December 4th marked the first class in our brand new Community Teaching Kitchen at our South End store located on Flynn Avenue!
The Community Teaching Kitchen is located on the second floor of the South End store, right next to our Community Room! If you didn’t get a chance, check out our blog post about the Community Teaching Kitchen, here.
The evening began with an overview of the class and an in depth description of the recipe. The pots and pans were sparkling and the knives were sharp! We had a full kitchen with 12 participants and a knowledgeable instructor, Kerri-Ann Jennings (Kerri-Ann is a registered dietitian and recipe developer for WebMD and other magazines).
The recipe, linked here, is a template, meaning it is meant to substitute ingredients based on personal preference. Participants were able to ask questions like, “Is it possible to make a soup with just parsnips?” The answer is absolutely! Parsnips are a root vegetable, closely related to the carrot. They are sweet especially after the first frost, and a hearty winter vegetable! Want to know more? Here is a link to a blog post written last year after our, We ♥ Local Food Recipe Contest, that highlights this wonderful root veggie, and includes 3 parsnip recipes that you can try at home! Stay tuned for information about our We ♥ Local Food Recipe Contest beginning at the end of January.
Kerri-Ann did a quick demo of two soups, pureed broccoli and butternut squash, while participants gathered around the stove for a preview before the hands-on portion of the class! As the onions were sizzling away on the stove, Keri-Ann explained that based on simple differences like replacing butter with coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil, the soup will have noticeable flavor differences. Soups with extra virgin olive oil tend to have a fruitier taste versus coconut oil, which brings out the natural sweetness of the ingredients you are using!
Kerri-Ann also noted that the recipe calls for sherry vinegar, which gives the soup a rich depth due to its high acidity level. Typically, you would need to be 21 to purchase Sherry but sherry vinegar used for cooking has salt in it, so legally anyone can purchase it! Once all the ingredients were soft enough to blend, Kerri-Ann gracefully used the immersion blender, a hand held appliance that is convenient and easy to use to make any and all things pureed. (See the light blue tool next to Kerri- Ann in photo below).
Then, participants divided up into four groups and had the opportunity to brainstorm and come up with their own variety of pureed vegetable soup. One group decided to do a simple yellow potato and carrot soup and another group decided on sweet potato, parsnip and butternut squash! After the ingredients were divided among groups, it was time to cook! Participants chopped, chatted, sautéed, chatted, sprinkled, chatted some more, and used the immersion blender to combine ingredients
At the end of the evening, participants were invited to taste the soups alongside some spongy, rustic Red Hen Miche bread and perfectly salty, Ploughgate butter. The soups were creamy and packed with flavor!
As we continue to stride through the winter months, a warm pot of pureed vegetable soups is a quick and easy way to use leftover vegetables at the end of the week, or a painless way to sneak in some vegetables into your child’s diet. They are cheap, easy and soup-er tasty!
Sad that you missed this class with Kerri-Ann? Have no fear, here is a link to the next class she will be teaching, Making the Most of Your Cookware, on January 9th!
Also, please check out more of City Market’s classes and events, here. We offer classes at both the Downtown and South End stores! See you there!