Side Pork Cabbage Soup

Minnesota winters require a good soup. They not only warm, but they nourish our bodies too. What is your favorite soup? Do you even like soup? Me? I love soup, but I have to convince my boys. They’re not so easily won. As long as it’s a good cream soup, they’ll devour it though. IMG_2710I tried this one on them the other night and they really enjoyed the smell of the sesame oil. I’ve found that many good side pork recipes have sesame oil in them.

My love for cabbage soup started with The Joy of Cooking after receiving the book as a wedding present. Basic cookbooks like that and Betty Crocker’s Cookbook are a great place to start when learning to cook and bake. You’ll learn the basics, what you like and don’t like, and then be able to expand from there. I like to learn as I do things, but maybe you like all the knowledge before you jump in. If so, I’d recommend finding a chef you really enjoy and watching his/her videos on youtube.com or from the library. You can gain some excellent knowledge this way.

With recipes, I often get ideas online and then just make up my own way to do it according to the skills I’ve learned along the way. Most recipes don’t have you sear the meats and veggies or grill them before adding to soup or slow cooker recipes, but I’ve found this to enhance the texture and flavors so much I almost always do it unless I forgot to take it out the night before and it’s still frozen.

The nice thing about side pork is that it’s typically a smaller portioned package and so it will thaw within the day. That and soups don’t take a whole lot of time if you have all the ingredients available in your pantry or freezer. I love modern technology and don’t know where I’d be without a fridge and freezer. Also, buying in bulk (especially meats like half a hog, frozen whole chickens or a quarter beef) ensures I don’t have to go to the grocery store more than once a month except for milk or fruits, saving me a lot of time, energy and money from impulse buys.

Now this soup may not be for everyone. I’ve found many just don’t crave the rich fat that accompanies side pork. Many of us crave carbs. This is not a high-carb soup, in fact this would be considered more of a keto or paleo soup in modern diet language. Perfect for low-carbohydrate diets, pastured side pork gives high quality fats that our bodies need to thrive. From previous blog posts you may remember it’s a great source of natural vitamin D.

I hope you like soup because here’s my first side pork installment. I hope to have many more in the coming months, so tell me your favorite things to do with side pork and your favorite soups too. I’m also looking for excellent ideas for beef! We also have 3 and 3/4 beef available still this fall, so share! What are your favorite beef and pork recipes?

Enough from me. Now go enjoy some soup on these cold winter nights!

Side Pork Cabbage Soup

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb. side pork a.k.a. pork belly
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon + Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon + garlic, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon + granulated
  • 5 cups or more chicken stock/broth
  • 1 small head of cabbage or 2-3 bok choy
  • 1-2 Tablespoon roasted sesame oil
  • optional excellent veggies: 1-2 leeks, chopped; 3-5 carrots, long sliced; 3-4 Tablespoons of tomato paste for a more minestrone-type taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large saucepan or cast iron skillet on medium heat. Pour 1 – 2 Tablespoons of olive oil or lard into heated pan and spread evenly. Place chopped onion and any other veggies (such as leeks and carrots) into pan to sauté for about 5-7 minutes until onions are “clear” rather than white all the way through. Place sautéd veggies into an unheated stockpot that you will finish the soup in.

In the saucepan, heat the pork belly until browned, about 7 minutes. Place pork belly into stockpot. Add five spice powder and garlic to stockpot.

Pour one – two cups of chicken stock into saucepan to get all the good veggie and pork juices into the liquid, about two minutes. Pour this liquid into the unheated stockpot with the remaining chicken stock and heat all to boiling.

Once boiling, turn heat to medium-low and add the cabbage. Cook until cabbage is soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat, let cool for five to ten minutes and then add sesame oil.

Enjoy!

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Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup

I’ve heard that a requirement for being a true Minnesotan means you love casserole. Depending on what part of the state you come from, casserole can also be called hot dish or goulash. What do you call it? Here’s a recipe just in time for Thanksgiving and Green Bean Casserole!

Well, as you may have noticed, most casseroles require a generous amount of Cream of Chicken or Cream of “Something” soup. I’m not a big fan of the additives in the canned stuff from the store and I’m not a fan of the price, so here’s the recipe I use for things like Green Bean casserole, Chicken Broccoli hotdish, smothered pork chops, Ambrosia Sweet Roast, and so much more… Enjoy!

