{Dark Days} Week 9: Cooking in LA?

Editor’s Note: This is the ninth week of a 4 1/2 month challenge, Dark Days, a pledge taken by 88 blogs spanning the country, to eat one meal a week as sustainable, organic, local and ethical possible.  – Christina


I feel like I really blew it on this Dark Days challenge. Here I am in beautiful California where fresh, local produce is everywhere, and my brain just couldn’t snap out of dead-of-winter cooking.

The evenings here have been “chilly” so I decided on a meal of soup and fresh bread. Yes, I know my FSC family received over a foot of snow yesterdayso maybe “chilly” isn’t the right word. Off I went to the corner farm stand, eager to load up my arms with gorgeous veggies…this is where I blew it. Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately?!) I have done almost no cooking since we’ve been here in LA. There is so much healthy, fresh food available, I haven’t felt like I must cook in order to keep us well-fed. Combine my lack of cooking (I’m seriously off my game people!) with the fact that local cooking at home in New York is root vegetable focused, and all I could think of was ideas using those trusty roots.

Here’s what I ended up going home with:

Garlic, an onion, some red and while potatoes, fresh thyme, a few baby zucchini, and broccoli.

Good stuff, but I could have done much better…

I brought my loot home, got over the disappointment of my shopping choices, and settled on a pureed soup similar to my zucchini soup. I simmered the sliced onion in some olive oil, added about 4 large cloves of chopped garlic (I went garlic-heavy to add extra flavor, since I wasn’t using any store-bought stock) , and then added the remaining veggies, roughly chopped (potatoes, broccoli, zucchini). I covered these in water, threw on top a few springs of thyme (stem and all–just let the leaves cook off and remove the tough stems later!) and let everything cook until it was tender.

A quick buzz with the immersion blender, and a little salt and pepper later, we had dinner.

My only exceptions for this Dark Days meal was the olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Our soup was served with loaf of French bread from Thee’s Continental Bakery, in the historic Farmers Market, which is luckily down the road. My hope for this coming weekend is to make it to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, and really get inspired!

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