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Update: Eating local in the winter with my Front Door Organic Fresh Box

This is a sponsored post of the best kind: Front Door Organics is a company I have personally been supporting since long before I was blogging. I’m thrilled to write about their services here, highlighting different aspects of the business of local/ organic food delivery.

Back in October, I made a pledge to eat *mostly* local (Ontario or, at least, Canada) produce over the winter via my Front Door Organics Small Fry box each week. Why?

Well, it encourages creativity in the kitchen, for one. It also helps you learn about lesser-known or less popular vegetables and how to prepare them. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it’s good for the environment (no ingredients flown in from another hemisphere) and it supports the local economy. It is, however, quite difficult to do, which we recognise, and we didn’t commit ourselves to anything like the 100 Mile Diet. We decided that as much as possible we would stick to Ontario-grown, failing that, we’d choose Canadian. Most of the time.

So, how’s that going for us? Actually, pretty well. Full disclosure here, I am supplementing my Fresh Box with other produce if I need it for recipe development (though I am trying to choose the things I need from my Fresh Box list so that at least they are organic) but for the most part, I’d say 75% of what we are eating is from Ontario which is pretty good start. And let’s just say we’ve been eating a fair bit of squash over the past little while. Of course, choosing local means we’re also getting a lot of these right now:

Celeriac image via shutterstockCeleriac image via Shutterstock

Yup, celeriac has been making a pretty regular appearance in our weekly deliveries so I’ve been racking my brain to come up with ways to use it up. It’s a wonderful substitute for some of the potatoes in a mash, for example, but I’ve been trying to go beyond that.  In our weekly delivery, we often receive small amounts of a few different vegetables so when I found myself with 2 parsnips and one needing-to-be-used-up celeriac, I figured I’d try them in a soup together. That’s the beauty of a “small” delivery box – even if you don’t know what to do with something (or don’t particularly like it), you won’t have much of it to use up! Soups are a great way to use up bits and bobs of vegetables and hey, t’is the season for soup, right?

This soup is a little bit sweet (from the parsnips) and a little bit nutty from the celeriac – it’s a nice change from the leek and potato soup that is usually a standard in our house over the winter. I added some chopped green onions and pumpkin seeds for crunch.

Roasted celeriac and parsnip soup

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 65 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins

Use those winter root vegetables in this tasty soup!

Serves 6     adjust servings

Ingredients

  • 675g celeriac (celery root)
  • 750g parsnips
  • 1 large onion (250g)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
  • green onions and pumpkin seeds to garnish

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375˚F.
  2. Peel and roughly chop the celeriac and parsnips into similar-sized cubes.
  3. Roughly chop the onion (into approximately 8 pieces).
  4. Place the vegetables on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast vegetables for approximately 45 minutes or until they are just starting to caramelize and soften.
  6. Remove from oven and place in a medium pot with the stock, over medium-high heat.
  7. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for around 20 minutes.
  8. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup.
  9. This is not a smooth soup so if that is the texture you prefer, you can run the soup through a metal sieve.
  10. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and finely chopped green onion for crunch!

by

Recipe shared with permission, originally published on Front Door Organics.

Celeriac and parsnip soup on eatlivetravelwrite.comAs I’ve said before, years and years ago when there were no planes flying in strawberries from California in the depths of winter, people ate the food that was available and survived. Sure, it’s not always the most interesting selection in the winter but I love a challenge and coming up with different ways to use less-common or less popular vegetables. If nothing else, it’s made me very conscious of seasonality – every week I go into my Fresh Box delivery to change items to Ontario-only and it’s been interesting to see what is and isn’t available from Ontario each week. Our (up to now) mild weather has offered some surprisingly un-seasonal choices this winter so it’s been eye-opening to see what is and isn’t available each week.

We’re doing ok with this, though!

Disclosure: I have been compensated in kind by Front Door Organics in exchange for a monthly post and for sharing my weekly deliveries on social media (which, quite frankly, I do anyway!). I have not received financial compensation for these posts and they have not been reviewed by Front Door Organics prior to publication.  All opinions are my own (and, well, I’ve been using the delivery service since around 2007 so I can vouch for it!).

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2 Responses to Update: Eating local in the winter with my Front Door Organic Fresh Box

  1. Mr. Neil January 14, 2016 at 08:46 #

    I must admit, our household has a severe weakness for those Moroccan clementines, this time of year. 🙂

    • Mardi Michels January 15, 2016 at 06:38 #

      Well I ordered clementines for our Fresh Box this week too 🙂

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