We are working to till the last of the fields so that we can plant cover crop next week. The irrigation lines have been pulled from the flower field. Next we will dig the dahlia tubers and transplant the perennials to the new beds. As soon as we finish that we will mow the field. I am always sad to mow the flowers even if they are no longer producing many blooms. There is still so much wildlife activity in there that I hate to take it away. The vegetable fields usually are a relief to mow. Instantly the weeds disappear, you can begin to forget the failures, and plan for next year.
We have almost completely planted the winter garden and now we need to focus on weeding it. There are already too many weeds and you can feel the change in the soil towards winter. It is denser and harder to pull the weeds. Hopefully, we can tackle them now so that it is not too big of a struggle for the rest of the time.
This week's pick list:
- Sunflower heads
- Winter squash
- Watermelon radish
- Basil. dill, cilantro
Green Minestrone, adapted from savuer.com
1 cup pasta
5 tbsp. olive oil
1⁄2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 cups finely diced carrot
1 cup finely diced kohlrabi
1 cup finely chopped leek
1 cup finely diced fennel
4 cups stock
1⁄4 cup peas or sliced snap peas
6 large green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1 cup plain cashews
5 oz. spinach
2 cups packed basil leaves
5 tbsp. toasted almonds
Toasted country bread, for serving
In a medium saucepan of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta, stirring, until al dente, about 4 minutes. Drain the pasta and keep warm. Return the empty pan to medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the shallots and carrots and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the kohlrabi, leek, garlic, and fennel. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the reserved pasta along with the peas and olives and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes more.
Make the cashew cream: Soak cashews with 3⁄4 cup boiling water in a blender until the water cools to room temperature, and then purée until silky smooth.
Make the pesto: In a blender, combine the spinach with the basil, almonds, and the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Purée into a smooth pesto and then scrape the pesto into the soup and stir until evenly combined. Ladle the minestrone into bowls and serve with toasted bread and cashew cream on the side.