I think I've hit my wall. It happens every year. I start the summer with so much enthusiasm about the coming season's produce and I start pulling out cookbooks and lining up recipes and making grand plans for trying new methods of preservation. And without fail I always peter out. The good news is that I lose steam later and later each year, so at some point I will actually make it through the whole summer, right?

In this week's CSA: Roma tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, arugula, radishes, green beans, and okra.

Tomatoes and squash went into yummy, yummy sausage and zucchini ribbons. Cucumbers are being lacto-fermented into sour pickles. Radishes and arugula will be eaten fresh in salads and the green beans I'm going to blanch and freeze. What about that okra, though? Any thoughts? I've only ever prepared okra breaded and fried, but my farmer told me these are too big for that; they would be better in a soup. Any wonderful soup recipes out there?

And speaking of soup I must say that I'm thrilled that we are once again entering the season of such things. The very first cookbook that I bought was a soup bible of over 300 recipes. We love, love, love soup 'round here.


  1. Oh if you've got okra, you've got gumbo! Mmm...

    This is the recipe I have used in the past (yummy!). I like it because you slow cook it in the oven. It's from the cookbook Screen Doors and Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook

    "Oven Chicken and Okra Gumbo"
    2 pounds okra, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 celery stalk chopped
    1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    1 (14.5 oz) can peeled whole tomatoes (or fresh!)
    1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
    3 cups diced cooked chicken
    6 oz tasso or smoked ham, diced
    1 quart chicken broth
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    4 cups cooked rice

    Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
    Combine the okra, onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic tomatoes, and tomato paste in a large roasting pan. Cover with and bake for 1 hour or until very tender.
    Remove the foil and add the chicken, tasso, and broth. Return to the oven and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until desired thickness.
    Season with sald and pepper.
    Ladle the gumbo into bowls and spoon a slittle rice into the center of each one.

    It says not to slow cook in cast iron because it will darken the okra.

  2. I love soup too!
    I like to sautee okra and add it to spicy lentils. Yum!

  3. Thanks to both of you for the suggestions! Emily, I'm going to try your gumbo this weekend. I'll let you know how it turns out!