Cream of Chicken Soup

  • Servings: about 2 cans worth or 3 cups
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

1 1/2 cup chicken broth/stock
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp. onion power
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt (more if your chicken broth/stock is homemade)
1/4 tsp. parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cup milk, separated
3/4 cup flour (wheat, rice or oat flour all work great)
1. In medium saucepan, boil broth, 1/2 c. of milk and the seasonings for 1-2 minutes.
2. In a bowl, whisk together remaining milk and flour. Whisking still, add to gently boiling mixture and continue whisking until mixture boils and thickens.
3. Remove from heat and add to your favorite dish.
*This recipe does not freeze well, but will save in the fridge for up to a week as long as your chicken stock is fresh.

Here’s a tip. When making chicken stock or bone broth, I often put some into a 2 cup glass container and freeze it to have it handy for recipes such as this. That way it can be easily placed, sealed, into a bit of warm water, thaw a bit and then be poured into a pot to be melted down.My favorite containers are Pyrex.

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Is it possible to make cream soup look appetizing? Well I don’t have those skills…

What do you want to know?

We’ve recently updated our Pastured Pork page. A new goal I have is to help make ordering and using larger portions of meat (or splitting half a hog with friends) more user friendly. One way I hope to do this is by providing recipes and meal ideas for the various cuts of meat. Another is by providing information on what a half hog contains. I could use your help. What would like to know about when considering half a hog or a quarter beef or a whole chicken? Do you want resource links or would you rather I break down the whole process here? Is it recipes you need or how-to information? Maybe I’m not even asking the right questions. Could you please comment here or send me a quick email/message on Facebook for ideas?

And in case you missed the information on our November delivery dates to the Minneapolis/Fridley/St. Paul area, here’s a link to our most recent newsletter:

Click here if you’d like to see information on November deliveries…

We look forward to providing nutritious meats and veggies for you all in the future and hope to give the information that can help you use it well.

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A little throwback to our first summer on the farm in 2013. 

Prepared

Now’s the time to start planning what seasonal goods you’ll need for the year. In MN that’s almost everything, including chicken.

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In this picture we have some zucchini brownies and some spaghetti ready to be quickly made. We have grown to love okra in our tomato sauce. I freeze it whole (super easy) and then blend it into cold sauce when making a recipe. It adds a touch of flavor and makes a thicker, less watery sauce. Our okra has started to produce already and we hope to have plenty to bring to market this year.

You’ll also see our Italian sausage links. Having meat in the freezer and available has put my mind at ease and helped me to avoid shopping, a task I do not enjoy. I always have something available for a quick meal. That’s especially helpful in the busy or overwhelming seasons of the year which for us coincides with planting, weeding and preparing for markets throughout the summer.

We hope you will be able to stop by one of our markets to say hi. We plan to be at the Aitkin Historical Society’s Depot Museum (right next to the Holiday gas station) on Fridays throughout the summer. This Friday we will be there from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm.  Hope to see you there.


Here’s one last reminder. This week is the week to order chicken and turkey for the year! Also, if you’re wanting pork, we have it available by the pound now or halves and whole in the fall. Give us a call this week and we’ll get you all set up for convenient meals all year long.

You can also still order beef and pork to be processed closer to November and December. Send us an email at righteousoaksfarm@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you.

Printable order form: Click here!

$15 off from Righteous Oaks Farm

Who doesn’t like a good deal? And giveaways don’t get tastier than this! Now through December 11th, we have a giveaway on our Facebook and Instagram pages (just click the links to see), plus we’d like to share another deal with you for sharing our product with others, keep reading —>

New customers! We’d like to give you $15 worth of pork or chicken with your purchase of $125 or more.

Existing customers! We’d like to give you $15 off your next order of pork or chicken of $125 or more for finding us a new customer.

Please share this deal with those that might enjoy some high quality, nutrient dense pastured pork and chicken. As always, we are use non-GMO and soy free feed with our animals. Take care and many blessings to you this Christmas season.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frighteousoaksfarm%2Fposts%2F1950436075206865&width=500&show_text=true&height=678&appId

Deal good through the end of December, 2017.

Contest open to anyone willing to meet us in our drop off locations: Twin Cities area, Brainerd, Aitkin, Duluth, and Fergus Falls. We often deliver along highways 210, 169, 47 and 65 as well. If you don’t meet that requirement, prize may be gifted to someone who does.

Contest closes Monday, December 11, 2017 at 11:59 pm. $15 off must be ordered by January 1, 2018.

For the contest, we will compile the names and email addresses of all commenters who enter into a spreadsheet. We assign each commenter a number, and check to remove any duplicate entries – such as when someone adds a note to their own comment, replies to someone else’s comment, or inadvertently enters twice. Then we ask random.org to choose a number from the amount of entrants and whatever number is picked, that’s our winner.

