It has been almost four years since the first hospital-based organic farmers' market at a Kaiser Permanente medical center was launched. There are now over 30 markets at Kaiser Permanente facilities in Hawaii, Oregon, California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. At each of these locations are people committed to making their market successful. I hear back from KP employees, members, and others who shop at these markets. The challenge for all of us is to make sure new and more mature markets are viable for the long term. The best way to insure that the markets continue is for the farmers to see our KP markets as a great outlet for their locally grown products. However you can do it, try to encourage everyone at your medical centers and your friends to spend 10% of your family food budgets at farmers' markets or on CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture — more on this another time) programs. Research is in progress that will show, I hypothesize, that shopping at farmers' markets is actually less expensive than shopping at grocery store chains. Stay tuned.
In all the recipes shared since the summer of 2003, I haven't done much with carrots. Try this Carrot and Ginger Soup which depends on the flavor of the carrots. Buy those with bright green tops still attached, not those that have been in a plastic bag for a couple of months.
- 2 Tbsp Smart Balance or butter
- 2 Medium onions, diced
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger (peel it with the bowl of a spoon)
- 1 Tsp ground cumin
- 3 Cloves garlic, minced
- 8 Medium sized carrots, chopped (I don't peel them — it's easier and no one notices)
- 2 Tomatoes, seeded and chopped or 1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes
- Peel of one lemon, finely minced
- 5 Cups chicken broth, maybe more
- 1 Tsp salt
- 1/2 Tsp white pepper
Heat the butter in a large soup pot. Sauté the onion for about 4 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper and sauté about one minute. Add the carrots, tomato, and lemon and sauté another minute. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil and simmer until the carrots are tender — 20–25 minutes? Purée in batches in a blender. An immersion blender doesn't make this soup smooth enough. Add more ginger, cumin, salt, pepper, or lemon juice to taste after blending. This can be good topped with a dollop of non-fat sour cream and grated carrot.
Nutrition Information (per serving)