If your Memorial Day weekend was like mine, you came home from a few days on the road to a refrigerator drawer full of CSA vegetables you still needed to use. My kohlrabi were still rolling around in there, and my Swiss chard was starting to look tired. I woke it up with a soak in cold water, and then got started on one of my favorite vehicles for using the produce that threatens to go bad on us before we can use it: soup.
The recipe below is not the product of repeated fine-tuning in a test kitchen (though it is tasty). It is offered as an example of how you don’t always need a recipe to concoct tasty, economical dishes that will make the most of your CSA share.
A couple of notes:
- I used a small amount of water in this soup. It came out thicker than most of my soups, and I kind of liked that, but you could use more water to give it a more traditional soup consistency. I also think that pureeing a bit of it, with the chickpeas included, and then pouring the puree back in with the rest of the soup would enhance the texture.
- You could use chicken stock in place of water. A little wine wouldn’t hurt, either.
- One of the things I like about soup for CSA cooking is that you can freeze it. Package it up in plastic containers or bags in portions you will use later on.
- You will see CSA items from two different weeks in this recipe. Beet greens would work in this recipe (I usually prefer the whole beets on their own rather than mixed with a lot of other things in soups, but you could also use them in the same way the kohlrabi is used here.)
CSA drawer soup
1 green garlic plant, bulb and neck chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch Swiss Chard, plus the greens from 4 kohlrabi, plus the greens from one beet, washed and chopped into small pieces (I kept the stems with the greens for this.)
2 kohlrabi, peeled and diced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
the empty can’s worth of water
2 cups chickpeas
In a Dutch oven or other large lidded pot, saute garlic and pepper flakes in the olive oil over medium heat until the garlic parts soften.
Add greens a few handfuls at a time and allow them to cook down. Salt them lightly as you add them. It helps to use tongs to toss the greens and garlic to make sure everything cooks evenly.
Add the kohlrabi, tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes. You want to make sure the kohlrabi cooks to a pleasant texture.
Add the chickpeas and cook until warmed through. Serve now or freeze for later. This would be great with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and some crusty bread.