If you’re not familiar with the concept of a CSA, it stands for Community Shared (or Supported) Agriculture and works in a similar vein to a cow- or pig-share in which a group of people (they can know each other or not) commit to sharing part of the harvest from a local farm. These have grown a lot in popularity over the last few years, but I’d never tried one before until a coworker mentioned Imperfect Produce. It’s the same CSA concept, where you commit to X amount of fruits and vegetables from a local harvest, but these are all slightly imperfect – either in shape, size, color, or any other physical “blemish” that makes them “unworthy” of the American supermarket. I really love this idea, both as a way to reduce waste and save money on groceries, and could not wait to get our first box!
I signed up for the small organic box every other week which nets us 7-9 pounds of local fruit and veg for $15-20. I also love that Imperfect Produce allows you to choose exactly what you want and how much – a main reason we had never done a CSA before. Lack of customization meant high risk for receiving items we couldn’t eat due to dietary restrictions, allergies, or just something we didn’t like! Particularly where we live, summer boxes almost always include copious amounts of corn from any farm we ever looked into for CSA options. Spoiler: corn is not a part of slow carb, keto, Paleo, Whole30, or the general low-carb diet I try to stick to for managing my chronic health issues.
Our first box arrived full of some fantastic-looking veggies and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share my winter soup that can be made with… pretty much anything. I’m making this one “gold,” to play up the golden beets we received (and to get in some extra turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties) but you can skip that if a curried soup sounds like your worst nightmare. Yes grandma, I am talking to you.
For this recipe, you will need:
Large stock pot
Small bowls (2-3)
Immersion blender (blender or food processor are okay too, but stick blender is definitely my preference – and the least amount of mess)
4 small onions
1 head garlic
1-2 large parsnip
2 small turnips
4 golden beets
1 large potato
10-oz frozen cauliflower
2 quarts chicken stock
1 quart water
1 tsp Aleppo pepper or chili powder
1.5 tbsp turmeric
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ghee or avocado oil
Begin by prepping and peeling all of your vegetables. Chop the onions and garlic and set aside in one bowl. Peel and cube your parsnips and turnips, and cut up the potato (peeling is optional, but give it a good scrub if you want to leave the yummy skin on). Finally, peel the beets and cut them into cubes.
Set the stock pot to medium heat. Once heated, add your fat of choice and allow to melt/warm before adding any vegetables.
The order you add your veggies doesn’t really matter that much, but I like to cook my onions and garlic down a little bit so I started there. Sauté for 7-10 minutes or until softened and fragrant. Add the remaining fresh vegetables. Stirring well about once per minute, continue to cook the vegetables for 5-7 minutes before adding any liquids.
Add the stock, water, salt, turmeric, chili powder, and frozen cauliflower. Mix well. Your soup-in-progress should be a bright golden color now.
Bring the soup to a light boil, then reduce to low heat. Allow to simmer for 40 minutes. It is ready to blend once all the vegetables are fork-tender. The beets and parsnips take the longest, so if those are good to go everything else should be too.
Remove soup from heat and set the stock pot on a heat-safe surface. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until you have a smooth, homogenous pot of gold. As I mentioned above, you can also use a conventional blender or food processor and blend the soup in batches, but if you have a stick blender, I highly recommend using it.
Return soup to heat, mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. I like to give it another few minutes back on the heat to make sure all the flavors really melt into one another.
Serve immediately. Also great for meal prep – which is good, because this recipe makes a lot of soup!
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored nor was I asked to write it. Imperfect Produce did not reach out to me and really, they have no idea who I am. They do provide a referral code for anyone with an account. I do not make any money from this. Imperfect Produce is available in the following locations: Bay Area in California; Los Angeles, CA; Orange County, CA; Portland, OR Metro Area; Seattle, WA Metro Area (includes Tacoma); and Chicago, IL Metro Area.