Archive for January, 2012

Kale, Sweet Potato and Bean Soup

Recipe from Katherine Deumling
Friend of the Market, Katherine Deumling cooks with a philosophy we all like to embrace, Cooking with what you have. This is almost, nearly the name of her business, Cook with what you have, where anyone can sign up for a class hosted in Deumling’s very own kitchen stadium located in inner SE Portland. Here, she teaches fundamentally sound cooking, without the stress and the worry just good food made from good, common (and usually seasonal and local) ingredients. Today, the Deumling, as we like to call her, visits a soup recipe from Terry Walters and does what you are supposed to do with a pot of soup, makes it her own. Read below and check out the Deumling‘s website when you get a chance. 

Kale, Sweet Potato and Bean Soup

–adapted from Clean Food by Terry Walters

This soup has somewhat of an unusual combination of flavors. It’s complex and packed with nutrients. And it’s a beautiful combination of colors. Kale, sweet potatoes and dried beans can all be found at our local markets. I use either locally grown Pinto Beans from Sungold Farm which are wonderfully creamy or Tarbais beans which are a large-ish white bean grown by Ayers Creek Farm. Cannelini, navy, lima or flageolet would all be good too.

½ a medium onion, diced

1 tablespoon ginger, grated finely (I use my microplane)

1-2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil

3 stalks celery, finely diced

1 large sweet potato, diced (about 3-4 cups)

3 cups cooked beans (Sungold Pinto, Ayers Creek Tarbais or Cannelini or Navy)

3 tablespoons mirin (Japanese Rice Wine—available at most grocery stores)

1 bunch kale, tough stems removed and sliced into ½-inch ribbons (I think dinosaur kale, also knows as Cavolo Nero or Tuscan Kale is best)

Bean cooking liquid and/or veggie bouillon broth (or stock of your choosing)

Ground nutmeg

Croutons or toasted sunflower seeds for garnish (optiona

In a large soup pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and ginger and sauté for a few minutes until the onion softens. Add celery and cook for a few more minutes. Then add sweet potatoes, beans, mirin and stir well. Add the kale and enough bean-cooking liquid and broth to cover the veggies by about ½-inch. If your broth isn’t salty add 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes, covered until the sweet potatoes are tender. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with croutons, toasted sunflower seeds and a sprinkling of nutmeg.


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Weather Outside has been Frightful

But the Market goods have been so delightful…

Despite a recent spate of old testament type of weather our ranchers, growers and vendors have come through with the goods. Geography, know-how and seasonality all play their part in how fresh food lands in our Markets in winter. Spend a minute with Tom DeNoble of DeNobles and Alan Rousseau of Pine Mountain Ranch explain how seasons differ from region to region and product to product.

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Jim Dixon is the owner of Real Good Food and it’s no lie, his foods are real good.  PFM is a fan of good food in all of its glorious forms. At the heart of our mission is to support our region’s  farmers and food producers and one way we help do this is to provide our shoppers with what we call a Full Market Basket experience.  This means that shoppers can find high quality, authentically sourced ingredients and prepared foods that enhance and complement all of the farm-fresh produce and proteins filling your basket.

Jim collects killer food and oil  from all over and sells them at our Market once a month. This weekend he will be bringing Extra Virgin Olive Oil* from California & Italy, Hand-harvested sea salt from Portugal, Organic farro from Washington, Organic heirloom variety brown rice from California, Hand-harvested oregano from the Italian island of Pantelleria, Hand-harvested fennel pollen from Tuscany, Crystal hot sauce from New Orleans (Mardi Gras is coming up, don’t embarrass your gumbo with tabasco).

Last time I saw Jim he was telling me about a recent trip to Italy to meet up with his food suppliers. He was kind enough to share a few pictures from his trip. And then even threw in a few recipes for kicks. Visit Jim’s blog to learn more about the food and where it comes from or  stop by and say hi to Jim at the Market this Saturday between 10-2 .

Words and Pictures by Jim Dixon

*Extra Virgin

Tom Mueller’s excellent new book Extra Virginitycovers a lot of what’s right and wrong about the world of olive oil. Anyone who likes to eat should read it.

Lax Labor Laws

I’ve been telling the same story to my customers for nearly a decade. Most of what’s labeled “extra virgin olive oil” really isn’t. True extra virgin olive oil costs more because it requires a lot of care to produce. Extra virgin olive oil is an agricultural product, and the people who grow the olives and press them into oil suffer the same market vagaries as farmers who grow vegetables.

Albert Katz, one of my suppliers in California, lost a third of his crop a few years ago when freezing weather hit just before harvest. This season the cold came in the spring, damaging the buds that grow into olives, and his crop is less than a fifth of normal. Katz oils will be short supply this year.

