Look What I Found in My Freezer!

The summer-like weather here in New England over this past weekend really got me thinking about and looking forward to the beginning of our CSA season in a couple of months.  But then today, with its 43 degrees and rainy weather, got me thinking about soup!  So I assessed the contents of my outdoor freezer, dove to the bottom, and discovered what I’d frozen and forgotten over last year’s busy CSA summer.

It seemed as though I would never get to the end of all my frozen greens, but now I find myself really appreciating my small remaining stash.  I have already used all my frozen kale and bok choi, and what is left are about ten little baggies, including turnip greens, beet greens, and radish greens. I remembered that last year I had found a tasty-sounding Radish Top Soup recipe, so today that is the final destination of my last two baggies of radish greens.  This soup is mild, comforting, and healthful–just what I wanted on this rainy day.  Since I didn’t have any onions on hand that the recipe called for, I substituted some of the last of my frozen chopped leeks. (The rest of the leeks will go atop our pizza this week.)  I served it with a bit of cream cheese.

In addition to the greens and leeks, I found a couple of big bags of diced and pureed zucchini and a bag of Chinese cabbage, which will be great in future dishes of Inside-Out Dumplings.

And that’s it!  Those June pickup days can’t come too soon now for me.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Julie on April 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I also am a member of Bear Hill Farm. Last year was my first year. I am still learning this stuff. Can you tell me how you freeze your greens and other vegetables? It will help me tremendously this year. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Hi Julie, and welcome to Bear Hill Farm! For freezing greens, the day after pickup I try to plan out which greens we will eat fresh that week, and then I work on freezing the rest in order to preserve them at their freshest. I really do freeze every type of green except lettuce. So start by blanching them: get a big pot of water boiling, and then wash your greens by filling your sink or a big bowl with water, adding a bunch of greens, and swishing them around. Let sit a minute or two in order for the dirt to fall to the bottom, and then fish them out. Put them into the boiling pot of water for 2 minutes or so, and then take a tongs to transfer them to a cold pot of water. Let sit for another 2 minutes or so, and then with your hands squeeze the excess water out, put them in a baggie, and label the baggie. It is more work to blanch them, and I’ve been tempted (and sometimes do) skip the blanching step, but apparently it preserves nutrition and color if you do blanch your veggies. With greens especially, it also greatly reduces their volume, thereby taking up less freezer space.

      For zucchini, I like it when I have the energy to puree it in 1 cup portions, since many breads and brownie recipes call for this amount, and it’s so easy to just take out the bag the night before for thawing and then use as is. But sometimes I just quickly dice it in big chunks before freezing. I then need to thaw it and then puree it before using.

      If you google for “blanching tables,” you will find some good info on blanching times and instructions for each type of veggie, and even a few that don’t need blanching before freezing, such as leeks and green peppers (love that!).

      It can feel overwhelming in July and August when the veggies really start coming in and need to be dealt with, but with experience you can streamline your process. It sure is worth it when you can make soup in April with those Bear Hill Farm greens! Do keep in touch over the CSA season when you will probably have specific questions.

      –dianne

      Reply

  2. Posted by Julie on May 2, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks so much!

    Reply

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