Posts Tagged ‘ingredients’


It’s an appropriate title.



  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 oz turkey bacon, cut into small strips
  • 2 thinly sliced carrots
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut in small cubes
  • 1 rutabaga, cut in small cubes
  • 1 thinly sliced celery stalk
  • 1 large minced garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cabbage
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh parsley
  • sea salt & black pepper

What I did:

  • Pour olive oil into a large, heavy bottomed pot
  • Add the diced onion, cook about five minutes on medium heat
  • Add the rest of the veggies & turkey bacon, stir constantly for another minute or two
  • Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste (careful with the salt, pre-packaged broth/stock is already very salty).
  • Add broth, tomatoes, parsley
  • Turn heat down to med/low, cover, cook for about 30 minutes or until veggies are tender


  • Almost too many to list!  This is why minestrone rocks.
  • Try beef or chicken broth instead of vegetable.
  • Use any kind of vegetable (winter squash, summer squash, turnips, green beans, etc).  Just chop them in relatively small pieces and use about four cups’ worth!
  • Fresh in-season tomatoes instead of canned.
  • Omit the turkey bacon to make a vegan-friendly soup, or add a different kind of pre-cooked meat (chicken sausage would be heavenly here).
  • Add a cup of cooked pasta last-minute.
  • Add a can of drained & rinsed red kidney beans.
  • Cook this in a large slow cooker (best guess for timing: 4 hours on high, 7 on low)
  • Top with some grated Parmesan cheese, and/or croutons, and/or serve with french bread.

This soup was so good, I ate two big bowls full last night and have some for lunch today.


Common Ingredients

When I first joined a CSA last year, I had no idea what I was getting into (in a good way, I promise). One thing that really changed was how I shopped for groceries and planned meals. I don’t know what I will be getting in my box until that very day, so I always have to be prepared! Trader Joe’s is my favorite store for stocking up on the following commonly-used ingredients:

  • Rice – I usually have brown and white long-grain around.
  • Quinoa – I just discovered this and I love it!  It’s more pricey than rice, but a pound of it goes a long way.
  • Pasta – many varieties!
  • Hot sauce – I recommend both the chili and jalapeno from TJs.
  • Olive oil – always buy the big bottle.
  • Vinegar – rice, balsamic, cider, red wine, etc.
  • Dried or fresh herbs – oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, parsley, etc.
  • Spices – pepper, cumin, turmeric, sea salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, curry, coriander, etc.  Stocking up on these is a LOT cheaper if you get together with friends and order in bulk from a company like Mountain Rose Herbs.  Remember: you can store spices in air-tight containers in your freezer to boost their life span!
  • Stock & Broth – I go through chicken broth like nobody’s business!
  • Flavorful oils & sauces – sesame, soy/tamari, Worcestershire.
  • Beans – kidney, black, garbanzo, etc.
  • Honey
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Ginger root
  • Garlic & Onions (if they aren’t being supplied in your CSA box).
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Turkey bacon, chicken sausage, meats you can store in the freezer.
  • Sour dough bread – I pick up free past-date bread from a local recycling site.  I either freeze it or slice it thin, sprinkle it with olive oil, salt & pepper and bake it into toast or crutons.