Sunday, December 8, 2013

Farm Fresh Winter Minestrone Soup

Months ago, my mom started talking about a farm she frequents with her best friend in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  One weekend when I was home, she drove me up the windy roads to show me her treasured farm.  Open to the public and based on the honor system, customers can pick the freshest vegetables and fruits to take home and devour--I was hooked.  The salad my mom prepared from the fresh produce tasted delicious.  With every bite I felt like I was getting the freshest and most powerful nutrients infiltrating my tired and worn-down teacher body.  This taste explosion made me suddenly more aware of the produce I buy from the grocery store on a weekly basis.  With more discerning eyes the next time I headed to Safeway I inspected my salad-makings and noticed that nothing was local.  This bothers me.  Why?  I live in farm-fresh produce heartland.  I would love to visit the local Farmer's Market every Saturday, but come winter our town market is finished.  I went on an internet hunt and found one local farm getting rave reviews.  Green String Farm, in Petaluma, is a sustainable year-round farm.  Off Mr. Winemaker and I went.  Within two minutes of stepping foot inside the farm's adorable produce stand, a farmer was slicing persimmons for us to try and used a hose to power-wash a carrot just for my tasting pleasure.  Mr. Winemaker and I knew we wanted to make Giada's Winter Minestrone soup.  This farm had everything we needed and more! 

Bowling-ball heads of cabbage.

 Crazy for kale!

$2 per simmon?  No no, persimmons.

Some of the most well-balanced Swiss chard you've (n)ever head

Leaving town with the haul!  Off to make our soup!  Watch out, sniffles and first cold of the season.

What are your favorite winter soups?  Do you have any farms you frequent? Leave a comment below.  I love new ideas!  

Want to see how we made our soup?  Check out Shesparkletv


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