Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce

  (Hinckley, Illinois)
Locally Grown - Quality Farm Produce at Affordable Prices
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Getting Ready for Spring - Leek and Potato Soup

This past week at the Bountiful Blessings Farm has been filled with preparation for Spring. We finished the construction of our new high tunnel. All we have left to do is hang the doors and backfill. It is exciting to see the progress as we anticipate seeding and growing for this year’s produce season. The seeds have all been ordered; the soil has been prepared; the seed room erected; flats ready; many seeds have arrived; most everything is ready to go! The days are getting longer and the work is multiplying. Once again, the folks at Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce are ready to grow a wonderful crop and to serve our local friends and neighbors with fresh veggies! In the meantime, here is a wonderful recipe for Leek and Potato Soup:


Leek and Potato Soup

4 Tbsp. – unsalted butter

1lb - leeks, trimmed and finely sliced

1 ½ lb - potatoes, roughly chopped

1 ½ pt - vegetable stock

4 - Sprigs of fresh rosemary

1 ½ cups – Whole milk

2 Tbsp. - chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 Tbsp. – Heavy whipping cream

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the leeks and sweat gently for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the potatoes, stock, rosemary and milk. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 20–25 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat. Cool for 10 minutes. Discard the rosemary, then pour into a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. Return to a clean pan, and stir in the parsley and cream. Season to taste. Reheat gently and serve.


Serves 4


Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

 Here is a great recipe for a cold, snowy, night.


Chicken Noodle Soup

1 - 3 lb. whole chicken

2 qts. water

2 tsp. salt

1 ½ c. chicken stock

2 c. celery, chopped

2 c. carrots, chopped

1 tart apple, chopped

1 c. onions, chopped

Dash pepper

4 c. egg noodles

Place chicken in kettle with 2 quarts water. Cook over medium heat until tender (about 2½ hours). Remove chicken from kettle and strain broth. Debone chicken and return to kettle with strained broth. Add chicken stock, celery, carrots, apple, onions, and pepper and cook until vegetables are tender. When vegetables are tender, add noodles and cook 8-10 minutes.


Don and Eileen's Borscht

I love beets, however, I love them pickled! Nonetheless, after trying them in our friend's Don and Eileen Albinger's Borscht recipe, I love beets cooked this way as well. This is a wonderful winter soup. We try to enjoy it several times over the winter.

Don and Eileen’s Borscht

8 cups beef broth

1 pound ground beef (cooked)

1 large onion, peeled, quartered

4 large beets, peeled, chopped (boil in advance)

4 carrots, peeled, chopped

1 large russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 cups thinly sliced cabbage

¼  cup chopped fresh dill

3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 cup sour cream

Salt and pepper to taste


Brown ground beef in skillet, drain and allow to cool. In a large sauce pan bring 4 cups of the beef broth, ground beef and onion to boil in large pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Spoon fat from top of chilled broth and discard. Add remaining 4 cups broth, beets, carrots, and potato; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in cabbage and 1/8 cup dill; cook until cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in vinegar. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with sour cream and remaining 1/8 cup dill. The flavors may be enhanced by refrigerating overnight and reheating the next day.


Serves 6.


Beef Stew Kind of a Day

2 pounds beef chuck or stew meat, cut in 1-inch cubes
¼ cup flour
1 ½ t salt
½ t pepper
1 ½ cups beef broth
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
1 t paprika
4 carrots, sliced
3 potatoes, diced
2 onions, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced

Place meat in crock-pot. Mix flour, salt & pepper and pour over meat; stir to coat meat with flour. Add remaining ingredients & stir to mix well. Cover & cook on low 10 to 12 hours. (High: 4 to 6 hours) Stir stew thoroughly before serving.


Cold Day for a Sale

Today was a lot of fun, but very cold! I went the Hinckley Lion's Club sale in Hinckley, Illinois. It was great seeing a lot of people I have not seen in over a year. I was trying to find items we need at the farm for the upcoming season. There wasn't really any machinery there that would work for our operation, but I was able to get some lumber to complete at least one of the hay racks we will need. As I have mentioned in earlier blogs, Sunday's for us are usually spent in church and then family time in the afternoon. However, there are some time constraints this week with seed order deadlines and other issues that may prevent me from being able to attend worship.

I am hoping to be done with the things I need to do early in the morning so I can go to church.  However, it seems like lately things have not really gone the way I have planned. This results in crunch time and I do not like doing things at the last minute. The computer crash this week really took its toll. Now I am playing catch-up! I may have to use Sunday to catch-up. Bummer. I hate missing church. Well anyway, I hope that we will have time for some great food. I love this comfort food kind of soup on a cold day! This is what I was thinking about making:


Golden Cheesy Potato Soup


3 cups chopped potatoes
1 cup water
½ cup celery sliced
½ cup carrot sliced
¼ cup onions chopped
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups milk
2 tablespoons flour
½ pound velveeta cubed
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 cup ham diced

In a large sauce pan, combine everything EXCEPT the milk, flour, & Velveeta. Mix well, cover, simmer 15-20 minutes or until veggies are tender. Gradually add milk to flour & mix until well blended. Add milk mixture to vegetables. Cook till thickened. Add Velveeta & stir until melted. Serves 7


Soup du jour!

Another running gear is painted. My buddy, Rick Wilkening and I got the running gear ready to go. So today we got it painted. It didn't take too long, but of course we had to wait for the paint to dry before we could put the wheels back on. While we were waiting, I got the tires changed and ready to go back on. So planning ahead, I think I am going to make soup for tomorrow. Thought I might share the recipe:

Lentil Soup

1 onion, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
cup green lentils
¼ cup red lentils
½ cup yellow split peas
½ cup green split peas
3 medium tomatoes (fresh or canned, peeled)
3 medium carrots
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
A few grindings black pepper
4½ cups water (+ more as needed)
1 can tomato sauce (11 oz size)
3 Tbsp tomato paste

1. Add olive oil to a large saucepan.
2. Add the chopped onions and saute, stirring, 3 minutes.
3. Add the remaining ingredients & simmer 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
4. Taste & season as needed.
5. If soup needs thinning, add more water & bring to a boil.


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