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Meaty Veggie Soup

Local ingredients:  ground beef, spinach, basil, and parsley

Here is the long-awaited picture and recipe of the Meaty Veggie Soup I made with the vegetable stock from the previous post! .

Meatballs:
1 lb ground chuck
Enough fresh/boxed breadcrumbs as needed
Chopped garlic to taste
Fresh parsley
Salt
Pepper
1 egg
Soup:
Macaroni noodles
Spinach
Carrots
Veggie stock

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What I did in my first blog-worthy cooking adventure of the summer was actually not a huge shopping trip, as the title may suggest—it was actually more of a refrigerator exorcism. I went into the abyss that is my produce drawer with two clear goals in mind: 1. To cleanse out the veggies that were past their prime 2. Execute my first attempt at…vegetable stock!

I have to start off by pointing out that it is extremely satisfying to make stock. I had the chance to use up a lot of odds and ends and dregs of prior shopping trips. Also, here in my very first post, I’ll admit something terrible—veggies that are wilted to any degree skeeve me out so much that I usually pretend not to see them and with blatant ignorance retrieve something shiny and new to eat.  The vegetables that I used in the stock were not super gross or moldy, just middle-aged and/or misfits.

I think the reason so many produce drawers are a conglomeration of bits and pieces because it is so easy to put a few slices of onion into a plastic baggie, for example, and feel good about the fact that you ‘saved it’; it is equally as likely that after a few weeks the onion goes down the garbage disposal and produces a small pang of guilt that you can quickly shrug off.  The method for making this kind of stock is so simple that it does not even merit a recipe, so I am not going to write one!

Here is the list of my fridge’s secret resources for vegetable stock:

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Vocal for Local!

Mighty Food Farm in Pownal, VT

Here I am spending my summer (who knows, maybe my final summer!) in the beautiful, bountiful Berkshires. What better way to enjoy the land than to spend my time interning with Berkshire Grown, an NPO based out of Great Barrington, MA, which supports local farms and farmers. My time at BG has activated an old desire of mine to blog about my cooking experiences but in a specific fashion; I want to incorporate at least one locally produced ingredient in each ‘recipe’ (or maybe better known as ‘experiment’).

I am truly not declaring myself to be a gourmet chef—at most, I am an amateur foodie. Any knowledge that I can provide will spawn from my passion for sustainable cooking and the discoveries I come across as a result of being on a college student’s budget.  Though this will be my first time blogging about them, I have accumulated ideas about being as innovative as possible in situations where my food and/or resources were limited, like in my living situation on campus and my apartment in Rome (where, let’s face it, the language barrier made buying food one of the strangest parts of my day).

So join me on my local food adventure! I appreciate and welcome any suggestions, comments, or questions. Buon Appetito!

Pigs at Cricket Creek Farm in Williamstown, MA