IMG_6951We have had a farm box off and on over the years. In the last year, since we have lived in our house, we have been members of Fully Belly Farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and received a weekly farm box. For the price, the quantity and quality of food I think it is a great deal. It also helps us to find and try new recipes we might not normally make.

Before we had the CSA in the Bay Area I always found myself planning out meals that sounded good. When I would get to the grocery store I would be conflicted buying ingredients from South America and beyond that weren’t in season here just because that recipe from Pinterest looked tasty. I knew there were seasonal local foods but looking them up and planning around them wasn’t something I found myself doing. Being members of the CSA we get vegetables and fruits delivered weekly that are always local and seasonal.

We also get a recipe every week that uses some of the ingredients in our box. The Fully Belly Farms website also keeps all the previous recipes and they are grouped by ingredient so you can easily search a recipe for one of your fruits or veggies. I have tried a handful of their recipes but the most recent soup we made was a hit! The flavors and texture were amazing. It wasn’t very time consuming to prepare and the parmesan rind really put it over the top. My go to cabbage soup is vegetarian borscht but this soup will now definitely join the rotation.

I have found some of my favorite recipes this past year looking for ways to use my fresh veggies from the CSA. It helps Neil and I explore cookbooks, food blogs and Pinterest weekly looking for food inspiration based on the ingredients we have.

When we first lived together we took BART (our public transit, similar to a subway) to work everyday. While we were on the train together we would discuss what we should make for dinner that night, what ingredients we had and what we might need on the way home from work. On the ride back we would go over our days and our food plan, before spending the evening preparing, eating and cleaning up our meal. It felt like our relationship revolved around food. Now we are in a phase where we do cook but it is not the main focus of our pre and post work conversations. It is fun to get excited about recipes again!

Cabbage and Parmesan Soup with Barley

IMG_6953adapted from Martha Rose Schulman, via Full Belly Farm

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 7 to 8 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • About 6 ounces of New Potatoes
  • 6 cups water, chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 large Parmesan Rinds
  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • Chopped fresh dill, chives or parsley for garnish
  • Freshly grated Parmesan for garnish
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the shredded cabbage, garlic and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Cook, stirring often, until the cabbage begins to soften.
  3. Add the potato, the water or stock, the Parmesan rinds and the salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft. Remove and discard the rinds.
  4. Using an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender, coarsely purée the soup.
  5. Return to the pot and stir in the barley, or place a spoonful of barley in each bowl.  Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings and heat through.
  6. Serve, garnishing each bowl with a sprinkling of dill, chives or parsley, and a spoonful of grated Parmesan.
We served with fresh dill from our farm box and the soup smells cheesy, delicious.  Enjoy this soup and share with friends!
CSA – Cooking Seasonally All-Year: Potato Cabbage soup
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