I must say, I am LOVING getting my food from a CSA!! For those who don’t know, a CSA stands for Community Supported Agricultre. A CSA is basically a group of people who support local farms and growers. They work as the middle man between the farms and the individuals wanting to purchase the food.
I first heard about CSAs about a year ago. I was definitely interested, but there was just way too much going on in my life, you know, planning a wedding, going to school, trying to figure out where to live…no big deal, and I knew it would be better to wait. Of course, that didn’t stop me from reading about them frequently. I would read about how beneficial they are not only to the environment and your local community, but to your own health too. It really got me thinking about how your decisions of where to purchase your food ultimately show who you support. Think about it-do you go to a local market? Do you go wherever the lowest price is? Do you go to the store on the corner out of habit? How much do you know about the store where you do your shopping? It’s interesting to mull over and really think about why you do what you do and what those people do with your money.
So, we get to Fort Worth, and I begin to wonder if I might be lucky enough to find a CSA here. Thankfully, I found one! It’s called Rockin’ Our Community, and it’s pretty rockin’ (hahaha ok sorry moving on). They have pick-up locations all over the DFW area-there’s one even close enough to where we’re at in the “boonies”. Every other week, I place my order on their website. They have everything-organic produce (from Johnson’s Backyard Garden), meat, eggs, dairy (including raw milk!!), and other miscellaneous goodies. Then, I go over to my designated pick-up location on the specified pick-up day, and they have my order ready to go. They even help me take it out to my car!
It’s been such a neat experience having the opportunity to be that closely connected with my food. I’ve looked up a couple of the farms to find that they’re only an hour or two away from me. That blows my mind! It’s so close, especially compared to buying your food from the grocery store where it comes from halfway across the country or even sometimes from different countries! And let me just tell you-the difference in taste is unbelievable. There is a substantial difference. I would encourage anyone thinking about buying from a CSA or even a farmer’s market to do so. It’s definitely worth it.
A bonus for me is that we get these new vegetables that I haven’t necessarily cooked with that often. It’s a new challenge for me, which I love! We’ve been getting bok choy a lot, which I actually had never had until earlier this year. We’ve also been getting a lot of greens and an occasional fennel bulb thrown in the mix. I originally made this soup with bok choy and this HUGE cabbage that I got from my aunt and uncle’s farm out in Junction, and it was pretty amazing. But this past pick-up had spinach and fennel instead of bok choy, so I decided to switch it up a bit. The structure of the soup was inspired by one of Kelly Brozyna’s soups in her Easy Paleo Meals cookbook, but I put my own spin on it. The great thing about this particular recipe is that it’s pretty versatile as far as vegetables are concerned. Don’t like spinach? No problem! Add something else like carrots or maybe even broccoli. The sky is the limit-have fun and make it your own!
Chicken Vegetable Soup
1 lb cooked chicken thigh (or breast if you prefer)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter, lard, ghee etc)
2 cups cabbage, chopped
1 small fennel bulb, chopped
3 cups spinach, chopped
1 leek (or 1/2 cup yellow onion), chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Melt the coconut oil in a stock pot over medium heat
- Add the chopped veggies and the minced garlic, and cook until soft
- Add in the chicken, broth, milk, and spices. stir to combine
- Cover and let it simmer for 30 minutes
- Let it cool for about 5-10 minutes
- Dish it up, add some Cholula, or eat it without-it’s your soup!