Cucumber Potato Soup with Vegan Option

Cucumber Potato Soup

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes 
  • 2 cups vegetable broth 
  • 1 pound cucumbers–peeled, seeded and chopped 
  • 1/4 cup milk, cream or almond milk for vegan version
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped or two sprigs of dill
  • Salt and pepper 


  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion; cook until slightly softened. Add the potatoes and broth. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.  Add the cucumbers and simmer for 2 more minutes.  Using a stick blender or food processor, puree until smooth.  Return to the pot and stir in the milk/cream. Garnish with parsley  (or dill) and serve hot or cold.  

Vegan Shiitake and Eggplant Chili with Vegan Cornbread

Vegan Shiitake and Eggplant Chili with  Vegan Cornbread

Shiitake and Eggplant Chili

1 cups diced onions

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 medium egg plant with stem removed and diced into 1/2 inch pieces

1 sweet pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1-tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon Hungry Bear Farm Garlic Salt

12-16 ounces mushrooms, including shiitake,  stemmed and diced into 1/4 inch pieces

2 ½ cups tomato puree or 5-6 diced fresh tomatoes

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce if you don’t have Bragg’s on hand)

In a large pot, sauté the onions in the oil for about 2 minutes.  Add the peppers, diced eggplant, and spices and continue to sauté until the onions and eggplant are soft. Stir in the the mushrooms, the tomato puree, and the Braggs and simmer until the mushrooms are tender. Stir in the drained kidney beans and continue simmering until they are warmed.  Serve with corn bread.

Vegan Corn Bread

2 ½ cups flour

1 ½ cups cornmeal

1-cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1-teaspoon salt

2/3 cups applesauce

1-cup soy or almond milk

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup maple syrup

Combine the applesauce and baking powder in a dish and set aside (the apple sauce will foam up so be sure to use a dish with a little room for this).  Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.  Place the batter into a 13x9x2 baking dish.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the bread springs back when pressed by a fingertip near the center. 

Scrambled Eggs with Fried Okra and Sliced Tomatoes

A nutritious, simple meal for those hectic first week back-to-school evenings

Okra is a high-fiber, high-antioxidant food that is packed with important nutrients including: folic acid, vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin A, potassium, calcium and iron.  

For each serving you will need:

2 teaspoons olive oil

3-5 okra pods cut into 1/4 inch rings

1 small hot pepper cut into rings (optional)

dash of Hungry Bear Garlic Salt

2 eggs scrambled

1/4 cup shredded cheese

1 ripe tomato,sliced

1 slice of bread for toast

Heat the olive oil In a small skillet that is large enough to fit the okra rings in a single layer with no crowding.  When the oil is hot, toss in the okra and the optional hot pepper and season with the garlic salt. I have found that the trick to preparing okra so that it is not slimy is to sauté it at a high heat, in an uncrowded frying pan, being sure to toss it almost it constantly while it cooks so that it does not burn. If you watch it closely,  thin stings of mucilage will disappear after about four minutes and some of the pieces will be nicely browned.  This takes about 4-5 minutes.  

When the okra is done, remove it from the pan. Lower the heat and allow the pan to cool down for a few moments to avoid burning the eggs.  Once the pan is cooled sufficiently, place the scrambled eggs in it and and cook them throughly.  Remove the eggs from the pan, put them on a plate and top with the shredded cheese.  Serve with the fried, okra, the fresh tomato slices and toast.  

“Rocky Point” Rhode Island Clam Chowder

This recipe was given to me by a gentleman who worked at Rocky Point’s shore dinner hall when he was a teen.  It  tastes like the real thing.  He used to make it for our “Row Avenue Picnic” that was held at Colt State Park in Bristol every year.  The only modification that I have made is that I use canned clams and our tomato puree instead of the “ground quahogs with liquid”  and  the “can and 1/2 of tomato soup concentrate” that his recipe called for.  

