Sunday, August 12, 2012

Four Movies and a Farmers' Market

I had the craziest weekend. It was somewhat indulgent, which is pretty rare for me. It all started with the new Batman, The Dark Night Rises movie (which I loved), followed up by a movie called Fresh. And then, since I hadn't seen the first two Batman movies, I did a Batman marathon on Sunday and watched Batman Begins and Batman Returns, after I had done some cooking of course! 

My friend Chris-Anna has been totally loving Farmers' Markets lately. Not that she never went to Farmers' Markets before, but now she has a new found obsession with eating local. It all happened after she watched this movie Fresh and took a week's vacation to San Francisco, where apparently, everyone is really, really into eating local. Now she's going to two or three Farmers' Markets . . . per weekend.

I've been a pretty frequent visitor to my town's Farmers' Market for the past three summers. But when I was unable to attend it this past weekend, after having myself watched the movie Fresh on Netflix with my oldest daughter Sophia on Saturday night, I also found myself obsessing about Farmers' Markets. So I found one in a neighboring town on Sunday morning and gathered the ingredients for this fantastic soup.

Why do I love shopping at Farmers' Markets so much? Let me count the ways:

  1. It's a family affair. My kids love the experience of getting up and out of the house early and having somewhere fun and exciting to go. And even though none of them are BIG vegetable eaters yet, I just know that I am setting the right foundation for them to love produce later. Right now, they pretty much just stick with all of the amazing fruit, which tastes so much better when you buy local.
  2. I love the feeling I get when I am at a Farmers' Market. I'm not a big outdoorsy person, but shopping outdoors--that, I love! I'm shielded from the sun by the big white tents as the smell of fresh flowers permeates the air. It's heaven on earth.
  3. The prices. You have to know what you are doing, which comes with a little bit of experience, but once you have some time at Farmers' Markets under your belt, you will totally understand what I am saying. For example, I happen to be a big fan of cabbage. When cabbage is in season locally, you can purchase a small head for $1.00 and a large head for $1.50 or $2.00. You can't touch these prices at a supermarket. Same goes for zucchini. 
  4. The sense of community and the understanding of where our food comes from. You just can't beat it.
The recipe comes straight from the Dr. Fuhrman membership website where for $3.95 per month I receive a new recipe every day in my e-mail inbox. This one caught my eye as I happen to love zucchini soups and I know how downright inexpensive zucchinis are right now at Farmers' Markets. This soup totally lived up to my imagination. It was outstanding.

Dr. Fuhrman's Creamy Zucchini Soup
serves 6-8
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 - 2 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 5 medium), chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 cups low or no-sodium vegetable broth
optional: 2 cups water
1/4 cup raw cashews or 1/8 cup raw cashew butter
4 cups baby spinach
2 cups corn kernels*
1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste

Add onion, garlic, zucchini, basil, thyme, oregano and vegetable broth to a large soup pot. If liquid is not covering ingredients, add 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until zucchini is tender.

Pour into a food processor or high powered blender (in batches, if necessary), add the cashews and blend until smooth and creamy.  Or, if using raw cashew butter, you can use a hand held blender and puree the soup right in the pot.

Return soup to the pot, add corn and baby spinach, and stir. Spinach will wilt from the heat of the soup. Season with black pepper.

* Use fresh or defrosted frozen corn kernels. If using fresh corn, boil 2 ears of corn until tender, about 4 minutes. Cut kernels from cobs with a sharp knife.

Have you seen this movie Fresh? How did it impact you? 

How often to you shop at a Farmers' Market? What are the reasons that you do so?

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