Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


February 3, 2014
Recipe of the Week: 

Kale and white bean soup

  • 1 lb dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannellini, or navy
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 cups broth (veggie or chicken)
  • 2 qt water
  • 1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf (not California)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 lb smoked sausage such as kielbasa (optional), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 lb kale coarsely chopped



Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.

Cook onions in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.

While soup is simmering, brown sausage (if using) in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.

Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale, sausage, and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.


Turning a Corner

Chillin' like a villain
Chillin' like a villain

Dear Friends,

Even though the snow falls while I write this, I am more convinced than ever that spring is right around the corner. How can I be so sure?  Despite the bad news from Puxatony Phil and the snow covering the farm, things are undoubtably starting to turn the corner. You see the thing is, winter is uneventful on the farm, there isn't a whole lot going on, certainly not much worthy of appearing in the newsletter. While I love sleeping a little bit later and drinking coffee in my P.J's it really doesn't make the most interesting copy.  Spring on the other hand is exciting. Full of drama, intrigue, humor and stress. Last year the greenhouse collapsing marked the end of the winter for us. Regardless of what the calendar said the twisted wreck of our greenhouse meant that we had to pull on our boots, zip up our collars and get to work.

Much like the crocuses, the first real sign of spring for us came last Sunday in the form of a phone call while we were at market. Apparently one of your trusty farmers was a little less than diligent and did not latch the gate to the cow barn properly. I am not sure exactly when it happened but while we were busy selling kale and carrots all the way up in Coventry our cows made their escape.  We made an extremely hasty exit from the farmers market, leaving before the closing bell and got back to the farm as fast as possible. They ended up all over Woodbridge road, the farm yard and our driveway. Pretty much everywhere except where they were supposed to be. Fortunately they decided not to venture down to rt. 82. Even more fortunately for us, the cows, and really everyone else involved a few of our more cattle-capable neighbors were returning home at the same time the cows were making their escape. Cattle are herd animals, and prey animals so they respond differently than dogs, cats, or even horses. You can push them but you can't really pull them. They want to be close to each other and not necessarily close to you….well unless you have a bucket of grain. The more excited they get, the more difficult they can be to control. We are so unbelievably lucky that we had people on the scene who knew what they were doing, and with a little help from a bucket of horse grain were able to round everyone up and get them safely back in the barn, calves and all.

We weren't sure what to expect when we made it home, but there they all were. Most of them laying down in the barn, a few eating, all calm as can be. Aside from the hoof prints and cow-pies everywhere you wouldn't even have known that anything had happened. So there it is, the elevated heart rate, the adrenaline, the first glimpse of things to come. Sure, it's not as pretty as little purple flowers but it's something!

In other news, the greenhouse and high tunnel are still cruising right along and the storage crops are happy as clams. Welcome to February and happy eating!

Your Farmers

Max and Kerry

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