 6 cans minced clams with the liquid reserved or the equivalant

1 1/2″ cube of salt pork

1 cup minced onions

3 cups diced tomatoes

16 oz tomato puree

salt and pepper to tast

In a dutch oven, fry the salt pork until crisp and then remove the pork bits from the pan and set aside. Saute´ the onion in the fat from the salt pork until they are translucentadd the potatoes, clam liquid, and enough boiling water to cover the potatoes.  Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, add the clams and the tomato pureee and remove from the heat.  

Peachy Pork Chops

4 pork chops, about 1/2 cup flour, with a dash of salt, pepper 6 fresh peaches peeled,pitted and sliced, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar1/4 cup catsup2 tablespoons vinegar

Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish (I use a pie plate).  Coat each chop with the flour mixture and place it on the rack of a baking pan bake the chops for 40-50 minutes, testing for doneness with a meat thermometer.  
When the chops are almost done, heat the catchup, vinegar and sugar in a sauce pan-when they are warm and the sugar is melted, gently stir in the peaches and heat through. 
Serve the chops over rice, topped with the peach mixture.

Hungry Bear Pasta Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes

Making homemade pasta sauce from fresh tomatoes sounds complicated but it is easier that it sounds and makes a very healthy and delicious sauce that can be kept in the freezer for use during those cold winter months.   

It REALLY helps to have a Kitchen Aid Mixer with a food mill attachment  for skinning/seeding and pureeing the tomatoes but, if you don’t own a mixer,  you can use a hand mill (and hand milling will give you a great upper-body work out).  

It also helps to have a crock pot to truly slow simmer the sauce so that you don’t have to babysit the sauce on the stove all day but you can use the stove if you watch carefully and stir frequently. 

I have tried several methods for pureeing our tomatoes over the past years and think that this is the best and most efficient so here it is:

1)Wash and remove the top spots (where the stem was attached) from  about 10 lbs. of fresh, ripe tomatoes (a mellon baller tool works great for this step).  

2) Working over a large bowl to catch the seed mess, reach into each tomato and, as you  rip it in half (yes, you will get tomato guts all over your hands with this step),  slough out and discard the seedy parts of each one.  Don’t be too fussy about removing all the seeds-the food mill will separate out any strays.  Keep in mind that your main goal is to be left with mostly the fleshy parts of the tomato since the juice and the jell around the seeds just makes for watery sauce.

3) Take the stemmed/seeded tomatoes and run them through your food mill, catching the puree in a clean bowl.  This is when you will LOVE your Kitchen Aid mixer if you have one and tone those arms if you don’t.  Discard the skin waste and transfer the puree into your crock pot or cooking pot  to start making the sauce.

To make your sauce you will need:

The puree from about 10 lbs of tomatoes placed in either a crock pot or a large soup pan

-2 Tablespoons olive oil

-1 large onion, diced

-4 cloves garlic, minced

-Bouquet garni of fresh rosemary, oregano,thyme and sage  (i.e sprigs   of each herb tied into a little bundle with cooking twine)

or 2 Tablespoons of “Italian Seasoning” 

-2 teaspoons dried basil

-salt to taste (I use about 1 teaspoon)

-dash of pepper

-dash cinnamon 

-dash allspice

-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

-1/4 cup brown sugar

-1/4 cup cream sherry (optional but adds a nice richness to the flavor)

In a small frying pan, lightly sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are translucent.  Add the onion mixture to the puree and then add the spices.  Simmer on a very low heat for 5-6 hours, stirring occasionally so that the sauce does not burn but thickens nicely.   About 1/2 hour before shutting it off, remove the bouquet garni and stir in the sugar and the sherry.    

Some seasons (usually when we have had a lot of rain) the tomatoes have a higher water content and I find it best to add a small can of tomato paste in the last 1/2 hour to thicken the sauce but this is usually not necessary.  When I do need to add paste, I am careful to choose a brand that only contains tomatoes (beware-some brands now have high fructose corn syrup in them).

Thanks to the suggestion of one of our CSA customers, I freeze meal size portions of the sauce in quart-sized ziplock freezer bags-this way the sauce takes up very little freezer space and keeps ice crystal free. Another tip to reduce icing is to cool the bags in the fridge before placing them in the freezer.

