This week we included a big, delicious watermelon, which we’ve been patiently waiting for all season. They’ve taken their time getting ripe, but they were well worth the wait. We also included a sugar pumpkin, which is both cute to look at and great for cooking. On the blog this week we included a peanutbutter pumpkin soup recipe which is very tasty. We’ve still firmly in summer, and our tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are chugging along, though a lot of our fall crops are sizing up and we look forward to the cooler temperatures bringing out their sweetness. Thank you for being a member of our CSA program, and we hope you enjoy this week’s share!

Minestrone Soup

Prepare 1 1/2 cup cooked cannellini beans by cooking 1 cup dry for about 1 hour, then draining and rinsing, or use one prepared can. 

Warm 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add 1 medium yellow onion, chopped, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 1 fennel bulb (about 1/2 cup chopped), 1 bunch of celery greens (about 1 cup chopped), and 3 banana peppers chopped. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Add 2lb of chopped tomatoes and stir frequently for another 5 minutes, until the juices have released. 

Add beans, 2 cups of tomato sauce, 1 cup of dried small shell pasta, and enough vegetable broth or water to cover all ingredients. Add 2 bay leaves, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 3 tbsp finely chopped basil and parsley, 2 tsp finely chopped summer savory, removed from the stem, and 2 tsp lemon juice. Bring soup up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes. Garnish with Parmesan cheese. 


Pickled Watermelon Rind

Remove watermelon core and set aside. Remove a thin layer of the green rind from the white flesh and cut 2-3 cups of rind into 1 inch cubes. 

Bring a large saucepan over medium heat and add 1/2 cup cider vinegar or lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, 2-3 cups of watermelon rind, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, and 1 stick of cinnamon. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and serve over grilled chicken as a sweet and savory condiment.  


Spicy Ratatouille

Dice 1 red onion, and roughly chop 3 banana peppers. Cut eggplant and summer squash into 1/2 inch cubes. Roughly chop 3-4 orange tomatoes, about 1/4-1/2 lb.


Add 3 tbsp olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add red onions and peppers and cook until softened and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Remove from skillet and add 2 tsp more olive oil, and add eggplant. Cook until eggplant is tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove eggplant, and add summer squash, and cook for 5 minutes until squash is tender. Return all ingredients to the pan, including tomatoes, and cook until all vegetables are heated through. Add 1-2 tbsp finely chopped basil, parsley, and summer savory. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, or serve with an overeasy egg. 


Thai Peanut Butter Pumpkin Soup

Prepare pumpkin by cutting in half, removing pulp and seeds with a spoon, and then cutting in half again. Working along the skin with a chef's knife, carefully cut off the skin. Microwaving the pumpkin for a few minutes can soften the skin making it easier to remove. Chop the pumpkin flesh into 1 inch cubes. 

Finely dice 1 white onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup celery greens, 1/4 cup fennel stems, and 3 banana peppers. In a large saucepan over medium heat add 3 tbsp olive oil and saute onions, garlic, celery, fennel, and peppers. Cook, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 5-8 minutes. Add 2 tbsp of Thai red curry paste, and stir until fragrant. Add 4 cups of vegetable broth, or water, and all of chopped pumpkin. Add 1/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy), 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. 

Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and cook until pumpkin is tender, about 20-30 minutes, then remove from heat. Once slightly cooled, add to a blender, cover with a towel, and puree. Return soup to original pot and stir in 1 cup of coconut milk. (Optional) Garnish with lime and cilantro. 


Watermelon and Feta Salad

Cut the watermelon into quarters, then take one quarter and scoop or slice out the watermelon in bite-sized pieces and add to a large bowl or platter. Slice 1 small red onion into thin slices, and roughly chop about 1/4 cup of basil leaves. Scatter red onion and basil over watermelon, and add 1/4 cup (about 2 oz) of crumbled feta cheese. Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp fresh lime juice, and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper.    


The first table shows the ingredients that come in the share. The table after that shows the ingredients you would need to make the recipes.

Minestrone Soup Pickled Watermelon Rind Spicy Ratatouille Thai Peanut Butter Pumpkin Soup Watermelon and Feta Salad
Watermelon 1/4 watermelon
Sugar Pumpkin 1 pumpkin
Summer Squash 1 squash
Red Onions 1 onion 1 onion 1 onion
eggplant 1 eggplant
Hot Peppers 3 peppers 3 peppers 3 peppers
Orange tomatoes 2 lb tomatoes about 1/4 lb tomatoes
Fennel 2/3 bulb 1/3 bulb
Celery 2/3 bunch 1/3 bunch
Basil 1/4 bunch 1/4 bunch 1/2 bunch
Parsley 1/2 bunch 1/2 bunch
Summer Savory 1/2 bunch 1/2 bunch
Minestrone Soup Pickled Watermelon Rind Spicy Ratatouille Thai Peanut Butter Pumpkin Soup Watermelon and Feta Salad
cannellini beans 1 cup dry, about 1 can prepared
small shell pasta 1 cup dry
tomato sauce 2 cups
bay leaves 2 leaves
lemon juice or cider vinegar 2 tsp 1/2 cup
olive oil 3 tbsp 3-5 tbsp 4 tbsp
Parmesan cheese for garnish for garnish
white sugar 1 cup
cinnamon stick 1 stick
fennel seed 1/2 tsp
Thai red curry paste 2 tbsp
coconut milk 1 cup
peanut butter 1/4 cup
soy sauce 2 tbsp
maple syrup 2 tbsp
feta cheese 4 oz crumbled