Lack of regulation and dishonest producers do as much damage as bad weather. Factory farms and industrial processing means cheap oil, and lax law allows the label “extra virgin” to go on olive oil that’s been deodorized, refined, or cut with cheaper seed oils. A bottle of fake “extra virgin” olive oil can sell for much less than it costs to produce the same amount of real extra virgin.

Pure Stuff


Shredded Brussels sprouts, leeks, and bacon
Dice a couple of slices worth of bacon into roughly 1/8 inch bits; cook over medium heat with a splash of olive oil until just starting to get brown. Add a leek that you’ve cleaned, split lengthwise, and cut into quarter inch slices. Cook the leek with the bacon for another few minutes.

Add about a pound of shredded sprouts. To shred: trim the ends if they look worn out, split top to bottom, lay flat side down and slice thinly. Cook the sprouts, leek, and bacon for another 5 minutes, taste for salt (the bacon adds some), and eat.

Roasted Winter Squash with Balsamico
Laura and Deeana served us this in Modena. The simple squash highlights the balsamico, and the vinegar transforms the humble vegetable. Use one of the larger, pumpkin-like winter squash; they’re a bit dryer than butternut, delicata, or acorn.

Cut the squash into slices about one inch thick; leave the peel attached. Arrange on a sheet pan that’s been drizzled with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with a bit of flor de sal, and roast at 350F for about 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Let each diner dribble a few drops of balsamic on their plate. Gently daub each bite of squash in the vinegar and eat. Or if you’re feeling flush, drizzle each slice with balsamic before serving.

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Invasive No More

Near Perfect Weather

Last Monday 60 brave souls helped clear out ivy, blackberries and a bunch of unwanted things from the lot that is the home to the King Market.

Thanks to the cold, damp blistered and sore volunteers for all their efforts. The following recap of the day is from the King Neighborhood Association’s Blog:

The community turned out on Monday, January 16th on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to make a dent in the weeds and trash at King School Park. English ivy had taken over the south side of the parking lot at the King Neighborhood Facility and was hiding all manner of things thereunder. A robust group of neighbors, King School PTA members, and invasive species foes dug, hacked snipped and pulled all day. The result is that the strip of land is now nearly completely cleared and several truck loads were hauled away.


Thanks to a grant from NECN and the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, the area will be re-landscaped with native plants that are not invasive and that will thrive in the location while providing an easily maintained habitat. There are tentative plans to finish the clearing on President’s Day, February 20th.

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by Jaret Foster, Senior Market Manager, Portland Farmers Market

Moving into the third week of our Winter Market I have been watching the weather closely. The early part of this week brought snows to my northeast Portland yard and the following days rains nearly drowned my little garden. By Wednesday morning I was beginning to hear from vendors about their needing to potentially cancel with us for the weekend; some due to snows and power outages in and around Hood River and still others with historically high waters down the Valley.

Thursday I received a text from John at Gathering Together Farm that included a photo of the high water around their packing shed and a skeptical note on whether or not they will be able to get from the shed to the road (don’t worry–John assured me today that he’ll be there!) Tammi Packer also called to say that not only was their market truck buried under four feet of snow but their bakery had been without power for two days. Other vendors called to ask if the market was even going to be open (it is). Tomorrow’s weather looks like rain; this is the PNW in January!

PFM does have guidelines in place for weather related Market cancellations and will certainly close if it appears that vendors or shoppers would be endangered by our remaining open. This would be predicated as far in advance as possible by a “Severe Weather Warning” from the National Weather Service (NOAA). Dangerous high winds, ice, measurable snows, or extreme temperatures are all taken seriously. In my time with PFM we have only canceled a handful of market days. Once for snow and twice for extreme weather in June and July. In June of 2009 a tornado touched down in the Valley and brought insane winds and lightening to our Thursday evening markets. We closed those with white knuckles and gritted teeth.

Vendors are always encouraged to be safe if travel to market seems at all hazardous. Thankfully, so far this season we have only had rain to contend with in Portland. Unfortunately for our rural neighbors the precipitation has had adverse affects on their lands and businesses. The following photos and links are illustrative of this and can better describe the perils of farming in the PNW than I ever could.

I am constantly amazed and humbled by the lengths that our farmers go to in order to bring such beautiful food to the market each week.  Weather and pests routinely threaten their land and therefore their livelihood.  The circumstances of this week only make their hard work, sacrifices and tenacity that much more apparent.  Thank you, farmers, for braving the elements in the name of good food and sympathies to those with flooding or snow damage, including GTF & Packer Orchards who both provided photos for this piece.

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PFM’s Winter Market will be open this weekend and those to follow; rain or shine!

Thank you to Camille Storch, Sara Lopath and Harry Lehman for the photos of Gathering Together Farm and to Tammi Packer for sharing her photos of Packer Orchards.

For additional photos of GTF under water, click here.

