Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Bloomington Farmers Market and Chickpea Andouille Soup with Greens
This week has not been the kind of weather I expect as spring heads full blast towards summer. After days of sunshine and temperatures in the 80s, of sun-dresses and iced tea on the patio at Soma Coffee Shop and Juice Bar in downtown Bloomington, I was surprised by a sudden 30 degree drop and the arrival of thunderstorms, cold rain and even cooler air. Yesterday was day two of the cold weather and I had a lot of free time on my hands.
The month of May, now that my classes are over, has been slower than I thought it would be. Getting approval from the Institutional Review Board to do my research was a fast process, and my grants were disbursed without any hitches. So Tuesday found me at home, avoiding the gym and the reading I had planned to do in preparation for the field, with nothing else that I really needed to do. I decided to make bread, and set about stirring together the sponge for my Mom's all purpose recipe.
I went to the Bloomington Farmers Market this past Saturday and found it full to bursting of greens. Collards, five kinds of kale, Swiss chard, lettuces of all sorts, fresh picked spinach, watercress, dandelions and arugula. I loaded up on some Swiss chard, kale, watercress and bok choi. I already have plenty of lettuce on my balcony!
It was a cold day, with a brisk wind keeping customers and farmers alike shivering. But signs of spring were everywhere:
I had a bunch of left over chickpeas from the last batch I had cooked which I had planned to make into hummus, but the weather called for a different preparation. Normally I would have made my standard chickpea and pasta soup, but I didn't need pasta on top of the bread I was already making, and I had a lot of greens to get rid of. A walk to Bloomingfoods (a local food cooperative store) led me to procure a pack of humanely raised pork andouille sausage and some fair trade organic red wine from South Africa. A delicious idea was wafting through my mind: a deep rich broth filled with the flavour of andouille, soft savory greens, hearty chickpeas and tomato.