I love the concept of organic. Of course it is a big industry and there are a lot of dubious claims. One doesn’t really know what is truly organic and what is not. But one can’t really argue with the idea of eating vegetables grown naturally, without much human interference and as chemical free as possible. I have tried various subscription models to get vegetables from farm directly. But for one reason or the other they didn’t work out.
Now I have signed up with interesting App based business called Farmizen. Through them you rent out a small 600 sq-ft plot in an ‘organic’ farm in the outskirts of Bangalore. You can choose the crops you want to grow from their master crops through their app. The farms basically belong to people who are already farming there and they farm your plot for you based on your choice. You can go visit the farms however often you want and also participate in farming if you are interested.
And the best part, you get the vegetables they grow for you in your plot and in their common farmland areas, home delivered to you on a weekly basis. The model has worked really well for me so far. And I don’t know if its psychological or really true (does it matter?) but there is definitely a significant difference in the quality of crops. The veggies are direct from earth. That does make the cleaning process difficult, but hey no pain, no gain.
They are definitely and significantly more tasty and healthy. And they are definitely not boosted with chemicals to improve the quality of yield or made to look extra green or extra beautiful. The current farming practise is organic, no additional fertilisers and pesticides are added. I don’t know how organic the soil is but they claim that they have been practising organic farming there for over 3 years so the soil is also probably close to being 100% organic.
Every Friday we get our vegetables delivered and its a time I look forward to. I love the smell of the earth and the greens. Its almost a spiritual experience when you see those nature’s bounty, smell the earth that produced them. But it presents an unique problem. A rather good one. What do I do with all the greens I get. And there is so much of it. I don’t mean the packs of spinach, fenugreek (methi) leaves, mints and corianders. But the carrot tops, beet root leaves, radish leaves and the likes.
So yesterday I decided to experiment with my carrot tops (they smell heavenly!) and a lettuce that I had lying around. I am not a fan of eating cold food in winters. Hey, I maybe in South India, but it is still winter time. So salads were not going to work. And hence I made this Lettuce and Carrot top soup. And it was delicious!
Here’s my recipe. If you like experimenting with food and trying out different combinations, feel free to try this one. Its healthy and delicious and simple.
Lettuce and Carrot Top Soup
What you Need – Serves 6
Lettuce – one large
Onion – 1 medium
Carrot Tops – one cup of fresh carrot top sprigs cleaned
Oil – 1 tablespoon
Curd/Yogurt – 3/4 table spoons
Pepper and Salt to taste
How to Make
Chop the onions. Cut up the lettuce leaves and roughly chop the carrot tops. Add oil in a pan and fry the onions. Add the lettuce and let it wilt down. Half way through add the carrot tops and let both cook. No need to add water at all, Lettuce is 96% water and when cooked it will release all its water and cook in its own water. You can add a few pepper corns at this stage for the flavour to seep in.
Once cooked, let it cool down. Add the ingredients to the blender and pour in the curd/yogurt as well. Blend really well until it becomes a fine liquid. At this stage if your mixture is a little coarse and not ground well, feel free to add water enough to make it. Pour the blended soup back into the pan, add freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. Let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Typically, I find that lettuce doesn’t handle salt well so a little salt would do.
The carrot tops provides a beautiful green colour to the soup and the curd provides a perfect creamy sourness. Personally I love thick soups so I limit the water I add to it but you can adjust the consistency based on your preference. Also I had a small quantity of the cooked lettuce which I chopped up and added to the soup whilst simmering to give a slight crunchy texture to the soup.