Baked Balsamic Sweet Potatoes with Homemade Apple Butter

This recipe was inspired by a delicious apple butter made for us by a friend.  If you can’t get your hands on some, you could try substituting apple sauce with cinnamon but it might be worth hunting down a jar of it.    

1 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes peeled and cut into slices that are about 1” thick 

2 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup apple butter

small handful of golden raisins

In a buttered, covered casserole dish, arrange the sweet potatoes in a single layer.

Top with pats of the butter, and then sprinkle with the balsamic.  Cover and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes.  You may wish to check  after about 10 to make sure there is enough moisture on the bottom of the dish to keep the potatoes from sticking.  You can add a bit more butter or a few drops of water if you feel it is too dry. When the potatoes are fork tender, top each with a dollop of the apple butter, toss in the raisins and them bake, uncovered for another 5 minutes or so until the apple butter is warm. 

Roasted Roots

2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2″ pieces, 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into small chunks, 2 beets, peeled and cut into small chunks, 1 sweet potato or yam, peeled and cut into small chunks, 1 clove garlic, sliced 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos, pinches of herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, black peppers etc.1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt, hot pepper flakes or sauce ( optional )
Directions:1. Preheat oven to 350 F2. Place sweet potatoes, parsnips, beets, carrots and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix everything up well.3. Put everything in a shallow baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes or until tender and it should be done!

Amazing Black Bean Dip

I would credit the source but have no idea where Gene found this recipe.   Before he began farming he made it with canned black beans and tomato paste. Now he is able to make it with our very own Black Turtle Beans, garlic, tomato paste and hot peppers (yummy and healthy with no pesticides or added sodium)! 

1 pound 14oz-1 lb  of dried Black Turtle Beans, washed and drained

1-2 cups veggie broth or water (to simmer the beans in)

1/4 cup white wine

4 oz. tomato paste

2 cloves of minced garlic

1 small hot pepper

 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cumine

2 tablespoons olive oil

-Place the beans in a large sauce pan and add just enough water or vegetable broth to cover them. -Slowly simmer the beans until they are tender-adding water as needed so that they don’t dry out (this takes about 1 hour or so)-When the beans are tender, drain most of the remaining liquid and add the rest of the ingredients-Simmer until the pepper and garlic are softened. -Blend the mixture with a Smart Stick or in a food processor
Serve with your favorite chips (we are currently enjoying Mi Niña Jalapeño Agave chips made in Needham, MA)

Maple Baked Beans

With many thanks to Cedar Circle Farm who adapted this recipe from Yankee Magazine

Ingredients 1 pound dried beans (about one-pint jar full)1 onion peeled, 6 whole cloves,1 bay leaf, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 3/4 pound chunk of backfat on the rind, 1/2 tsp Hungry Bear Garlic Salt, 2 tsp dry mustard, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp coriander

Instructions -Rinse, drain and recover the beans with water and let them soak for one hour. -Drain the beans and place half in an oven-safe Dutch oven (one that has a lid). -Stick the cloves into the onion then place the onion and the bay leaf on top of the beans. -Top this with the rest of the beans. -Add the maple syrup and enough water to just cover the beans. -Cover the pot and place in a 300 degree oven. -Prepare the salt pork by cutting crosshatch at half-inch intervals, making sure to not cut through the rind. -Cover it with water and set aside. -After about an hour, begin checking the beans adding hot water as necessary to keep the top layer of beans nicely submerged. -After 2-3 hours, stir in salt and the other spices to taste then drain the salt pork and push it into the top layer of beans, skin side up, with the skin just at the top of the liquid. Put the lid back on the pot and return to the oven. -Continue to monitor and add water as needed. As the beans begin to really soften, begin cutting back on adding liquid so the sauce thickens. Make sure to not let the top layer of beans dry out though. Remove the lid of the pot for the last hour of cooking so the salt pork skin gets crispy.