News from Windflower Farm: Roasted Beet & Potato Borscht

CSA Delivery 18, October 5, 2010.

Greetings from Windflower Farm.  A cold wind is blowing here today.  Most of the bright colored leaves are already gone.  Last week we received four inches of rain, but in anticipation of a wet week, we planted cover crops of rye and hairy vetch.  In my walk around the farm today I found that it had already germinated.  Combined with an early September planting of oats and hairy vetch, we already have five acres in cover crops.  We grow cover crops to help protect our soils from erosion, to provide the soil’s microbes with the organic matter they need to fulfill their functions in maintaining a healthy soil, and to give next year’s vegetables the nutrients they need to sustain all of us.  Five acres down and about five to go. This week’s share has the look and feel of fall: red onions, red beets, orange, red and yellow peppers, potatoes and winter squashes (acorns, sweet dumplings or delicatas), bright red and orange chiles, your choice of dill, basil or cilantro, red beefsteaks and either red cherry tomatoes or golden husk cherries, red or green lettuces, your choice of arugula or dandelion greens, and your choice of bok choy, Swiss chard or Red Russian kale.  I hope you enjoy this week’s harvest.   Have a great week,  Ted


From Everyday Food

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet, toss together 2 lb. red beets, scrubbed, peeled, and diced medium, 1 lb. Russet potatoes, peeled and diced medium, 2 shallots (or yellow onions), coarsely chopped, 3-5 sprigs thyme, and 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil; season with coarse salt and ground pepper.  Arrange in a single layer and roast until the beets and potatoes are cooked through, about 45 minutes.  Discard the thyme.  Add the roasted vegetables to a medium pot, along with 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  With a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon, mash some vegetables until soup is thick and chunky.  Stir in 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.  To serve, top with sour cream, chopped fresh parsley, and thinly sliced scallion greens, if desired.  Serves four.