Farmer’s Market!

farmers' market cherriesI didn’t expect to feel the urge to post over the summer, now that I’ve taken a self-imposed hiatus from blogging. But I changed my mind when I checked out a new farmer’s market after hearing about it two weeks ago.

Time to blog about it now, before the summer’s over!

The Farm & Artisan Market at Avenue Road & Roe Avenue in Toronto supports the Alzheimer Society. It runs until the end of October, every Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

I liked it right away. It’s small, non-intimidating, and easy to navigate. The vendors I spoke to were friendly, and I felt no pressure to buy when asking questions about the produce (organic and low-spray), and sampling soup, biscotti, and squares of sourdough bread studded with black olive pieces.

Among my purchases were a container of cremini mushrooms, an onion to saute with them, and fragrant artisanal soaps made with honey and other natural ingredients.

Some of the vendors are on site weekly; some every other week.

I felt as if I was on a treasure hunt, searching out whatever appealed to me. Lots of fun!

Carrot Parsnip & Apple Soup

I don’t remember ever making carrot soup, but a friend of mine made one a few weeks ago that was so good and sounded so easy, it inspired me to try one myself.

carrot soupI consulted three or four recipes, looked in my fridge, and started cooking. Soups are great for experimenting with different combinations of flavours and ingredients. I like a thick, hearty soup for winter, so I usually go heavy on the vegetables, and light on the liquid. You can always thin out the soup later by adding water, a bit at a time.

I used baby carrots because I had them on hand, plus it meant less work (no need to chop them), and I used organic Royal Gala apples, my favourite variety. Apples are one of the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables most likely to be contaminated by pesticides, and I make a point of buying organic ones when I can.

The soup was flavourful and more than enough for the 10 people at my table on a Friday night a couple of weeks ago.

Here’s my recipe:

Carrot Parsnip & Apple Soup

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 onion

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

fresh ginger, grated

1/4 tsp. curry powder (or more to taste)

2 lbs. baby carrots (or 2 lbs, large carrots, cut in chunks)

1 lb. parsnips, cut in chunks

2 apples, peeled and chopped

7 cups water

2-3 tbsp. fresh chopped dill

1. Heat oil in large pot on medium high until one piece of onion starts to sizzle. Add garlic, rest of onion, fresh ginger to taste, and curry powder. Sauté two minutes.

2. Add carrots, parsnips and apples. Stir together with onion mixture, then add water.

3. Bring to boil.

4. Reduce heat, and simmer covered until vegetables and apples are soft, about 35 minutes.

5. Add dill, and cook five more minutes.

6. Purée with immersion blender.