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Hot Bowls for Cold Nights

By Anna Curtin, Soup Diva, Portland Farmers Market

Like any enthusiastic eater worth her salt, I’ve always loved soup. A number of years ago, I took my love to the next level. Once the weather turned cool and the soup cravings started, I decided to honor soup with its very own party. Better yet, I asked invited guests to pay their respects as well.

For that first annual soup party, guest were asked to bring the strangest, tackiest, ugliest, wildest, most unique bowl they could find and trade it for another equally outrageous one of their choosing before eating their way through the buffet of soups. Not so surprisingly, the bowls that arrived reflected the guests who brought them, sparking conversations and laughter as we took stock of the collection. The bowl with the floating eyeball was just the thing for the aficionado of all things macabre, the golfer’s mug with golf club handle went straight to the self-appointed king of the links, and the delicate, hand painted pottery bowl was a perfect match for my potter/knitter/crafter/all around DIYer friend.

As the “mmmmms” multiplied and each bowl was filled, emptied and refilled for hungry mouths, I was warmed by the simple beauty that is soup. There’s a flavor for any appetite, a recipe for any season, and a bowl for any personality. So go ahead – stock up on the best the season has to offer and set your inner soup diva free.

Greens & Beans Soup

Serves 4-6

This is one of my favorite go-to soups for its simplicity, flexibility and use of the cool weather greens that grow so well in our corner of the world. The flavor is best when you use freshly prepared dried beans, but canned beans will do if that’s what you have on hand. The flavor also improves the next day once the ingredients have had time to blend. In fact, it’s the perfect make-ahead dish for your next soup party!

1 bunch (about 1#) hearty greens, chopped (see note)
1 leek (white and pale green parts only) or 1/2 medium onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1T or to taste)
Pinch of red chili flake (optional, to taste)
1 T olive oil
1 Qt chicken or vegetable stock (your soup will taste better if it’s homemade)
4 C cannellini or other soup bean
2-3 inch Parmesan rind (optional)
1/2 C Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt & pepper
Garnish: additional grated cheese, lemon wedges, smoked paprika, croutons

1) Warm the oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot over moderate heat. Once the oil is warmed, add onion (and chard stems), cooking for 5-8 minutes, until softened. Add garlic & chili flake. Cook for a minute until fragrant.
2) Add the rest of the greens, stock, 2-3 cups water, and cheese rind. Cook 10-15 minutes, until greens are tender.
3) Add beans, stir occasionally & cook for a bit to blend the flavors. Stir in Parmesan and flavor with pepper & salt as desired. Serve with additional grated cheese and or lemon wedges for garnish.

The note: Almost any of your favorite greens will do – chard, kale, escarole, mustard, raab, etc. Stem the greens as appropriate. If you are using chard, separate the stems out, thinly slice and add with the onion or leek in the first step.

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Recipe by Katherine Deumling 

Friend of the Market, Katherine Deumling, is a very good cook. She creates a world cuisine that draws heavily from the abundance of local foods. And better than knowing how to cook, Katherine teaches people her craft emphasizing good humor and by using ingredients that are on hand. Her enterprise, Cook with What You Have, hosts classes at Deumling Kitchen Stadium in inner SE Portland.  You can check out two upcoming classes below this recipe or head over to her website to learn more. 

Winter Squash Curry

Once the squash is roasted this soup comes together in 15 minutes so roast the squash while you’re having breakfast and reading the paper and have dinner almost ready when you get home. And it’s very flavorful if you use good squash like kabocha or buttercup or butternut.

2 small butternut squashes or cabocha or other winter squash (or one large one)

2 – 4 teaspoons red or green curry paste, (Thai and True is a good local brand or Mae Ploy)

1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil

1 can coconut milk (full fat)

3-4 cups veggie broth (or more)

Greek or whole-milk yogurt or sour cream mixed with chopped cilantro, lime juice and salt for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squashes in half and scrape out seeds and strings. Cut into quarters and generously drizzle cut squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast until soft. Scrape the flesh out of the peel and put aside.

Heat the oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the curry paste for just a minute until fragrant. Add the roasted squash, coconut milk, and broth, bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender (or in food processor) until smooth. Adjust seasoning, garnish and serve by itself or over rice.

Upcoming Classes

Pantry Stocking & Quick Meals

Saturday, January 21, 11:30-1:30 pm

What should you stock so cooking in the moment is doable and satisfying? How to make/prep things ahead of time so a variety of dinners are easy to pull together later in the week. We’ll talk about systems, planning and good technique. With those tools your confidence to cook without a specific recipe will grow and the whole thing becomes more fun!

Cost: $45

Register for this class

Winter Greens: Raw, Cooked, Quick, Slow

Saturday, January 28, 11:30-1:00 pm

There are so many gorgeous greens in the markets this time of year and so many delicious ways of preparing these nutritious powerhouses to convert any kale skeptic. And for those of you who already love them, learn a great variety of techniques so that you never get tired of them.

Cost: $40

Register for this class

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