Summer Squash Croquettes and Celery Soup

Meal 1: Summer Squash Croquettes, Barley and Bean Sprout Salad, Summercrisp Lettuce Salad
• Heat the croquettes in the oven at 350. Transfer to a baking sheet if they do not fit in one layer in your delivery dish. Bake 15 – 20 minutes.
• Serve the Barley Salad at room temp.
• Dress and serve the salad.

 Meal 2: Celery Soup (D),Roasted Cauliflower Salad, Russian Beet Salad. 
• Heat the soup gently or serve chilled.
• Heat the cauliflower in a sauté pan with a little oil and ten a splash of water to steam through. Brief use of a lid will speed the process. Alternately. Toss with a little good olive oil and serve at room temp.
• Serve the beet salad chilled, but do not stare into it.

 Menu Notes: 

Why soups? Here are 3 reasons in increasing importance.
1) They are easy. I confess. We make a lot of soups for the same reason people all over the world do. They are an energy efficient meals of getting dinner on the table.
2) They are nutritious. Our soups are generally 50% broth by weight. That means in every 12 oz portion you are getting at least 6 oz of fresh, local, healthy vegetables, plus the protein and fiber benefits of the bean stock we use as broth.
3) They are elegant. Soups, especially the puree style we employ so often are a very elegant means to feature one special ingredient at its prime. I greatly enjoy this as a cook, and consider it a privilege to go to the market, grab whatever is at its best that week, and transform it into a meal that highlights that particular vegetable, in that particular week of the year. Our soups have featured some vegetables you might not usually eat, let alone place at the forefront – turnips and kohlrabi recently. And this week: celery.

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Celery is a bastardized vegetable. The real deal is available now at the market ( these were from JenEhr Farm) and is more of an herb than the insipid crunch-sticks that accompany peanut butter we are used to. Real celery has a complex pungent flavor, and I really felt like bringing this overlooked local veggie to center stage. The flavor is a good representation of what this vegetable has to offer (try some in the best egg salad ever!) and the color is , well, celery. That trademarked 1970’s Corning-ware shade of green that always bewildered my fashion sense. Especially when paired with burnt orange, and mustard yellow. A color combo that gripped a nation apparently not at its best at the time.

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