Fall Update and Great News

IMG_4390Wonderful news. We have been given a great gift and long-awaited happiness in our lives. On September 21, Asher George Nix was born to us. Asher is the first Hebrew word of the Psalms and one of Jacob’s sons in the Bible. The word means Blessed or Happy! George is Mathew’s amazing dad and the name also means farmer, rather appropriate huh? Please rejoice with us.

In farm news, we are still plodding along and continue to enjoy the fall harvest. Today was our first big frost with the temperature last night reaching 23 degrees F. With the high tunnel, we still have a bit of a growing season, but most of our produce is done. We’re also stocking up on hay for winter so the cows and pigs have plenty to enjoy.

Available products on the farm still include pork and chicken. We will also have tomatoes, spaghetti squash, peppers, watermelon, possibly purple potatoes, and tallow

lotion until they are all sold or the high tunnel gets too cold. Spaghetti squash is a wonderful keeper. The seeds we planted this year were from a squash I cut up in March that was still good from the 2016 harvest. Small are $1.50 and large are $3. Our tomatoes are down to $.75 per pound for seconds and $1.75 per pound for unblemished tomatoes. I highly recommend my favorite green zebra tomatoes. Our peppers are Marconi and $0.50. They are long and a lot like a green pepper, but without the belly ache that some people get from green peppers. Tallow lotion is great for winter skin and only $2 for a 4 ounce jar.

IMG_4249We ordered more chickens than were sold, so we still have some chicken in the freezer. On farm purchase of chicken is $4.00 per pound. Delivered to the Twin Cities is $4.25 per pound. USDA inspected chicken is $4.50 per pound.

Pork! We still have six hogs available for October and IMG_3488November butcher dates, mainly because our main marketing person recently had a baby… We sell in half or whole hogs. Some people have ordered with a friend and split up half a hog. Hogs are normally around 200 pounds. We charge $3 per pound hanging carcass weight plus the butcher fees which varies with your custom order of ham, bacon, pork belly, sausage, pork chops, roasts, etc. As with chicken, we also have USDA inspected pork in 1-4 pound packages for $6.50 per pound. There are still some tasty pork chops, roasts, ground pork and side pork. Small hams are available for $7 per pound and 1 lb. bacon packages are $8 per pound.

As always, our chickens and hogs are pastured and moved regularly. They are fed non-GMO feed and are soy free. We grind the grain ourselves and source much of it from within 30 miles. That also means the grain is fresh increasing the nutrient quality of the food given our animals.

Thanks for being part of our farm family. Without your supporting local, sustainable agriculture, we couldn’t strive to exercise careful dominion over the resources that have been entrusted to us.

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Enjoying the heat? – plus a recipe link!

Do you enjoy the heat of summer or would you rather sit in mosquito-free air-conditioning? This heat can be wonderful and joyful for little boys who love to frolic in water. However, constantly feeling 80 – 90 humid degrees for us full-blooded Minnesotans can become an exercise in endurance. I think that’s why so many enjoy pulling out Christmas songs and dwelling on the coolness of the Minnesota winter during the month of July.
For those of you who enjoy farm fresh food and supporting small farms, now is also the time to think about what foods you’ll want to have through the winter. Being small and seasonal we produce most of our meat when the weather is warm and the pasture is flourishing with extra nutrition for our animals. Are you going to want a ham or roast chicken for your holiday meals?
IMG_3488     Now is the best time to order your half or whole hog. We normally sell out. I am very proud of the pastured pork we produce and can say these are the best pork chops I’ve ever had. If half is too much for you (80-100 pounds of meat), some people get friends together and split it up between themselves.IMG_8795
You can also still get your broiler chickens and maple syrup, while the supply lasts. Though our beef is sold out for the year, we have some grass-fed goat available still. The meat is an excellent source of essential nutrients for your family and we have some by the pound if you wanted to give it a try before your buy a whole animal.

IMG_3486     The farmer’s market has been a big part of our summer schedule this year. We’d love to see you if you’re in Aitkin on a Saturday morning. We’ll have pork and goat by the pound, whole broilers, our maple syrup and lots of veggies to enjoy. You can also order tomatoes for your canning needs, so give us a call, set up a time to visit the farm, or send us a message by email, Facebook or Instagram. We look forward to hearing from you.

Flashback Recipe idea: Grill up some Maple Mustard Chicken!