I had never had before. Normally we grow parsnips and just leave them to winter and pick them as needed, but this year we didn’t. We also don’t have any root cellar which rules out our own crop.
I ended up finding the perfect Winter CSA grown within the 25 miles, and the pickup is right near my office. We can also buy organic eggs and meat separately, which I love. It’s 6 months long and pick up is every 2 weeks. As well, all veggies are locally grown with no non-local supplementation. It goes through May, which will help supplement us until our garden is ready, especially if the next planting season is anything like this year. Also, I can be assured it’s all from right here. I don’t mind buying them at the grocery store, but if I’m paying extra for a CSA, I want it local.
We’re hoping to someday get a cold frame built to put over at least 1/4 to 1/2 of our garden to have our own crops during the winter, but for now the CSA is a great choice for us. We get about a regular grocery bag of food every 2 weeks. While it’s most definitely not all of our veggies, it certainly helps. I also love supporting local farmers so this makes me feel good too.
Tonight after a long day of painting, cleaning & general malaise I decided we needed a hearty stew for dinner. One of the veggies we got was celeriac which I had never had. It turns out I love it.
No need to adhere to the veggies below, just use any root veggies you have on hand and dice them up into bite size pieces.
- 1 Sweet Potato
- 3 medium Regular Potato’s
- 8 medium Turnips
- 2 bulbs Celeriac (celery root)
- 1 small butternut squash
- 3-4 small/medium carrots
- 1 medium white onion
- 3 medium cloves garlic
- Chicken Stock (enough to cover vegetables) [To make vegan substitute vegetable broth]
- 1/2 cup 1% milk (optional) [To make vegan substitute nut milk of choice, almond would work nice]
- 1 tbsp cornstarch to thicken (optional)
- Olive Oil/Vegetable Oil
- 1.5-2 tbsp Dill
- Pinch Celery seed
1.) Heat oven to 400 and start pot of water. I suggest using one pot that will be large enough to make the soup in, or else you’ll need two pots.
2.) Dice all veggies. Set onion & garlic and celeriac aside.
3.) Add celeriac root to boiling water for 15 minutes. Being honest, I’m not sure why you couldn’t roast it. I read different preparation ways and most places said boil it. Since I’ve never used it I followed the majority. I say try and roast it if you want, I see no reason why it wouldn’t work.
4.) Spread remaining veggies (except onion & garlic) on a cookie sheets or two and drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in oven for 10 minutes. I recommend putting all butternut squash on one end of a cookie sheet, since you’ll want to keep this aside to add in at the end.
5.) Drain celeriac root and set aside in a bowl or on the cookie sheet with the butternut squash to add in at the end.
6.) Add a large pad of butter to the pan. Once melted put in the garlic and onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add in all of the roasted veggies except celeriac and butternut squash. Turn the heat down to medium and let go for about 5 minutes, gently stirring once or twice.
7.) Add chicken stock to cover the veggies, dill, celery seed, salt and pepper and put on low and simmer until the potatoes & sweet potatoes are fork tender. If you want to thicken, take about 2 tablespoons of hot broth out and add cornstarch to it. Whisk until entirely dissolved and add back to the soup. Do not add cornstarch into the entire batch of soup, it will clump and stirring will break your veggies apart.
8.) Turn off the heat to the soup. If adding milk, slowly pour and gently stir, or temper into a smaller bowl of hot broth and pour back in.
9.) Biscuits. Get this can. Half the directions of the back for about 9 mug sized biscuits. Add a little more baking soda for fluffier biscuits. Secrets out – this is how my grandpa made his best biscuits, my mom made hers, and I make mine. I have a couple different ways I make them, but these are my favorite.
10.) Eat. Fill that bowl up, butter that biscuit up and mow down.
Happy Cold Winter Days & Hot Stew,